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Top 3 Fundamentals to Optimise Labour

Many of us will look back on 2020 as the year that fundamentally changed the hospitality industry. From monitoring the health of our employees, team members wearing PPE, to constantly changing rotas to accommodate consumer demand, the pandemic has certainly changed the way we operate and our traditional measures of success.

Whilst the industry looks a little different today, here’s three fundamentals to effectively running operations in a constantly moving market, to ensure the industry continues to deliver that great hospitality experience we know and love.

1. Measure & Maximise the Guest Experience

Whilst it can be time consuming and costly to adhere to the evolving government guidance, the investment has allowed the industry to safely operate and continue delivering great guest experiences. But how can you enhance the guest experience in the current climate?

  • Make guests feel comfortable and safe by clearly communicating additional safety measures in advance on social media, your website and when they arrive.
  • Understand the new best sellers on your menu and find ways to optimise this offering to demonstrate value for money for your guests.
  • Survey guests to get feedback on their experience and use this information to enhance the guest experience and encourage loyal guests who keep returning.

2. Evaluate & Optimise Performance

Sales and labour remain the two biggest factors contributing to financial stability and performance. However, the factors behind producing a great P&L have changed. It’s now about maximising resources within the constraints of a pandemic, so it’s time to shift focus to the elements within our control:

  • Focus on transaction value, GP and NPS over just getting butts in seats.
  • Remove time-consuming processes, like manually tracking team member health at the start of their shift in order to increase your team’s capacity to focus more on service.
  • Find out what your optimal labour is in order to staff sufficiently to meet your financial goals.

These short-term attainable goals are scalable and will become sustainable. Leverage best practices from previous years to adapt the framework for your current operations. Here’s how:

  • Document and standardise task lists to support the new compliance and operational expectations across your organisation.
  • Prioritise team communication to ensure everyone understands and supports changes when they come.
  • If you operate multiple sites, group businesses together for comparison, support, and benchmarking analysis in a consolidated view to identify trends and opportunities to optimise the way you operate.

3. Avoid Analysis Paralysis

In challenging times, analysis paralysis can take over and stall necessary decision-making. In the current environment it’s particularly challenging to predict your sales and schedule the right labour as you cannot look at historical data. There are however a few ways you can make more informed decisions:

  • Take KPIs from yesterday and last week, and apply them to tomorrow and the following week. Start small, then expand to two weeks. Document any anomalies that occur along the way.
  • Review your rotas. Establish who is working each day and have reserves if someone is unwell and unable to work to keep operations running smoothly and your team staffed to operate efficiently and profitably.
  • Identify your stand out performers and take the time to recognise these team members. Understand exactly what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and then apply that across your teams and sites.

If history repeats itself as it often tends to, applying and documenting the results of these three fundamentals will build your crisis management guide- should you ever need it.

Want to explore how you can optimise the way you schedule labour and best prepare for success as the market continues to evolve? Check out our Optimising Labour in a Moving Market webinar.

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