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Optimize Kitchen Staffing to Drive Profits

Q: Traditionally we’ve enjoyed a steady kitchen staff with limited turnover. Over the last few years that has changed dramatically. The kitchen has turned over, and newer staff members seem more entitled and less talented than in previous years. What should we be doing differently going forward?

A: Kitchen staff has traditionally been fairly autonomous with plenty of employees in the queue wanting jobs. This is no longer the case. Working in the kitchen of a restaurant is tough and having the right staff is critical. To improve the development process, create a better work experience and increase retention for kitchen staff, consider the following:

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The Advantage of Using a Consultant in Driving Your Business

Q: I’ve been thinking about using a consultant to help me with my business. How do I know if one is qualified and what are some advantages of using a consultant?

A: The field of consultancy is a wide open field without regulation. One day it will be regulated but until then to find a qualified, legitimate consultant that can help with your business look for qualifications. Those include certifications, a high level of education, prior experience in a professional services firm, a solid client base, a specialist not a generalist, a thirst for knowledge, a gift for teaching, a decade or more of industry experience in the consulting area, a systematic approach, and a high hourly rate. Click here to read more »

Reward Hustle and Effort to Increase Sales

Q: We’ve seen an amazing number restaurants open in the last three years. The constant allure of new restaurants has resulted in flat or declining sales and a less exciting restaurant experience than in years past. We’ve also suffered some staff turnover, and I feel like we’re starting over somewhat. While this is providing a new opportunity, I’m a little confused on where to focus. Can you provide some guidance?

A:
Popular shows like “Restaurant Impossible” regularly show how quickly a restaurant can be turned around with the proper focus and attention. The core recipe is simple: Rework product, improve service, fix design and promote locally. This is also the formula used by major companies as they worked through the Great Recession with the benefit of an additional layer of great data measurement.

This formula forces a restaurateur inward instead of outward, on fixing problems inside the four walls before reaching outside the four walls. The highest impact in the sequence is service. Consumers are five more likely to return to a restaurant for the service than the food. The old phrase, “People come for the food and come back for the service” is true.

While service to the guest is paramount, service to the restaurant carries heavier weight. Being a great co-worker and employee sets the business up for success and allows each player to perform at his or her highest level. Technical performance is a result hustle and effort, and whenever these fall off, technical performance suffers. To ensure your team is reset with proper expectations, considered the following:

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