Briefing your team before and after each shift is a necessary ingredient for creating great teams. If briefings are held every day, they soon become normal practice and people will become used to the idea. They will use them as a way of communicating to each other on how to perform better as a team and raise the standards to consistently meet and exceed customer expectations.

Here are 6 briefing tips:

1. Quick Meetings

Conduct a quick staff meeting before and after every service. No more than 3 – 4 minutes just to ensure everyone is ready and is aware of any specials, changes, items out of stock etc.

2.Who should be included?

The front of house manager and the chef should give these briefs together. All staff should be included in the before service brief and for the after service brief you should have at least the manager on duty, the head chef and one of the cashiers.

3. Time well spent

We appreciate the time constraints on managers but we strongly believe that these meetings represent time well spent. Recently we visited a site where the chef made an expensive lemon cheese cake that was to be sold at a premium price. The customers loved it and they were all gobbled up in no time. Unfortunately the chef was very disappointed to find out that nobody had informed the cashiers of the premium price and the cashiers had sold them all at the standard price. Imagine the effect on your profits if these types of mistakes were repeated every day.

4. What should happen at the Pre Shift Meetings?

– Discuss portion sizes, plate presentation and costs.
– Ensure staff are using correct serving utensils and plates.
– Identify selling up opportunities.
– Discuss any suggestive selling techniques or promotions.
– Allocate work stations to each staff member.
– Bring the staff in on the process and explain to them the importance of proper food costs, and how it affects them.
– Do a final “once-over” of the restaurant before service.

5. What should happen at the Post Shift Meetings?

– Discuss the day’s service, assess what went well and what didn’t.
– Give staff feedback on their performance
– Review any customer feedback, both positive and negative.
– Put a plan in place to deal remedy any negative aspects of the service.
– Record waste.
– Identify stock for reuse.
– Quickly analyse sales and compare production vs yield.

6. Manager/chefs meeting

Finally have a manager/chefs meeting weekly. Discuss the top 3 to 5 items of opportunity in your restaurant. Hold them at an agreed time and place – put a limit on them and have an agenda – keep minutes and action plans and review. It is important you don’t keep staff in the dark regarding the performance of the operation, instead, make them partners in the process.