It’s simple, basic and compartmented. It allows me to stay in total control at all times, manage effectively and efficiently, teach young managers how to do the job and ultimately delight my guests.
Let me explain how it works.
First look at the picture below. Imagine this is a restaurant (and relate it to your restaurant or business)
The big square is the manager’s square and his/her responsibility.
Within the big squares there are other squares such as reception, waiter stations 1, 2, 3 and 4, the pass and back of house areas, the kitchen (the chef’s own square), the sommelier’s square, the head waiter’s square (ie 2 waiter’s station and a sommelier’s square).
Every square represents someone’s role/responsibility within the business. It defines clearly expectations, the necessary positioning of each staff and the interaction between each squares (or staff).
At Galvin at Windows I want everyone in the middle of their square at all times (if staff are not in their square who will look after the guests?). People know what they have to do in their square but also what others do in theirs. They know they are part of a wider system where we all depend on each other.
The Golden Rule number 3 “Help only comes if you ask for it” relates directly to this concept.
It is about responsibility and ownership. Everyone is expected to deliver a high performance within their square at all times. If this can’t happen (for one reason or another) then the owner of the square needs to ask for help to the manager and the manager only (Rule number 1 “There can only be one person in charge at any one time”).
The manager will then decide what to do, for example, move someone from another square or decide to help himself.
The key is to teach people to anticipate the moment they might need to call for help so that the help arrives before it is needed.
A good manager would always anticipate these situations to run a smooth operation.
When people don’t ask for help at the right time it can only mean a few things:
- They don’t understand what is expected of them
- They don’t know how to deliver
- They did not understand the business vision, values and objectives
- They don’t care
- They think they know but they don’t
- They are shy and feel that if they ask the manager will think bad about them
The squares allow me to identify exactly where the issues are during a service. It ensures potential problems are only limited to one part and one part only of the restaurant (like a boat compartments which one shuts down in case of a breach of water). Always take it one square at the time.
When people ask for help at the right time it can only mean one thing: They know how to do their job and have understood the vision of the business
Squares are a very important part of my management and staff training. It is so basic yet so difficult to grasp at the same time.
I have found that those who have the map (along with the details within each square) in their mind at all times, are the most consistent and reliable and by far the best performers.