The Benefits of Open-Book Management

When Toast published an article this summer about the 10 Food Trends of 2018 So Far, the authors buried one important nugget as Number 10—Open Book Management.

Call it the fruit of innovation, or maybe the effect of a more educated workforce. Either way, Open Book Management brings employees to the decision-making table, allowing managers to teach their employees the basics of running a restaurant from menu pricing to food cost control.

This practice may seem scary for traditional restaurant owners. However, it provides many real benefits for owners that are impossible to overlook. Here are just a couple of them.

  1. Keeping Your Employees Engaged

Having engaged employees is one of the trademarks of successful restaurants. Your employees should be proud to come to work. Open-Book Management helps you build your employee’s sense of passion for their job, and gives you an avenue through which you can build new relationships.  Allowing your employees to see the business’ financial information and help you make decisions regarding that information will instill a sense of trust in your employees. This can go a long way, especially in mitigating turnover and hiring costs.

  1. Turn Negatives into Teachable Moments

Let’s say, for example, you have an employee who has an odd routine. All of their work gets done, but the way they go about doing their tasks leaves room for improvement. I’m not talking about the quality of their work, but the quantity of time it takes them to do it. How would you go about teaching the employee a better way to handle their tasks without making them feel as though you’re reinventing the wheel to do so? With Open-Book Management, you can take the employee and show them how to conduct their own time-in-motion study of their routine. This could help them glean new insights as to how to do their job more efficiently, and help others do the same.

  1. More Eyes on the Prize

Open-Book Management ultimately brings more brains to discussions of how to grow your restaurant. This can have lasting effects on your bottom line because you’re bringing in people with insider knowledge of your day-to-day operations that are easy for owners to overlook. It also creases an effective incentive program for your employees. The more effort they put into your business, the more money they can make. Who doesn’t like that tradeoff?

  1. Transparency Calms Jitters

Restaurant employees often feel like they’re on the low end of the totem pole. Open-Book Management allows you to reassure them that even if their position within the company is low on the pecking order, that doesn’t mean they’re worth less than those above them. By sharing numbers and information with all of your employees, you reduce the risk of ill-informed speculation about your company’s future. This will have a trickle-down effect whereby your employees can give the best service possible because they won’t have to worry about whether or not the business will close soon.


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