Building A Culture Of Excellence In Your Staff

Here is a phenomenal article from our favorite online consulting group Restaurant Owner

Have you ever noticed how the busiest, most successful restaurants almost always seem to have a great staff? Everything seems to run smoothly, the food is consistent and the customers appear content – it’s easy to see why the restaurant stays busy.

On the other hand, you’ve also seen restaurants that have below-average staff, with workers scurrying about even though the restaurant is only half full, often resulting in a chaotic environment and inconsistent food and service.

You don’t have to be seasoned operator to know the importance of having a well-trained, “A”-caliber staff as opposed to “B”- or “C”-caliber workers.

The typical A-caliber worker wants to do an excellent job. With the proper tools, training and management these employees consistently perform at a high level. Furthermore, having a staff with plenty of A-workers tends to attract other A-workers who want to work with other competent people.

B-caliber workers are more inclined to just get the job done at a satisfactory level. But an interesting phenomenon is that when they work around A-caliber workers, they tend to perform above satisfactory; whereas when surrounded by C-caliber workers they often perform below satisfactory.

C-caliber workers typically don’t seem to care about their level of performance, are often unmotivated and only there because they need a paycheck. These are the “warm-body” hires indicative of a restaurant that is constantly understaffed or perpetually has high employee turnover.

In order to create a culture of excellence you must hire, train and retain A-caliber workers. It’s ok to have a few B-workers because B-workers can eventually turn into A-workers when working in an environment of cultural excellence. But when you hire or keep C-caliber workers it has a negative effect on your A- and B-workers. The B-workers typically lower their standards while A-workers simply get tired of working alongside less productive co-workers and end up finding a better place to work.

So how do successful restaurants constantly attract the A-workers? Surprisingly the answer is not because they pay better – rather, it’s because they have systems in place designed to create a culture of excellence.

Some of these systems include:

  • Training programs for all job positions
  • Selective hiring, recruiting and interview systems
  • Onboarding systems
  • Customer service guidelines
  • Scheduling system and schedule change policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Steps of service guidelines

Systems are designed to achieve consistency and predictability. Before you can expect to attract and retain A-workers, you must first implement systems that do not allow C-caliber workers. These systems include properly training your staff, giving them the resources to do their job excellently and being selective in your hiring.