Food Industry

The Power of Positioning

The Power of Positioning - Putting the Right People at the Right Stations Maximizes Restaurant Labor Efficiency
The Power of Positioning
What are the positions in your restaurant? Beware the answer, “Everyone pitches in where they’re needed.” Undefined roles create confusion and burnout.

Why put a name to each location on your floor?

1. Better training. New hires must learn one station at a time to build confidence and avoid feeling overwhelmed. This will improve their skills and help prevent early turnover.

2. Better production. Empower your employees by instituting a Stay In Place (SIP) guideline, especially during busy periods. Meal rushes bring on the most distractions that can take someone off their station and leave their task neglected.

What are the maximum number of positions your restaurant would need staffed to operate at its peak hours?

Identify the total number of stations that would qualify a shift as ‘fully staffed’. Scheduling managers can use this knowledge to avoid overstaffing a shift and driving up your labor cost.

Which positions are most crucial to the restaurant’s functionality?

Prioritizing stations will help a manger build out the most labor cost-efficient floor when scheduling a shift.

What are five basic stations any restaurant would need to have staffed to do service?

  1. Cook
  2. Assembler
  3. Server
  4. Busser
  5. Dishwasher

These could differ depending on if you operate a Quick Service, Fast Casual, or Full Service Restaurant. Each position should come with a fixed placement in the ranking of importance.

What do we say at McDonald’s?

‘No food, no service.’

There must be one person scheduled on grill on every shift to keep the restaurant open. Your restaurant’s most valuable player in the kitchen – likely a cook - is the #1 scheduling priority. The succeeding ranking will differ based on the complexity of your kitchen.

Where do you start breaking restaurant floor into sections?

  1. Full Service Front-of-house vs. back-of-house
  2. Quick-Service To-go vs. and Dine-in

What is the minimum number of employees you need in each section to keep each area running?

A shift manager can staff the floor one area at a time to ensure all the bases of the restaurant are covered. Creating an area leader role can be beneficial to a shift manager positioning the floor. This person would be responsible for the kitchen or customer service area.

Is the cashier moving from their position to perform secondary duties - like making drinks or bagging items?

Split the function. Moving an employee from another area to support the person taking orders creates a faster and more hospitable experience for customers.

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