Purge the Toxins

 

When running a business it’s very easy to get preoccupied with the larger, more immediate problems. But there are some smaller issues that in the short-run, seem like they could resolve themselves, but in the long-run will have a toxic effect on business sustainability. Find out what a few of them are and what you can consider doing!

 

The Negative influence Employee

How to recognise it?

This person is unpleasant. He or she might be constantly complaining, sharing unsolicited opinions or making snide comments about customers… small, subtle actions that annoy people around them. They might do their job well, but socially, they are difficult to be around, much less to be friends with. Look around – is there a person that your staff seem to avoid? A person that even the best of your staff have something to say about? Is there someone who makes your job more difficult?

Why it’s poisonous?

This employee depletes team morale. If other staff start choosing shifts to avoid this person, you’re going to have a scheduling nightmare at hand. Worse yet, good staff on your team may quit, preventing you from developing the team you need to bring your business to the next level.

What to do about it?

Find out from other team members if they see this person’s behaviour as a lasting problem. Speak to the person to find out if something is bothering him or her and if the behaviour can be changed. Otherwise, find someone else that will fit your team better.

 

The Customer is Always Right Syndrome

How to recognise it?

Customers bring money, so it is worth it to keep customers happy, right? Wrong (read this for more on why). If you find yourself bowing to customer demands all the time – whether this means staying open an additional two hours, or giving refunds and freebies over the slightest complaints, you might be suffering from this.

Why it’s poisonous?

While it is important to keep customers happy, it is also important to make your team feel valued. The staff that are stuck an additional hour to serve a drunk (but paying) customer, or that are blamed whenever a customer complains, are going to be very unhappy. If this persists and they feel undervalued or their work is meaningless, this can translate to them resigning and a whole lot of trouble for you as you hire and retrain.

What to do about it?

We aren’t saying be difficult or be rude to your customers, but to be willing to say no. Be consistent and be willing to hear your staff’s side of the story. Remember, you and your staff are technically on the same team!

 

The Stuck-in-old-ways Mentality

How to recognise it?

Let’s just say, nothing has changed. Not your menu, not your inventory system, not your decor, pay schemes – maybe just your staff. Because if it isn’t broken, why fix it, right? Wrong.

Why it’s poisonous?

The F&B industry is constantly changing. Technology is changing the way operations are run, and consumer tastes and preferences are evolving with the times. If you don’t keep up with what’s going on, you’re likely to be left behind as time continues to fly by.

What to do about it?

You don’t need to go into a full revamp – clearly your customers like what you offer. But be willing to try out new things, new technology and new recipes. And even if you don’t change, at least remain aware of what’s going on in the industry and what the latest trends are.