Restaurant Management: The Value of Pre-Shift Huddles

Cindy LeClair

In restaurant management, the hustle and bustle of the restaurant environment, it can be difficult to check in with your employees, that's why pre-shift huddles are key!

What's a pre-shift huddle?

A pre shift huddle in restaurant management terms is a quick check-in with your staff, and a time for your staff to communicate with each other.  A great pre-shift huddle has 3 key factors to their purpose:

1 - Educate.

The first thing that your daily huddle should address is any information that your employees should know. This being specials, events, or general day-to-day notes that they should be aware of. Huddles are also great for team building, between FOH and BOH teams.

BOH team members could explain firsthand what the specials are to FOH employees and FOH team members could share their strategies on how to push more specials amongst their peers.

Huddles are a great way to be proactive rather than reactive. If you have a restaurant management tool that has daily logbook capabilities, you can look for any recurring problems from the day before, and address the most outstanding problem.

2 - Engage.

Huddles are meant to improve communication,  and ultimately enhance employee performance for better guest experiences.

But the key here is to keep things short and sweet to make sure everyone is heard. A good exercise could be a quick "win" for everyone in the huddle, and any identifiable "goals" for their shift! A win could relate to anything; like someone could say they arrived to work early for the day or it could be something personal like acing an exam.  And a goal could be anything from not dropping any forks, or selling 20 promo dishes.

3 - Motivate.

Again, the biggest strategy for huddles, is engagement and communication with your team. To foster a fun and healthy workplace culture, it's crucial to consistently check-in with your team. Make work fun for them, and they'll likely go above and beyond for you. After all, your business wouldn't be as successful without a solid set of employees.

Huddles should be consistent for every shift and they shouldn't be more than 15 minutes! This is to ensure that you're making the most of your time. And if you find someone going off track, reign them back in or move on to the next person! The purpose of a huddle may be having an open channel where employees can bring up any questions or concerns they may have, but it also needs to stay short, sweet, and focused.

If you are involved in restaurant management, you may also be concerned with keeping track of staff hours, labor and profiles. In a fast paced and flexible work environment such as a restaurant, consider using an all-in-one workforce management solution to help solve your managerial challenges! 

restaurant management


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