The hospitality industry has persevered through incredible challenges this year and the bulk of the credit can be attributed to the restaurant owners who have poured their hearts into their businesses. Operators have read and implemented all the health and safety protocols, fully stocked (and hoarded) paper towels and sanitizing products, and created physical space around all where diners are spending their time. Restaurants have been allowed to operate normally for a little while now, but have managers and those in leadership positions checked in with their employees recently? There are three key points of communication that restaurant owners should keep in mind.
First, it is critical that everyone from chefs and expo to servers and bartenders understand their additional responsibilities now that service includes steps that accommodate social distancing and extra sanitization. Restaurant owners may have held staff training prior to their re-opening, but experts recommend offering micro-trainings when a new shift of employees are coming on site. While staff receive temperature checks and prepare for service, managers should take a few minutes to review cleaning procedures or traffic flow protocols.
Another important element is the mental health and emotional well-being of employees themselves. The uncertainty that restaurant owners experience is mirrored by the concerns that restaurant staff carry with them to work.
It is to the benefit of the restaurant environment that everyone on the team has the opportunity to voice their concerns, and any suggestions they may have. It is essential that leaders remember that leadership requires a certain level of humbleness and introspection. Every manager should regularly ask themselves if their employees feel comfortable speaking to them without the risk of repercussions.
Finally, managers should make sure that their employees know what will happen if they, a teammate, or a diner reports illness. Make it clear whether or not the business is practicing contact tracing, if the restaurant will temporarily close in the event of a positive diagnosis, and what supportive options employees may have available to them. In an uncertain time, clear and honest communication is the most productive way to put your employees at ease.
A kitchen operates smoothly when each step of the service process communicates its part clearly. Leaders set the best example by facilitating an atmosphere that encourages communication, comradery, and collaboration. These three key components of a communication plan can help ensure that both management and employees are on the same page and able to work together at their best.
Trust20 is the new standard of restaurant safety and diner comfort, based on 20 tactics by health and safety experts. Supported by Gordon Food Service and General Mills, Trust20 provides an independently verified certification of restaurant practices, training, and other resources to help restaurants create safe, healthy, and welcome spaces for diners. www.trust20.co, @Trust20USA