Practice doesn’t make perfect…
Perfect practice makes perfect!
I know you have heard that one before but it is so true in the restaurant business. Your staff has to be doing all things the right way all the time no matter how busy it is.
Do you ever notice how sometimes more mistakes happen when you are slower than when you are busy. Often during these times your people are in their minds somewhere else and not focused on their task at hand.
Well, you can begin to increase the level of professionalism by increasing your training during slow times rather than have the manager retreat to the office computer to get a few games of solitaire in.
This is the time to refine and practice good habits not take short cuts. If your servers and cooks always do things the same correct way, when they are busy it will all become second nature to them. You will seem at times to be an unreasonable nag but this will instill good habits that will serve them well when the heat is on.
Always remind them to greet guests immediately at the door and within 60 seconds at the table. Remind cooks to immediately get pans over the fire to insure a proper sear on the fish and to use the minimum amount of steps when constructing a dish.
They will give you looks, like is this person crazy, I only have one ticket, but remember that only perfect practice makes perfect. Slow times will provide some of the best opportunities for training. Remember the Karate Kid, Mr. Myagi gave Daniel the most boring chores to repeat in the same way over and over again, wax on wax off, pain the fence and sand the floor. Mundane tasks, but done correctly they helped him refine his skills.
Remember in the midst of all of this that Daniel hated Mr. Myagi for making him do these things, but in the long run he had deep respect and love for his mentor that respected him enough to teach him the proper way to do things perfectly all the time!