Let’s face it; there are a significant number of restaurant management tools to get a grip on and understand. It can take a significant amount of time and energy to learn them all, and make sure they are operating effectively. Sure, once they get going, this stress vanishes almost completely, but this doesn’t mitigate the initial anxiety. There must be some way around this, right? Some way to avoid the overwhelming stress of implementing and monitoring a mass of entirely new systems?
Well, there’s some good news. In truth, the best way to include restaurant management tools is to avoid implementing all of the new technology at the same time. If you take time to figure out which needs are most immediate, and will be most effectively met by one of these systems, like staffing or tracking with a logbook, then you can implement them one at a time until all of your restaurant management needs are met.
Sometimes, though, this isn’t possible; we get it. As a result, we have another recommendation for you, research. Take five minutes and Google the product class you’re looking to implement, such as a maintenance logbook. Get a good grip on the specs provided by the different logbook manufacturers and the professional reviews of the logbook product. Don’t discount customer reviews, either; often, these can be more beneficial to your decision-making process than the professional ones, since the customer reviews are likely coming from people using the logbook products themselves. While you’re at it, check out articles that recommend some tips, tricks, and general life hacks which can make the entire process easier.
In this article, we are going to give you five tips to help you with a very specific restaurant management tool, the digital task management logbook. The logbook is one of the least discussed components of successful restaurant management, which is why we want to focus on it today to give you a better understanding of the logbook system. Let’s get right into the five tips for a better, more useful logbook.
Avoid a vague logbook design; while it doesn’t have to be a manifesto, it needs to be very clear about what each section is; you can even include logbook sections within sections. Subsections in your logbook can help you fit more content into the main sections, and make it easier to find information. For example, if you’re using your logbook to take notes on inventory, you would then define the subsections based on your major inventory categories which will make it easier to read, and also easier to transfer the information to your inventory system.
When we talk about the “types” of logbooks, what we’re really referring to is whether you want to assemble a daily logbook or a weekly one. There are pros and cons to each of these, and we’ll dive into them more in a future article. Ultimately, though, you need to consider a few different factors, such as the size of your restaurant, how frequently you have busy days, and whether you’re open most days during the week or not. Once you get a grip on these details, you should be in a much better position to make your logbook decision.
Something to consider is the possibility that you are not going to get everything you want to the first time you make your logbook. It’s likely you are going to forget a category, omit a subsection, or see something as you conduct the daily operations that you didn’t know you were going to want to include in the business logbook. Expecting changes from the start makes having to go back and edit your logbook less stressful. It’s a side effect of the business you are in, and sometimes there is no way you can predict every logbook item you may want to make a note of.
Everything you do related to your logbook needs to be backed up, ideally in three locations, that are all separate from one another. In a perfect world, one of these locations would be an email address, Google Drive, or Dropbox, such that it can be accessed even if a paper copy is destroyed and your main device crashes. The information contained within the logbook can be significantly important, especially as it relates to staff communications, so making sure it is always accessible is vital.
I know, you’re probably thinking, “Of course I’m going to use it.” In truth, you probably are, but the point isn’t just to create the logbook and use it for a couple of weeks, then forget about it. You need to be able to use your logbook consistently to get the most value out of it. Make using task management software and a digital logbook habitual, and you have any problem finding it useful.
There are our five tips on making (and using) your online logbook. We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and motivating for implementing this tool in your own restaurant.
If you’re interested in learning more about some other technology that businesses are using to gain a serious competitive advantage, check out our article on the “7 Ways Forecasting and Workforce Planning Can Increase Your Profits,” which is also on the Hubworks Blog.