Now that you have already determined the key staff to hire for your restaurant business, you now need to identify how you are going to measure their performance. While their resumes and job interviews may have been impressive, a smart restaurateur needs to list down a set of criteria that needs to be met by his or her employees. This is to ensure that everyone is performing according to the systems and procedures that you have established and that each and every one is accountable to the specific tasks that were specifically assigned to them. Having a performance standard is also a guide that all employees can visit for self-assessment and as such, this document should be included in the employee manual.
But how do you go about creating your own business’ employee performance standard? What are the main ingredients of an effective guide? How will you enforce it without making your employees feel and think that they are going to be controlled or micromanaged? Let us find out what the steps are:
- Review the job descriptions for all the functions that need to be performed in your restaurant.
Identifying what the criteria that need to be met will be a lot easier if you have a clear understanding of what actually needs to be delivered. A small restaurant will initially have five to ten employees and some restaurant owners fall into thinking that all of these employees should be able to perform all the available tasks around. While yes, employees are expected to help and be an all-rounder but remember that you specifically hired them to perform a specific set of duties, not all. So first, refresh your knowledge of what each employee should be doing.
- Identify what needs to be measured.
Is it the number of hours that an employee needs to render daily? Is it the number of orders taken in an hour? The number of booked reservations in a week? Or is it how fast the cook and his kitchen assistants are able to prepare a meal? Establish benchmarks for certain tasks by studying how the industry usually performs these tasks and then monitor your own employees’ progress as well – this is now industry standards versus your own standards. Decide on how you will reconcile these two then list down all the criteria that can be measured. Criteria can be based on quantity and quality. Quantity can be easily counted and while quality can be subjective, allow such identifiers like Outstanding, Satisfactory, Average, and Needs Improvement.
- Develop procedures for all the functions that need to be done uniformly.
If you think there are certain functions within the restaurant that need to be done in a specific way all the time, and that the service rendered should be consistent no matter who performs it, then you should develop and document the procedures covering these functions. Examples are Corporate Booking Procedure for the receptionist, Doing Inventory and Ordering Stock for the Kitchen Supervisor, Cook, or the Restaurant Manager, and End-of-Day Cash Report for the Cashier or the Restaurant Manager.
- It is advisable to include a Code of Conduct in your Employee Performance Standards.
Attitude is a big contribution to how we perform and as a business owner, we need to let our employees know that we are looking out for certain traits because we want them to perform better, be happy with their jobs, have a good working relationship with their work mates, and be liked by the customers. Top traits that restaurant owners aim for their employees to practice are respect, cheerfulness, honesty, professionalism, and many more.
- Document your Employee Performance Standards.
Carefully written employee performance standards are meant to be documented. The final result is a formal manifestation of what you want your employees to meet in terms of performance and behaviour. It is a clear indication that there are guidelines as to how employees should deliver their duties and accomplish milestones within the business. Be sure to include it in the employee manual or if you are yet to create one, just give a copy of the employee performance standards to all of your employees especially to new hires.
- Schedule a meeting with your employees to discuss the details of the employee performance standards.
More than just giving your employees a copy of the employee performance standards, it is a must that you explain all the details of the document to them. This is to avoid any misinterpretations and to also address concerns and questions right away. You need to have a special schedule for new hires. You can also delegate this task to your restaurant manager but make sure that his or her understanding of the employee performance standards is the same as yours and that he or she will be able to explain its details properly.
- The employee performance standards should be followed up by a performance review.
To find out if your employees are keen on following the set measures for them, conduct regular performance evaluations. This will not only give you a clear view of how an employee does his or her job in your restaurant but will also give you a hint if the employee performance standards that you are trying to establish is indeed working. If you think you need to revise, do so but take more time in analysing your own employees’ performance versus industry standards.
As a business owner, you must be firm in enforcing your employee performance standards. Your employees need to understand that you are serious in seeing the policies and measures that you have set in their everyday work around the restaurant. If you need a sample of how an employee performance standard or code of conduct should look like, you can check out our Staff Management Manual here. If you need further help in launching your own food business, feel free to contact Business Manuals Made Easy by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.