For those new to the idea, a logbook is whatever you need it to be; it can take on the form of something as simple as a notebook, or a makeshift scheduler, or even an inventory tracker of sorts. The options are truly endless, and we’ve explored a good few of them already, so be sure to have a look in the archives for articles that deal with that subject.
For the sheer amount of potential the logbook can offer, they also seem to fly relatively under the radar regarding highly valuable tools. They are talked about but never highlighted. The logbook may be one of the single most indispensable tools at your disposal. Even if you insist on using a pen and paper logbook style, there is still a lot to be said for just how useful these things can be.
First, though, we need to establish what we know about logbooks. For one, they exist with the expressed intention of condensing a range of different miscellaneous facets of your business into one, cohesive location. In so doing, the logbook doesn’t seek to eliminate other elements of your restaurant management tech, but rather supplement it by providing backed up information and a place to record data on the fly, to be input into those fancy tech systems later to avoid disrupting your day.
In this article, we are going to address five of the ways that a logbook can offer substantial value to your business. More specifically, we’re going to look at how to keep a logbook in five ways you may not have even realized was possible. In doing so, we hope to highlight this tool, bringing it not just to the forefront of your thinking, but as a serious contender for one of the most useful tools a restaurant can employ.
While your logbook will not replace your inventory management system entirely, it can help to supplement it significantly. If you’re walking through your storage areas, or you’re conversing with an employee, and it is brought to your attention that you’re running low on an item, logbook software allows you to correct this mistake with much quicker reaction time. However, before you can get more stock to come in, you need to make a note of it, so you don’t forget. Keeping a section of your logbook dedicated to inventory notes allows you to do so and keeping a record of the fact that you have lets you reference it later if need be.
When an employee comes to you with a dispute about their schedule, and you can’t get back to your computer to correct the issue on the spot, you need a way to make a note of the change before you forget. Enter the logbook; using a logbook tool allows you to keep track of all scheduling related conversations with your employees on the spot so that, when you do return to your office, you can check the logbook, notice an issue needs to be addressed, and then do so.
Whether positive feedback is given in person, such as a customer giving praise to their server, or digitally, via a Yelp review, it is one of the most valuable marketing options available. Making notes of the positive comments said about your restaurant in your logbook gives you a chance to go back and review this information later. Whether you implement some of these reviews on your social media or website (with the customer’s permission, of course), or use it to give proper credit to the employees is up to you, but keeping a record of it in a logbook is helpful.
You want to devote space in your logbook to recording negative interactions that customers may have. Whether the customer is the instigator or the employee is, doesn’t impact the need for the situation to be addressed. Of course, you should handle each of these situations differently, but they do need to be handled and recorded. The principle here is identical to the one we saw in the previous point, with the added caveat that you’re naturally not going to publicize these negative encounters.
A digital logbook tool also keeps track of any attendance issues you may have. Typically, what you would do is note if an employee doesn’t show up for their shift, or if they’re late, in the attendance portion of your logbook. If you go to contact them, this is where you would make a note of the attempts to contact them, and, should they answer, the outcome of the interaction. Logbook software gives you a paper trail so that, if you need to confront them or, in the worst-case scenario, fire them, you will have something that can be referenced.
There you have it; our five uses you may not have realized your logbook could handle. As you probably noticed, most of these are things that you can note elsewhere, on a sticky note or a scrap of paper, but the organization and time saving that you will see as a result of using one, singular space to keep track of all of this data is something that cannot be matched.
If these five additional uses for a digital logbook that also functions as task management software weren’t enough to convince you to try a task management solution in your business, check out our article on the “10 Ways Task Management Software Will Transform Your Business” which is also on the Hubworks Blog.