High technology has given us e-mail, voice mail, cell phones, answering machines, pagers, car phones, and digital everything. But we don't seem to be communicating any better.
Here's a low tech solution that will solve big problems in your foodservice operation. Communication Logs.
I think this tip is best illustrated by a true story that happened to me several years ago.
In the kitchen of a 250-seat seafood restaurant, Friday evening at 5:30 pm:
Prep cook: Boss, we're out of lettuce.
Chef: What do you mean we're out of lettuce?
Prep cook: Well, we've got about a half a case in the chiller, but that's all. The walk-in is empty.
Chef: What happened to the produce delivery? Did you call the produce company?
Prep cook: Yea, but they're closed, it's after 5:00
Chef: Did you call the day guy?
Prep cook: Yea, but he's not home
Bus boy frantically drives chef's car down the coast highway to the local grocery store. He grabs a shopping cart and rushes to the produce section. He piles the cart high with head lettuce, leaving large, gaping holes in the displays.
Wearing his company shirt, with restaurant logo and name prominently displayed, the bus boy runs to the check out line—attracting a good amount of attention and causing customers to laugh at what is now an obvious situation.
Bus boy speeds up the highway and screeches to a halt at the back door of the restaurant. There—parked at the back door—is the produce truck.
You see faithful readers and restaurant owners, the produce company called the day guy and told him the truck broke down, but not to panic… the delivery would be made by 6:00.
But, alas, the day guy forgot to tell the night guy.
The Moral of the Story? Write it down!
To help you avoid a mistake like this, download our Communication Log form and put it on a clipboard in your kitchen today.
If you don't, and you have problems, don't say I didn't tell you so (in writing).
Bill Main is a nationally-recognized author, consultant and speaker. His company, Bill Main & Associates, specializes in strategic growth plans for foodservice entrepreneurs. For information on how you can grow your top line revenues through innovative marketing, menu, leadership and training systems, visit www.billmain.com.