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The formula of high-quality service: how can you merge management and waiters’ talent?

The quality and the speed of the service mainly depends on the work of the company’s line personnel. Salaries of the employees in the same position are as a rule the same. But one employee may work it off up to 40%, another — up to 90%, the third — 100%, and the fourth — even up to 110%. If you want to manage the payroll funds effectively, it is necessary not only to monitor the KPI of team members but also change the company’s standards of work and increase the efficiency of the line personnel. A great variety of digital tools which are on the market today help to solve these problems. These tools build business processes, increase the team’s motivation and the company’s profit in general.

The service “by intuition” does not work

The key to the high service quality in a restaurant is the work of each employee of the linear "front". It is not that easy to build a service that meets the requirements of a particular business. The adaptation to the concept of the institution, the guest’s profile and the price segment are always required. However, achieving the chosen standards by every employee starting from hostesses and up to waiters is an even more challenging task.

A clear system of personnel management is absolutely required so that the service quality does not depend on the waiter’s inspiration and the sequence of events forming the customer’s experience is strictly observed.
With the correct approach it becomes a source of data for both the management team and the line employees. A ready-made solution for the restaurant business was developed by SteadyControl HoReCA.
The system analyses the key business processes from service to work discipline using cameras, internal software and audio badges. The last tool is one of the key developments of the company. Audio badges of SteadyControl record clear sound even when the restaurant is fully seated. Then the system analyses the compliance of the employees' work with the business standards and summarizes the data on the online platform. The less violations are detected, the higher the employee’s performance indicator and their salary are. So, the level of income directly depends on the system’s indicators. Each waiter and hostess are protected from bias. In their personal accounts they study their indicators, analyze mistakes and study the work standards in the Knowledge Base.
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Customer-focused sales

One of the key tools to build a customer-focused model of the service is the analysis of the customer’s experience. The SteadyControl system allows you to study each service stage and understand at which point you can improve the service and make the bill bigger. For example, how often do the guests agree to the waiter’s suggestion to refresh their drink or move on to the desert after the main course? The system shows which service will help the guest get the most out of the brand and thus bring more profit.

A chain of bakeries in Vladivostok tested various hypotheses and expressions and found out that the guests are 50% more likely to agree to a specific offer of an employee rather than a vague question from the script: "Would you like some pastries with your coffee?" Today SteadyControl system is the only way to study in figures what guests of a particular restaurant like and not just anonymous consumers in the market statistics.
SteadyControl helps to mirror the concept in every employee’s behavior. The waiters receive a clear algorithm of actions and if the standards are not followed, the system will offer to correct the mistakes by passing the test in a certain section of the Knowledge Base.

In addition to continuous training of employees in a restaurant the personnel control and management system helps to distribute the payroll funds correctly and carry out HR-decisions. For example, to form a talent pool or divide the staff into categories depending on the level of qualification. And it is easy as the system shows the professionalism and the diligence of each waiter in percent. So, taking into account the numbers and not just feelings, the managers easily appoint the shift leaders and determine who will cope better with the banquet or a very important guest.

Creative approach is an unsafe strategy

Experienced restaurant owners know that the "creative approach" in the work of the line personnel has an unpredictable result. So called star waiters may elevate a restaurant to the Olympus or on the contrary turn the service into chaos. It is too risky to use this approach in the sphere where the loyalty of every guest is worth its weight in gold and the slightest flaw in the service can spoil the overall impression from the concept.

In restaurant chain and franchise projects the risk even doubles. If a unified personnel management system is not implemented in all restaurants of the brand, the service in different cities will vary and the guests will get a pig in a poke. That is why the largest market players (like "Sushi Wok" and Subway) recommend their franchisees to implement the SteadyControl system in order to provide a stable service throughout the country.

There is such a myth that the observance of standards ruins the creative part of the job and turns the waiters into robots. However, the optimization of the processes works exactly in the opposite way. The employees get more freedom if the discipline is higher and the team work is more coordinated.

Dmitri Lebedenko
Development Director, SteadyControl HoReCa
We distinguish waiter competences into hard skills and soft skills. The first group includes work discipline, appearance, the skill of working with CRM, keeping the restaurant clean and basic standards of service in the restaurant. Soft skills involve empathy — the ability to feel the guest’s needs and find a personal approach to each visitor. As a rule, these skills come with experience and not many team members may boast to have them. Soft skills will not be acquired without some good basic knowledge, and a good service can easily turn into something chaotic.
A waiter with charisma is a definite plus for the concept. But first of all, the service must be of high quality and stable all the time. And only after that comes its exclusiveness. The personnel control and management system ensures the efficiency both of a newbie and the experienced waiter. And it also allows you to maintain a service of high quality in the event of rapid business expansion or internal staff turnovers.

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