Measuring the performance of your staff is one of the hardest parts of running a restaurant, but hard data can make it a lot easier. With the technology available today, you are missing out if you’re not gathering information from each transaction being made. Adopting technology, such as mobile payments, is a huge first step to easy data gathering.

Why Mobile Payments?

With mobile payments, diners can pay their bill through an app with a prompt to give you additional information. Third party sites require diners to purposely go to a website, login, and write their review (a process usually only people with a bad restaurant experience will be motivated to do). Unlike that long-winded process, mobile payments are seamless. This results in more accurate information because one server isn’t being evaluated on one interaction, but on all of their interactions in an evening. This gives you a very clear view of their performance and a full scope of the restaurant at the time.  

How Staff Members Are Evaluated

When it comes time to evaluating a staff member, you have numbers from these reviews at your disposal that give you a clear picture of that employee. The data factors in all the elements of your restaurant. When a review was made, it’s helpful to consider these questions:

  • What time was it?
  • What was the capacity?
  • What was being served and how was it cooked?
  • How many staff members were working?

Knowing the answers to all these questions helps determine whether a negative review was an isolated incident, a problem reflective of the restaurant as a whole, or one individual who needs some extra training.

It’s also a two way street. When servers are provided this information they learn important service details such as their average tip size and average customer rating. They can see how many tables they worked, how quickly they turned those tables, and how much revenue they’re bringing in for your business. Servers and bartenders are suddenly accountable for their service in a whole new way, a way similar to how a person in a corporate office job might be evaluated from a predetermined set of goals. This data is powerful and easily obtained with mobile payments.

Restaurateurs no longer have to go on just what they’re seeing to know where certain staff members may need to improve, where others could use additional training, or where others might not be a good fit for their restaurant. With staff and management seeing the same data, there is less opportunity for conflict and they can quickly work together on solutions.

Using Data to Improve Performance

Figuring out the problem spots is one thing, solving them in another. Here are our 3 favorite tips to help improve performance.

Train your staff well. Whatever their position is at your business, have a clear and thoughtful training program in place for all new hires. All staff needs to be trained the same way and there should be a protocol in place for answering any questions that arise. This assures that all employees get the same training, and the same answers to questions.

Make your expectations clear. People want to do a good job, so be sure they know what is expected of them. Whether your expectations are financial goals you want to hit in a shift, or a certain level of service that you want performed, make those clear to everyone.

Review performance regularly. While larger performance reviews may happen only a couple of times of year, stay in touch with your employees in small ways all year long. If you see a mistake made, correct it on the spot, if you notice an employee going above and beyond, recognize them for it.

If you would like to learn more about how your restaurant can improve staff performance with mobile payments, check out Split, an innovative solution that helps restaurants and bars enrich and enhance the customer experience by connecting them to their guests phone.

Deana Panza writes about restaurant technology, tips, and trends for Split – a platform for mobile ordering, marketing, payments.

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Matt Thompson

CEO of ShiftNote
Matt has let his lifelong passion of food and people lead him to 15 amazing years as a restaurant manager and another 9 years working as a Director with a major food service distributor. He has channeled this passion to help create and run ShiftNote. When he's not dominating the food service industry, he's spending time with his 4 children and cheering on the Tigers as a Mizzou Alumni.