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Top 10 Pitfalls of a Restaurant Shift

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iMenuPro - Restaurant Menu Maker Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that a perfect shift is nearly impossible, but if the restaurant is managed properly, it can make all the difference in the world. From the opening line check to the last light switch, a poorly managed shift can wreak havoc on the success of an entire operation, turn guests away and lead to excessive turnover.

Here's a list of the top 10 pitfalls of a restaurant shift...

1. Loose Documentation

Loose papers, random clipboards and sticky notes make it hard to manage regular shift tasks and communications. There's also the matter of standards. When there's no "right way" to open, close, clean or cook, the restaurant's operations are left to interpretation.

2. Chaotic Communication

Communication failures cause confusion for managers, employees and guests. If emails, phone calls and text messages are flying back and forth it's hard to know what's actually going on and what needs to be done.

3. Last Minute Repairs & Maintenance

When regular tasks and to-dos are scattered across the store (or kept in someone's head), it's next to impossible to manage regular repairs and maintenance. That not only reduces the lifespan of the equipment, it puts employees and guests at serious risk or injury or even foodborne illness.

4. Failed Inspections

Compliance can be the difference between opening another day or closing the doors for good. Poorly managed stores inevitably see problems with quality assurance issues like security and safety.

5. Scattered Shift Logs

Incidents and accidents happen. It's the business of running a restaurant. But if employee or guest incidents aren't logged in one spot than can be accessed at a later date, the restaurant could be on the hook for a big settlement.

6. Lack of Consistency

Whether you have one store or 1,000, guests expect the same great experience every time. Poor service, inconsistent portion sizes, ever-changing management and employees are instantly noticeable.

7. No Accountability

How do you know if your employees are following your protocol day in and day out? When employees don't know what to do, who's responsible for doing it or when it needs to be done, the result is subpar performance.

8. Zero Visibility into Historical

Overtime, weekly sales, guest and inventory volumes can be accurately predicted. But if those records aren't all in one spot, managers can't use it to make better decisions.

9. Erratic Inventory

Food is the second highest cost for restaurants. Overstocking or understocking is one of the biggest mistakes restaurants make. Overstock and employees might over portion, overtrim or even steal.

10. Bad Reputation Management

Bad news travels fast. These days, guests can write a negative review before they even walk out the doors. Studies show a 1 star decrease on Yelp leads to 5% to 9% decrease in revenue.

Anthony LyeAnthony Lye is the CEO of, which offers a suite of solutions to help restaurant managers control costs, improve profitability, manage staff, and facilitate real time communication.