Restaurant manager logs are an invaluable tool for both in-store managers and above store operators. Both need a way to communicate what happens as part of a shift-to-shift handoff, as well as occurrences that may impact key performance indicators (KPI) and operational efficiencies.
Store-level managers need to know what’s going on at their locations before they arrive for their shifts. If they’re not using a manager log, they’ll most likely rely on communication from the previous shift’s managers via notes, emails, text messages, calendars with paper clipped notes or other antiquated, disorganized communication tools.
A step up is a manual manager log that prompts managers for the information the next manager will need. But then, it’s incumbent upon the latest shift manager to read through this information to determine what’s important.
Communicating this jumbled information up to above store operators can be challenging. The store-level managers may not have even the basic information the operators need to know.
The emergence of digital manager logs addressed these challenges. And, with innovations in technology, the latest automated restaurant manager logs have now increased their usefulness beyond just handing off the day’s activities to the next manager and keeping above store operators apprised of what’s happening at their locations.
Here are 17 manager log activities that are enabled or improved with automation:
1. Keep a daily sales log in your restaurant manager log
The daily sales log is one key report to set up in a restaurant manager log. With POS integration, you can easily access information like total daily sales, check count and labor data. Using an automated manager keeps above store management apprised 24/7, and combined with a mobile device, provides this information at managers’ fingertips no matter where they are in the restaurant.
2. Track restaurant performance in the manager log
A digital restaurant manager log allows access to all performance data – calendar, trends, sales and labor metrics, tasks, and more – all in one convenient place. Above store management can get this data for multiple restaurants simultaneously. You can gain a holistic view of your restaurant’s daily and monthly performance without running multiple reports.
3. Support manager accountability with a restaurant manager log
An automated restaurant manager log helps hold your store-level managers accountable. Hold managers and team members accountable and require communication on daily shift activities, customer issues, maintenance problems and more. Determine what questions must be answered, then require that managers review the manager log, and make them accountable to report sales, labor costs, cover count and whatever other information you need from them.
4. Aggregate individual or multiple restaurant data
With an automated manager log, you can view your restaurant’s performance metrics, tasks, logs, accounting transactions, and scheduled employees — all in one report. Run the daily overview for multiple locations and dates for a quick, aggregated overview of the performance metrics for multiple units.
5. Optimize employee productivity using a manager log
Track the status of staff tasks and view flagged entries to optimize employee productivity. You can also configure task lists to recur automatically each day, week, month, etc.
6. Update staff on new policies and procedures
Automation improves communication about new policies and procedures. The restaurant manager log gets the word out to all managers and staff, whether they’re on or off shift, on vacation or sick. The digital manager log ensures everyone is updated on the new rules, even if someone is off for two or more days.
7. Track customer feedback in your restaurant manager log
A manager log allows you to track all information related to a customer incident, including the customer’s contact information, employees who were involved, and an actionable solution to the problem. Your solution may be to email an apology and a gift card to the guests to encourage them to come back again, assuring them that the problem leading to the original incident has been resolved.
Conversely, if a customer provides positive feedback, your automated manager log will help you track the guest feedback and the server’s positive behavior.
8. Track voids and discounts in your manager log
Even though your restaurant POS system should track discounts and voids automatically, it’s advisable to keep track of trends through your digital manager log to prevent theft, provide more training to inexperienced staff and learn what food is getting discounted and comped. Best practices call for including why an item or check was discounted or voided.
9. Ensure health and safety protocols are met
Adhering to health and safety protocols addressing the protection of both customers and employees helps to ensure their well-being. Make sure your automated manager log includes a health and safety checklist.
10. Track employee engagement (or lack thereof)
You can automatically track employee engagement through your restaurant manager log. If an employee has been calling in sick frequently, punching in late or asking for shift changes, the manager log can help track this change in behavior and help you to resolve any issue. It could be as simple as a scheduling problem that you can easily fix or might require more dire consequences.
11. Improve communication with your restaurant manager log
An automated restaurant manager log cultivates improved communication because store-level managers and above store operators share the same information. No one manager is holding information that others don’t have, promoting a team-oriented environment and a culture of communication. Everyone from the owner/operator to the line supervisor is working from the same store-level data.
12. Track big events that may affect sales
If you know there’s an upcoming college or pro game in your city or a community performing arts event down the street, those events can have an impact on your sales. Make sure you note it in your manager log, so that you have the inventory and labor to meet the demand.
If these events occur on a regular or sporadic basis, easily find older activity logs from weeks, months, or years prior to help you in forecasting.
13. Track employee kudos in your manager log
To improve employee morale, consider highlighting the kudos your employees receive from guests or other employees. Your digital manager log can be a key tool to help you create a positive work environment. All these commendations can be added up at the end of the month, for a monthly employee contest. Keep track of these small accomplishments daily and reward exceptional employees at the end of the month. A monetary gift is always appreciated by hourly staff.
14. Visualize trends
Run visual reports within your automated restaurant manager log to Identify trends in your restaurant’s performance.
15. Stay organized with an automated manager log
With an automated manager log, you can leverage categories, prioritization rules and tagging to stay organized with custom setup options to meet your restaurant group’s needs.
16. Recognize anomalies in equipment service history
Do you have a range or dishwasher that requires more-than-normal maintenance? Record ongoing issues in your restaurant manager log so you can reference it later. By tracking the breakdowns and repair visits in your manager log, you can see trends that may help identify a warranty issue rather than ongoing, costly repair costs. Using your manager log with fixed asset management, you can get reminders for scheduled service of kitchen equipment, delivery trucks and more.
17. Track the weather’s impact on sales
Record the weather in your manager log so you can reference how weather affects your sales. This is especially important for restaurants with outdoor dining, but even without outdoor seating, weather can affect the number of customers who visit your restaurant. Rain or snow can keep customers home, while nice weather can create a jump in sales for outdoor dining. Tracking these weather trends over time in your manager log can help you prepare for these highs and lows in sales.
An automated manager log can help keep your managers in sync, help them communicate, improve task management, and become more organized. If you’d like the latest manager log technology, consider a manager lot that’s part of your restaurant operations and restaurant accounting system, and integrated with your POS system to ensure the manager log has up-to-date information.
Restaurant365 is an all-in-one restaurant management system that also incorporates inventory management, financial reporting, payroll + HR, and scheduling into a cloud-based platform that’s fully integrated to your food and beverage vendors, and bank.