When & How Often You Should Be Holding Staff Meetings
QUESTION FROM: Kara in SC
“How often do you have meetings with your staff? Whether it’s just FOH, BOH or all staff?
We are open 7 days a week with limited "off" time where we can get everyone together. But we also don't have a history of having regular meetings.
We usually only call staff meetings when my partner or I am going on vacation and we need to touch base with everyone or if there's a bigger problem or announcement.
In a few weeks we're bringing in someone to do server training and we hung up a sign stating when it will be and the immediate reaction is "what's this meeting about? do I have to be there? How long is it going to take?"
I feel like we should do more meetings more often and if we did, we'd have fewer frustrations with things, but when the overall mood for them is "do I have to be here?" and we have a meeting NO ONE takes accountability for anything, it gets frustrating.”
I’m a firm believer that, in order to keep your fingers on the pulse and provide consistent quality, direction and feedback; the frequency is more important than the duration. That being said, I prefer the following:
Management / P&L meetings
Hourly Staff meetings by center/dept
(i.e, Dish, Prep, Line, Service, Bus, Bar/ General
BI-ANNUAL OR ANNUAL:
Entire Staff / State Of The Restaurant
One-On-One / Evaluations
Management / Facility and M&R*
Management / Capital Improvements*
Whenever large event/BEO, educational opportunity, procedural change, new menu rollout prep or other similar/significant need arises.
* 6 TIPS FOR A PRODUCTIVE AND LESS BORING MEETING
Be sure to keep it short (1-2hr max).
Have an itinerary with specific topics and specific time allotted for each, make copies for everyone to have/follow along and stick to it.
Use the praise sandwich technique throughout your meetings:
(PRAISE - Constructive Criticism / Improvement Opportunity - PRAISE)
Have everyone sign check-in sheet as well as a copy of any new: policy, procedure, expectation, etc...
Don’t be afraid to table any runaway/off-topic yet constructive conversation and “stick to the itinerary out of respect for everyone’s time”. Offer to follow-up 1on1 or to revisit next staff meeting and allot more time for discussion if warranted.
Don’t offer to buy anyone a drink during a meeting or as compensation for their attendance. Its business development time - not a social hour.