Restaurant teams are often like families. Working well together week in and week out creates a close bond with other staff. Like a family – you help each other often and you argue sometimes too. I’ve seen some waiter/chef arguments (during the heat of a busy Saturday night) that would rival many knock-down drag-outs I had with my sister when we were growing up.
This family like atmosphere, overall, is great. It is a big reason why great restaurants run so smoothly – people help each other and they work as a team. However, there can be a interesting side effect of the family like atmosphere. When people are not working – they often stop by. Usually they have a good reason to (especially if their schedule is hanging in the kitchen)…but they tend to linger. They stop by to check their schedule, swap a shift, jot some notes down in the request book or just to see what’s going on that evening. While they are there they fix themselves a glass of iced tea, they grab some bread out of the bread warmer, they have a cup of coffee and they definitely distract those who are there to work. Over the course of a month – this drive-by staff consumption and distraction adds up big time!
The reason I am blogging about this is because I spoke to one of our customers in Atlanta GA yesterday and we talked about this issue – and how Schedulefly has nearly erased it. They have 100 staff – almost every single one of them is in high school and a lot of them are close friends. Prior to Schedulefly, the management team was always shooing non working staff out of the kitchen or away from the host stand where the would distract people who were supposed to be setting up for the night. “Come on, shoo, get outta here…your not working tonight…go home!”
An interesting thing happened after they started using Schedulefly 3 years ago. The staff no longer stopped by to check their schedule, to get a manager to sign off on a shift change or to request time off in the book. And once the staff realized that the only people there were scheduled people who had a job to do – they stopped coming by all together. Amazing! Christine Fiorini, the GM at Partner’s Pizza, told me that in one month they save enough in drive-by food costs to pay for Schedulefly twice or even 3 times over.
After she told me this – I asked if she would talk more about it while we recorded it! It’s so good. Click play…
Keepin’ It Simple and Fun,
Wes @ Schedulefly