Logbook Best Practices for Restaurants
Get the most out of your Avero Logbook with these data-driven tips and tricks!
Review our guide on template sections here: Logbook: Best Practices for Template Setup
It may seem obvious that clear communication improves team performance, and it is true, check out some of these workplace statistics:
- 60% of companies don’t have a long-term strategy for their internal communications. (Workforce)
- 74% of employees feel they are missing out on company information and news. (Trade Press Services)
- Only 54% of respondents in a VMA group study strongly agree/agree that progress toward communications objectives is researched, measured, and evaluated with metrics and KPIs. (VMA Group Study)
- 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. (Salesforce)
- 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale. (Recruiter)
Beyond just ensuring you know what happened in a given shift, studies repeatedly show that effective, clear, consistent internal communication boosts morale, improves productivity, and makes your team members feel valued, appreciated, and empowered.
To gain these benefits and more, organize your Logbook in a way that fosters the clear and consistent communication you want and set the expectation with your team. Let's take a closer look at some ways your Logbook's design can foster your desired communication with some best practices we've learned fostering communication across the hospitality industry.
DO: Dedicate space for appreciation and celebration
Hospitality management involves a lot of corrective action, but don't forget to show your team that they are noticed, valued, and appreciated. Dedicate an intentional section of the Logbook to highlighting team and individual wins, celebrating successes at every level.
DON'T: Make it a one-way street
85% of employees said they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news. Use the Avero Logbook to level up your team's performance by sharing goals, strategies, benchmarks, and KPIs. With your team informed about where you're headed, and how you're getting there, they can begin shifts focused on achieving the collective goal. Insight into management strategy and tactics also helps your supervisors and managers grow and gain insight into your business.
Avero Logbook also allows for conversational messaging. Employees can post, for example, that a popular item was 86'd during lunch service and the Kitchen Manager can reply confirming the item was ordered or ask probative questions. See a conversation in action:
DO: Post proactive messaging
The Avero Logbook is great for shift notes of what happened today, but you can also add posts to future dates. This is a great way to keep the team aligned and focused and make sure big things don't get missed. Some proactive messaging we've seen our customers employ:
- Reminders when big deliveries will arrive or periodic maintenance - such as a shipment of new chairs or delivery of a new ice machine. Consider adding delivery tracking links to the logbook for the week delivery is expected so everyone is in the loop and extra help can be available if needed. Some maintenance may not occur with enough frequency to include in a checklist, such as changing a water filter, and you can add reminders on upcoming days of monthly, quarterly, or annual maintenance needs.
- BEOs and Private Events - add notes related to large parties and special events when they are booked or once the contract is signed. This allows the team to have a central place that is always accessible with upcoming party information.
- Team Goals - place benchmarks, forecasts, or goals for the team at various dates for the upcoming month or quarter and follow up with how the business is performing to those goals. Your team seeing the process in action invites their buy-in and participation.
DON'T: Rely only on the logbook for sales information
Avero Logbook includes a high-level sales snapshot in each section and a historical touchpoint (sales on the same day last week or last year), to add some context to the included notes. We believe seeing data side-by-side with your team's comments helps get a full picture of the shift, but that is only one piece of your sales picture. Encourage your team to get a well-rounded picture of your business performance with these other helpful features:
- Dashboards - A one-stop shop for all your relevant daily reports. When a user logs in, the Dashboard is their first stop so pin the daily reports here for an at-a-glance DSR or Daily Sales Report.
- See our Dashboard Suggestions for best practice reports
- Users can have multiple dashboards! Try one for sales, one for insight into Service Team performance, and another for multiple units compared against each other.
- Create a Dashboard you want all your managers to use and then open a ticket with Avero Support to have them copy this dashboard over to other users!
- Emailed Reports - Get the most relevant reports sent to your email inbox daily, weekly, monthly!
DO: Create focused communication streams
Avero Logbook can hold many sections focused on different topics, such as refrigerator temperature logs or 86 items. The GM or Director of F&B may want to receive all information in the logbook, but many constituents may not need or want all of the shift notes, only what is relevant to them. Keeping communication streams focused on relevant information helps to keep people from skipping over or not reading the logbook email.
Try setting up multiple daily logbook emails to your focused teams. This is how many of our Hotel and Casino customers route logbook information:
- Director of F&B / GM - Receives all logbook sections
- Facilities/Engineering - send only a Maintenance section that includes the temperature logs, any reports of appliance malfunction or repair needed. The facilities team needs updates on repairs and maintenance needed, but may not want to read lengthy shift notes about guest experience.
- Kitchen Team - consider what helps the kitchen team reflect on and prepare for their shifts, shift notes are helpful as are any notes about items that have run out of stock or customer compliments and complaints.
- Accounting - some accounting teams want context around promotions, voids, refunds, or unusual payments. Consider including a section related to service correction that sends automatically to this team, but omit the cooler temperature logs or manager checklists.
DO: Post updates in real-time
Manager shifts, especially ones that cover multiple meal periods, can be long and many things may happen over the course of the shift. At the end of a long day, it can be hard for managers to remember everything they wanted to mention about the day. Avero's Logbook mobile app allows for on-the-go updates, without having to head to the back office. Encourage managers to post throughout their shift as notable events occur - such as employees arriving late or guest complaints in the middle of Lunch service. This ensures important updates don't get missed when they are overshadowed by subsequent actions.
DON'T: Use changing language or short-hand
Avero logbook is searchable, do your future selves a favor and be consistent in how your team phrases things. When you want to look back and see trends, you can only do so if you trust your search includes the full field of results. Some examples of how this can go awry are:
- Use an employee's real name, not a nickname. If Emily is late and you want to include all recent instances of being late in their write-up, you can search the logbook for their name - but you'll miss any notes where a manager used a nickname like 'Emmy', it might look like your employee is late half as often as they really are!
- Refer to dishes as they are listed on your menu - say 'Halibut' instead of fish if referring to a specific entrée. A search for Halibut might miss all the times a note mentioned the fish entrée was salty.
- Avoid jargon or unique-to-you terms so that you and your team can be understood, and remember that it is a best practice to share select notes with other departments. So don't write 'Big Blue is down' to refer to a problem with the ice machine, the Facilities/maintenance team members may not understand the reference. Restaurant & Hospitality Terminology