Costly F&B communication issues and how to solve it
Editor’s note: ArcLab works alongside HR Tech platforms to help businesses better manage workforces, improve staff performance to achieve more for the business, and digitally transform for the future.
We’re glad to co-author this article with Jolene Tan of StaffAny, a fast-growing software platform that enables shift-work teams (F&B, Retail, etc) to handle Operations and HR more easily — to share how F&B Businesses can avoid costly communication issues between HR, Ops and staff, and instead focus on growing the business.
Food & Beverage Services (“F&B”) is an operations-intensive business.
We want things to run as clockwork as much as possible. So imagine a restaurant where things DON’T run like clockwork…e.g.
- Staff show up on the wrong day / time for work
- Staff DON’T show up (thinking their shift is another day)
- Staff show up not knowing what they’re supposed to do, or how to do them
- Staffs’ shifts are confirmed at the last minute, leaving them with little time to plan their personal calendars
- Pay that HR processed for staff is not what they expected, due to inaccuracies processing work hours, leading to HR spending unnecessary time double-checking shift hours with Ops…
Instead of staying on top of things, you’re fighting fires every single day, just barely surviving!
Fighting fires daily means less time to grow your F&B Business.
The downstream effects of haphazard operations are poor customer experience and inefficiency, as more time is spent rectifying errors. Staff will ultimately also end up discontented.
This is hardly the way to run your F&B business — or any business for that matter!
Too much time is spent fire-fighting and doing last-minute coordination tasks. Time that should be better spent on more productive areas, like developing a new item for the menu, and attracting new sources of customers for the business.
We want to avoid such disaster scenarios, which can happen if we have a less-than-effective communication and coordination framework for our F&B business.
There is a better way.
Simplifying F&B Operations
First up — getting your schedules together! A schedule seem like a very simple and minor thing. But it actually forms the backbone of your daily operations. If schedules aren’t planned well, you can expect mess on the ground.
But we know, F&B schedules aren’t that simple. Besides the multiple shifts every single day, but the communication with your staff.
Get part-timer availability on WhatsApp. Plan weekly schedules on Excel. Send the schedules back on WhatsApp. Then begin the back-and-forth dance because a staff can’t make it last minute, or you need to edit your schedule… sounds familiar?
Actually, you can avoid all the time and communication issues of this flow by doing all things scheduling-related on one platform. This not only reduces communication errors but also saves managers and owners a Ton of time! (specifically up to 70% time for some of our users).
After schedules, the next most crucial part is your timesheets. HR spends so much time on this because they want to pay their staff accurately. But did you know? Most communication issues are solved as long as the pay staff expect to receive is equal to the hours HR trusts and processes. This can only happen if the finalised time records HR processes for payroll is also seen by your staff.
That’s exactly what StaffAny was created for. Built for the F&B industry, StaffAny supports your complex operational needs from scheduling to timesheets, so you can save time and labour costs. Focus on what really matters.
With proper scheduling, staff now know way ahead of time when their shift is. They also need a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities, and be trained in the tasks that they need to perform onsite, at each and every shift.
Traditionally, the task of teaching Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”) to staff tends to fall on managers, who are already busy running operations and managing a myriad of other tasks. The training needs to be repeated for new staff, and sometimes staff forget what they need to do and require training again.
That’s where a good SOP system, built on ArcLab, can assist the manager. ArcLab empowers F&B businesses everywhere to easily author & distribute Digital SOPs, sent directly to staffs’ phones.
Unlike greasy SOP ring-binders that sit unused in the kitchen and available only to the manager, Digital SOPs are on-the-cloud and readily accessible by staff as-and-when they need to refer to specific steps and procedures that they may have forgotten, or want a second look.
Digital SOPs can also be updated each time circumstances and procedures change, and can be provided in multiple languages to suit staffs’ needs and abilities. Now every staff member knows his/her responsibility, what to do, and how to do them.
This means less work for the manager, who can spend more time on planning and executing growth plans. This means a more productive, and a more profitable business.