Enhancing human resource
When selecting customer facing staff the key trait to look for is the desire to help, satisfy the needs of others. The willingness to learn is more important aptitude than proven skills as is the sense of urgency.
Staffing is a principal resource and maximising the management of this potential resource shouldn’t be the human resource department’s sole responsibility. It’s as equally important as operations, finance, sales and marketing. Staffing should be part of your strategic planning process.
Many of those entering the hospitality industry today are better educated than previous generation. Such employees are likely to be more challenging to manager however if motivated through opportunity, recognition and financial reward the results can lead to core tacit competencies your competitors cannot easily replicate. The outcome, you are able to charge a premium plus you are able to sustain your competitive advantage.
Managing people shouldn’t be a pure administrative function. Managing people, developing teams and individuals is integral part of operational management.
The objective for any organisation is to have sufficient staff to meet the expected demand. The number of staff required can be determined by production, service, and control methods deployed compared to sales records. Clearly there is a relationship between volume of customers served and the time customers stay.
Another factor of consideration will be the number of customers served and opening times of the operation.
For example fine dining restaurant might average customer service timings as an hour and half. If the restaurant is open for four hours it’s reasonable to estimate two service sittings. Reduce opening to two and half hours a second service isn’t likely without degrading your customers’ experience.
Opening time factors
- Local competition
- Local attractions, for example theatres, cinema’s
- Operations location, city centre, suburb, country destination venue
- Catchment (demographics) area
- Transport system, parking
- Staffing availability
- Volume of business
- Local culture, tradition
Calculating customer throughput is art rather than science. Factors of consideration for various operations are as follows.
Assisted service and or table service operations
Generally both table and assisted service operations customers are usually seated. It’s therefore possible to estimate throughput by the length time customers are seated to the number of hours an operation is open. If the operation has trading history sales records will provide a guide as to potential future throughput.
Staffing for both preparation and service can be estimated and allocated to specific duties. Assuming a restaurant opening time of two and half hours it’s not unreasonable to rooster staff for up to five hours.
To calculate the number of staff required:
- Identify the duties required to produce product service then estimate the number of staff required to deliver the required output.
- Multiple the number of staff per by the number hours to be worked for each service period/
- Divide total staff hours by full-time working week hours. This figure provides the number of full time staff required.
- Identify suitable mix of staff (full/part/casual/temporary) to cover service periods.
- Formulate two to three week staff rota for each service period not forgetting to allow for days off etc.
In reality staffing for such operations are determined by ratios for example the number of covers per head severed by a station alternatively revenue per head.