July 1, 2018 |

Mike’s Monthly Tip: Your Routine is Your Enemy

By Pizza Today

Don’t let ‘em sleep on you — shake things up from time to time

Mike Bausch
Owner, Andolini’s Pizzeria, Tulsa, OK

If you enter your restaurant through the front door every now and again, instead of the back door, you’ll probably see a litany of things you want to change: how the front door is cleaned, how the lights hit you when you walk in, what the host stand looks like, etc. This is a simple change of routine that creates several ways to improve. This isn’t a new tip — it’s been around for years and it’s good advice.

I’m big on routine. It’s how I maximize my day and set things up for success; however, I’ve noticed over the years that the more I break up my routine and do the things I rarely do (the things I
assume are on autopilot), the more I have big revelations. Sometimes I see new developments that are better than my old way. Other times I see that it’s not being done the way I’d prefer and it’s time to re-address and/or re-train.

Here are some roles and tasks I have used to break up my routine. If this is already a part of your routine, then good for you! However, if you know exactly how something should be done, but it was over 18 months ago since you personally did it, then I suggest that you do it again and see if your method is still the law of the land.

  • Dish station. Maybe you notice your best dish people flying through the dirty dishes on a busy night. There’s no downside to you doing dishes with them unless you have an ego about it (which isn’t smart). It lets your crew know that no one is above any task. Take this time to check to see if staff is taking unnecessary steps in their process.
  • Host. Seems simple enough, but understand their set up, how they decide who gets what table. It might surprise you.
  • Start the day. Be the first one to unlock the store. You can see what night crew is really leaving behind and how fast or slow your crew hits the ground to start the day.
  • • Close the day. While doing a close you might have safety procedures not being observed, or you might see people getting careless or nonchalant after the dinner rush.
  • Go on a delivery. Do your drivers pull in the driveway, do they have set change and extra cutlery in case the customer wants that? What else are they doing, such as going off memory for finding houses or printing a map every time? Maybe they stare at their phone’s map while driving a little more than you would like. Only way to know is a ride-along.
  • Change the day you’re not in store. If you take Tuesdays as your day off, or if you work all the time but one day a week you’re not really working from inside the store, then switch it up and see what that crew, that day’s dynamic and routine all have that you are missing out on. Your day off at home might be your staff’s day off in store if you catch my drift.
  • Answer the phones. Watch the phones get answered and also do it yourself. Are they upselling, how are they capturing customer data, and how are they greeting and ending the conversation with the customer?
  • Post and take the Social Media yourself. Do you do your own social media? All of it? If not just take a back seat to see how it’s posted, when and why. If you can do it yourself, or at least know how to, then you can do a Facebook live whenever you want instead of waiting for someone else to help you.
  • Run payroll yourself. This is a big one. So many small, dumb things can go wrong during a payroll run. If you have auto connected import you might be missing when people forget to clock off for breaks. If you let your managers proof it, are they really analyzing the data? If you are entering numbers manually, what fail safes are there to ensure that a false time clock doesn’t get paid? This one I highly suggest doing every few months if you are not the payroll liaison.

Granted, some of these things will only show their true flaws when you, the owner, are not around. Regardless, I guarantee trying to change things up will make you and your pizzeria better.

MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a frequent speaker at the International Pizza Expo family of tradeshows.

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