10 practical time-saving tips for hospitality managers
With exactly 1,440 minutes available in a single day, you would surely think that there is enough time to cover all your daily activities. However, despite all the ticking our clocks make, time will always never be enough! As a hospitality manager, you do not have the regular nine-to-five work schedule such as those in an office environment, but you can still apply effective practices that have been proven to work well in the office. Whether you manage a restaurant, a bar or a hotel, here are some useful time management tips:
1. Plan effectively
One of the best techniques for managing and organizing your time well is the weekly sprint. This involves planning for the week ahead by listing all the important activities you need to take care of, and then focusing all your energy on accomplishing them. You should prioritize only the important tasks and ensure they are worked on and completed as per the set plan. The best way to plan weekly sprints is analyzing the previous weeks and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, and then planning counter-active measures to apply in the coming week.
This way, you can manage your time well and accomplish all the important tasks smoothly and effectively, while having enough time to do other things. It helps to log this in a calendar or weekly planner so you can see what’s coming, this way you’re not surprised at what you need to get done. For example, perhaps Mondays might be the best day for you to order ingredients and Wednesdays could be for organizing the staff roster.
2. Track daily activities
Keeping a time log of your daily activities, including how much time each task takes to complete, will help you understand where exactly you spend your time each week.
This will inform you of where time wastage happens during the week, and where you need to put measures to reduce time wastage. For example, if rostering stafftakes an hour, you’ll know moving forward to allocate an hour to complete this task.
3. Avoid procrastinating
One of the key obstacles to productivity and time management is procrastination (we’ve all been there!). As a hospitality manager, that work you keep postponing as you wait for the right mood or time will not complete itself, and remember the deadline is always fast approaching. Procrastination can be avoided through plain self-discipline but also managing your tasks in small blocks. Approaching tasks this way means that deadlines become more manageable because it’s being completed in small bites over time rather than in one long haul when the deadline is looming.
4. Use technology to ease your work
Have you ever considered using technology to help ease your work? There are many apps designed for the hospitality industry and they range from staff training, scheduling to reservation applications, which can significantly help cut down the workload on your daily schedule. This is one sure way of applying technology to help you make the most of your valuable time.
5. Ask others for advice
If you know other hospitality managers within your network, why not ask them for their time management tips and tricks? They can be a useful resource, especially those who have had years of experience in the hospitality industry. It’s also likely that they can relate to, and understand what you’re going through. It’s one thing to read key information, but it’s definitely another to engage with someone who just gets it and knows what they’re talking about. Meet them for coffee or simply call them.
Be willing to really listen to their responses, and apply what they suggest. They might recommend an app that could help automate customer payments or something specific they have learned just by working in the industry. Give it a shot!
6. Minimize micromanaging staff
As a manager, it’s not always productive or effective to micromanage staff, despite the importance of overseeing business operations. Micromanaging your staff can eat into your time and add pressure to your already challenging managerial role. One way to avoid this is to ensure your staff are trained properly from the beginning so that they are made aware of the duties and responsibilities. For example, have a checklist for your bartenders and servers that they need to work through daily when opening and closing the restaurant or bar. This is a great way of saving you time at the end of each shift since you won’t need to deal with staff not completing their daily duties anymore.
7. Delegate tasks accordingly
Similarly, delegating certain duties can be effective in helping you save time. Administrative duties that don’t require too much of your control could be passed on to a supervisor to manage instead. They could oversee co-workers and ensure all duties are completed by the end of their shifts. This will allow you to focus on tasks that need more of your attention and time. Not only that, but your staff will feel empowered because delegation encourages them to take ownership of their responsibilities rather than be told and micromanaged.
8. Avoid unnecessary meetings
Meetings are important for administrative purposes but, most of them can be quite time-consuming. It is recommended that you hold meetings only when absolutely necessary, or stick to a clear agenda. Keeping meetings to a minimum can, in fact, save you a lot of time.
9. Take time off to recharge
To increase productivity, it is necessary that you take breaks to clear your mind and rejuvenate. More importantly, you should respect the allotted break times. You cannot work like a robot and expect to be productive all through. You are human and considering how busy the restaurant environment is, it is vital that you take a break as this will help increase your productivity.
10. Focus on effectiveness and efficiency
A mistake we always make is failing to do things right the first time, often due to time pressure. And when things are not done right the first time, chances are you will have to repeat the same job again, which can turn out to be a time-waster.
Rather than short-cutting on quality, you should strive to do things right the first time and see how much time you can save from not redoing tasks, even if it is working on the foodservice manual or a staff training program.
These pointers can help you get through your shifts smoothly and with extra time on your hands. Time is a valuable resource and just like money, some that is saved should be put to good use, not wasted.