Hold your Restaurant Staff Accountable

Do you feel you are always checking up on your employees because they aren’t doing what they are asked? Then this week’s video is for you!

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Do you feel like you’re always checking up on your restaurant employees and they’re never doing the things that you want them to do or at least not on a regular basis? I’ve got a solution for you – it’s called cadence of accountability.

Cadence of Accountability:

We’re human beings…we’re lazy by nature, we’re forgetful, we have our own personal agendas, and usually if you’re the owner/manager your agenda is very different than your employees’ agenda. So how do we get our employees to do the things that we need them to do? Maybe you’re having trouble getting your restaurant closed or opened properly, getting the prep done, etc.


I often hear from managers, “I’m sick and tired of being a babysitter for my staff.” My reply to that is always, “You are a babysitter, that is your job.” By definition, a manager’s job is to babysit and make sure things get done. The challenge is when we focus on something – you work on that thing for a week, it gets better, but then the next week you find another problem that needs fixing and then another one again and again until you simply can’t catch up.

What you haven’t developed is what’s known as Cadence of Accountability. We don’t need to get into the definition of accountability but let’s talk about cadence. The best definition I have for cadence is rhythm. In bicycle riding terms, think of it like RPM’s. Bicycles have gears that you can change for going up a hill or down a hill because it gets harder or easier to pedal.

The idea is that over a long distance, we don’t want the cyclists to constantly be changing the rhythm that they’re pedaling because they’ll get tired too quickly, and they won’t make it to the end of the race. Or vice versa, they’ll have energy left in the tank at the end of the race that they should have used earlier.

Bicyclists train on something called cadence, which is their rhythm for cycling so they know how long they have energy and then they use the gears to adjust. The goal of a cyclist is to keep the same pace/cadence of pedaling then adjust using the gears. It’s basically rhythm, I want you to think of accountability as rhythm. If you don’t have a cadence of accountability as a restaurant manager or owner you’re going to be constantly chasing after the things that you need to get done. If you develop a cadence to the things that are important to you, you’ll start to see them getting done.

Yes, your job is to be a babysitter. As an owner, your job is to babysit your managers. As a manager, your job is to babysit your employees – so get over it. I’ll put a link below to a video I did about a year year-and-a-half ago about just that topic of babysitting.

One of my favorite tips for owners or managers is to set a reminder in your phone, One of the owners that I work with was having trouble getting his managers to close down the restaurant properly and make sure that their staff was doing the things they were supposed to do. We had the checklist in place, refined the checklist, but the managers weren’t checking out the staff.

The owner would usually leave the restaurant about 8:30 – 9:00 but the managers and the employees would leave about 10:30. At 10:00 he set a reminder on his phone to go off and he would call the manager every single night at 10 to say “How is the closing going?” Then he would ask something else like how messy their walk-in was. He asked them to give it extra attention and to send him a picture of how it looked afterwards.

Now every single night he makes that phone call his restaurant is spotless and all the employees are doing what they’re supposed to do because he is letting the manager know that this is important and shouldn’t be forgotten. Now the manager is staying on top of the staff and all it took was that 30-second phone call.

If it’s financials or numbers that you need in your restaurant like getting your food costs on a weekly basis, the first question is do you have the tools to do that? Second question is what’s your cadence? Do you expect those numbers to be on your desk every Monday or Tuesday and what are those numbers? Is it clearly defined?

If you want certain numbers on your desk every Tuesday morning then send out a text message, email,  a phone call or a quick conversation every single Monday with the people who are supposed to do this for you and remind them like this: “Hey hope you had a great weekend, don’t forget tomorrow by 9AM I want to have all those numbers on my desk.”

Just those simple reminders that hold people accountable for the things they’re supposed to be doing will have huge effects on your business and your culture. This brings us to next week’s video, which is going to be about establishing the culture that you want in your restaurant. I hope you love this video on the Cadence of Accountability. I hope it helps and I look forward to bringing you another great video just like this next week.


Please leave your comments or questions below, I promise to respond to every one personally!


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