Symptoms of a sick restaurant, and the key to higher service productivity

I dine at a lot of restaurants, and I see behavior that I think is indicative of a “sick” restaurant. What I mean is that the restaurant has all the elements for success, but there are issues with management and staff productivity.

Here are the symptoms: The staff is not there for the guests, but rather for their own needs and to get a paycheck only. In other words, the guest doesn’t come first. Staff members talk about guests in a derogatory manner and focus more on sticking it out through the evening, giving about half of their potential. Meanwhile, management is in the office and oblivious to the floor. Why? They just don’t care.

In the kitchen, you can see the same lack of motivation. If a guest sends a plate back the line cook or sous chef complain about the guests and question the veracity of their complaint. Ultimately it is up to management to lead staff by example. You cannot tolerate staff members that don’t respect the guest’s needs.

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