Mostly this is made up of the physical part of the job: Clocking in, pre-shift setup or cleaning, greeting guests, taking orders, plating, clearing tables, sidework or end of shift cleaning, clocking out. This is a great opportunity to re-invent this part of your job description. I would suggest two things as a starting point. First review what you have for the list of duties and responsibilities and expand or update the list. Next, gather more info: Watch your staff during a shift and ask them to give you their own lists. This will set the stage and make the rest of this part of the job description much easier.
Why is this important?
As I mentioned in the earlier parts of this series, having an honest and accurate job description improves the hiring process, helps you find good staff that fit in your restaurant and reduces turnover. Giving your team a detailed and accurate description of what the actual duties and tasks are and how expect them to be completed will reduce confusion and errors.
Step 1: Make it accurate, Make it real
Make sure each and every detail is what you want it to be. Do you have specific steps of service to follow? Include it in detail. What are the uniform guidelines? Make them clear and concise. How do you want side work tasks to be done? Spell it out.
Before you create an expectation of your team to follow instructions, make sure they make sense, especially to you. Again I encourage you to review and re-invent (when called for) the way you organize and communicate and operate in your restaurant. Your staff will love you for it.
Of course it’s okay to adjust things later on, the more organized and detailed you make things now the less that will have to change and that will make your staff's lives just a little better. Take your time with this process so you can communicate to your team the best and most accurate expectations for their jobs.
Step 2: Communicate the details
Once you have a clear idea of the specific job duties, you have to clearly communicate them with your team. Traditionally, you might type out a memo and distribute it at pre-shift to go over, and then expect your team members to hold on to it and refer back when they need to. Realistically, this isn't the most effective way to communicate. This is another great chance for you to re-invent a part of your venue and gain an edge as a better place to work.
Get innovative with your communication. Use technology, your staff already gets most of their information from some form of technology. Restaurant workers are mostly of a generation that never knew life without digital information. Taking advantage of this truth can add to your venue being a better place to work.
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Step 3: Be consistent
Once you’ve decided on job duties and communicated them with your team, be consistent. If you decide that ketchups get refilled at the beginning of service instead of at the end, don’t make an exception on a slow day or just because.
Of course you might decide to change something, which is okay, but make sure you're changing it because it's a better way to do it.
Have some patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you're transforming your culture from chaos, it’s going to take some time for your team to adapt.
The job description you use and share with new and potential hires matters more than most people think. One thing you can do to gain an edge in restaurant hiring today is to have a truly honest, accurate and complete job description to share and use when in the hiring process.
Duties and responsibilities, culture, and what it feels like to do the job are all vital parts of the modern job description. Take the time to re-invent yours and it will pay off. When new employees find that the job is actually like the description and impression they were given, not only will they have respect for you and your operation, but they are more likely to be good at the job and less likely to leave.