How To Conduct Effective Manager MeetingsMarch 4, 2014 By: George Barton
In your quest to operate a first-class and matchless restaurant operation, and deliver awesome results, think about how you communicate and inform your team with practical and beneficial information. Every minute in today’s hectic hospitality environment counts. So organizing and conducting effective manager meetings should be of uppermost concern. Let’s examine a few key principles.
• What do you want to accomplish? Insure you are focusing on and address key deliverables for your restaurant - Now before it’s too late.
• How often and for how long do you need to gather with your team? Remember every hour your open means you have guests in your restaurant grading you on their experience. I would recommend a (1) hour manager meeting (1.5 hour max) weekly to address your business.
• Who attends? If you require every manager to attend, be respectful of who is not scheduled or on vacation that day.
• Provide team withkey topics to discuss in advance. Showing up “willy nilly” with no agenda or purpose may well define a lack of leadership.
• Keep your meeting fresh and vibrant. We have all sat in on meetings we called “boooooring” and could not wait to jump up from the table. Ask managers and attendees for their honest input as to how you can conduct the best meeting possible for your business. Keep an open mind to feedback.
• We’re talking about effective manager meetings that impact normal business in restaurants and bars, so let’s stick to the basics. You will never get in trouble covering:
• SALES: Are you achieving budget and expected sales levels? If not, address why and how to resolve it. If you are exceeding sales expectations, how do you react to the increase in volume?
• PROFITS: Address key margin areas (Gross Profit - food and beverage - Labor and any other key controllable cost areas that you have placed a focus on).
• PEOPLE: You cannot win the game without the right team. Highlight winners and those in need of additional support or training. If you’re gaining on sales, are you staffing to win or simply working to keep up?
• Simplicity in messaging and communication will pay dividends. There are certainly many other topics to consider for effective meetings. Remember your audience, which at times consists of young inexperienced managers just getting started in hospitality. Keep it simple, yet informative and actionable.
• In addition to simplicity with a focus on key deliverables, these meetings are an excellent time to teach. When the leader continues to talk about what is important and how the team can achieve success, it will place a critical importance on those key tactics and objectives.
• The leader should include all managers and other key invitees to meetings to take part and provide both input and point of view on the business. Candor, as well as no fear of reprisals for speaking up, with the intent to build the business should never get anyone in trouble.
• Given time, managers should be asked to “report out” on their department initiatives which again influence sales, profits and growth. This gives the leader the ability to view and grade the growth of the team.
• Whether your team meets weekly or bi-monthly, you should place importance on follow-up or the appropriate amount of measurement on KRA’s (key result areas). If you had a focus on improving table side visits which would help drive execution and intent to return = sales growth, then follow up with all managers to gauge their involvement and execution.
• What gets focus, gets results. A fanatical approach with implementation of tactics will play a huge role toward integration of those tactics and execution points into your culture.
In review, simply do not meet unless you have a desire to improve your business. At the same time, effective manager meetings can be extremely beneficial assisting with and supporting results in your restaurants and bars. Provide purpose, content, teach and follow up. You can’t go wrong with that formula.