Manager on floor with waitrons guiding them

Managing by Walking Around

It is not possible for you to know what is happening in your restaurant if you remain stationary in one place. Become and remain informed by walking around and communicating with your team. Do not become predictable and never follow the same route while you are moving through the restaurant. Use this opportunity to follow up on tasks delegated and give constructive feedback. 

Ensure to reward and build a positive attitude in the workplace, always build on the positives that you encounter. Remember your greatest task is to motivate and not by negative criticism or negative reinforcement.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Be there.
  • Be available.
  • Always follow another route while walking through your store. Visualise what you want to become aware of before you commence.
  • I attempt to walk a figure of 8 and aim to follow a new 8 each time I walkthrough. Sometimes I walk out the front and in by the back and sometimes the other way around.
  • Using a new route gives you the opportunity to see something from a different perspective.
  • There is a difference between seeing and looking. When you see something and you do something about what you see, you actually saw! Otherwise, you were just looking.
  • Follow up and give regular feedback on the progress of delegated tasks.
  • As energy levels decline your staff will slow down. Keep them interested and engaged.
  • Make sure the staff eat and drink regularly, we all need fuel to carry on.
  • Keep an eye on your team especially in the first hour and the last hour of the day. Set the pace and motivate. Show interest in what they do, bond with them and be a pillar of support.
  • You will get a better response from your staff because they know they can depend on you. As the relationships grow staff will feel comfortable sharing things with you, even the mistakes that they have made. Be hard on standards however never belittle the person.
  • Spark the staff’s motivation and help them keep a pace at which they are comfortable. Help them by pacing them through their daily workload. Do not wait until the end of the day or the end of a shift and then jump and shout because work is incomplete!

Think ahead, have the foresight and offer input. Make notes in the communication diaries and post messages for managers on the next shift to follow up on. The bigger the positive contribution is that you make to your team, the more they will confide in you, and you will get a better result from them.

While you are moving around check for:

  • Health and Safety challenges.
  • Quality and quantity of products.
  • Hygiene breaches.
  • Maintenance Issues.
  • Visit guests and speak to them attentively and connect. Build relationships.

Eat before the commencement of your shift:

  • You have a long day ahead, ensure that your TEAM also eats and remains hydrated.
  • Keep your and your TEAM’s energy levels up.
  • Allow staff to ask when they become hungry or thirsty.
  • Ensure everyone including you are wearing comfortable shoes.
  • Allow staff to ask when they need a quick refresher break to get their energy up and concentration back on.

You as the manager and the leader determine the attitude and the vibe. So be the example and treat your team like you would have liked to be treated. 

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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