If your restaurant doesn’t hold pre-shift meetings, you may want to reconsider your approach. Pre-shift meetings, in which managers provide staff with restaurant updates, coaching, and advice before meal service begins, are a great way to ensure that staff is focused, motivated, and in sync. By providing staff with information and common goals to work towards, managers turn individual employees into an efficient, mission-driven team — the key to customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, even the best managers are sometimes tempted to skip out on pre-shift meetings to focus on their other duties. However, pre-shift meetings don’t have to be a time-consuming task, and managers don’t have to go it alone. Many restaurants delegate the responsibility of pre-shift meetings among managers and staff, rotating through the roster to determine who’s in charge of each meeting’s different sections.

When hosting a pre-shift meeting, it’s important that both the front of house and back of house staff are included. Many restaurants make the mistake of hosting pre-service meetings only for staff who work directly with customers. In reality, all staff members are an active part of a restaurant’s team, and all staff needs to be on the same page in order to meet customers’ needs in the most efficient manner possible.

In many cases, the pre-shift meeting is the only chance that employees get to interact directly with managers and owners outside the hustle and bustle of the kitchen or dining area. Because pre-shift meetings are intended to improve the lines of communication among staff, it’s important that employees are each given time to bring up any questions or concerns they might have.

In addition to providing staff with a platform, pre-shift meetings are a great way for managers and owners to motivate their teams. One simple way this can be done is by congratulating employees who have gone above and beyond in front of the group. This small action shows employees that their hard work is appreciated. For many, even a small congratulations are enough to incentivize positive behavior.

Overall, the best pre-shift meetings are those that follow a regular schedule. When employees know when their next pre-shift meeting will be, they can schedule other responsibilities around it, minimizing conflicts and stress. While daily pre-shift meetings are the ideal, less frequent meetings are better than none at all!

As we’ve shown, pre-shift meetings can help to motivate staff and improve team performance. However, a lack of quality hires can not often be solved through quality leadership and communication. If your business is in need of top-notch staff, consider a free 30-day trial of our new restaurant hiring and vetting tool, Bikelane HIRE.