Food Service Communication

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Communication plays a major role in the evolving food service industry. Dealing with a diverse workforce and customer base, communication is imperative to ensure days run smoothly. Those responsible are the managers, and the manager I picked to interview is Leathia Rufus. Ms. Rufus graduated with her Bachelors in Human Resources Management and is currently pursuing her Masters. She has been with Pizza Hut for several years, and her current job title is manager. Her daily job duties as a manager consist of: team, money, and product management, securing a safe environment, revenue checklists, and food safety.

Why Individuals Enter Leadership?

Individuals enter leadership roles for various reasons, but leadership is “powerful to the degree, that is empowers others,” stated by Ms. Rufus. One of those reasons Ms. Rufus stated, “is to improve the team and the business, from a view not available to them before as mere employees.” The reason for movement up the employment chain, is that these workers can do the work with ease, and these workers want more responsibility beyond their current title. Leadership consists of more than just managing, but communication as well, and its successfulness is measured on its managers and employees.

Why is Communication Important?

With most food service chains, impressions are imperative, because customers judge the business from the employees, the physical interaction and the appearance of the store, from the moment they enter. First impressions are hard to change, therefore greeting them with smiles and cheerful voices, are key to establishing a good rapport. Ms. Rufus said, “listening, understanding and persuading” are important parts of communication in the industry to establish a good impression. The two effective ways to establish this good impression is oral and written communication.

Why is Oral Communication Important?

Oral communication is an important aspect at Pizza Hut, and through oral communication Ms. Rufus said, “provides a form of engagement for a team to reach its destination constantly.” From communicating with fellow employees and customers, oral communication provides a means of reaching individuals. By communicating to fellow customers, the employee asks what the customer needs, and therefore provides those needs. Additionally, oral communication enforces written procedures or visual specifications for different processes such as making the pizza, prepping the dough, or designing the order to the customer’s specifications. Without oral communication, the store would not effectively run.

What is Written Communication?

In food service, written communication consists of food safety checklists, tracking inventory and weekly schedules. Written communication provides management the opportunity to keep the store as safe as possible. Additionally, Ms. Rufus stated, as technology has evolved, “quicker transactions, smoother billing services and inventory processing,” has resulted in less paperwork.

What are the Challenges of Communication?

Working in a food service chain in an evolving global environment offers distinct opportunities to connect with individuals.  Individuals come from different languages and culture, therefore employees must be sensitive, where an employee must “clarify a task or product to ensure safety or to build a rapport” with a “fellow customer” to build that impression Ms. Rufus states.  Sometimes this communication is not communicated effectively through employees, so Ms. Rufus must problem solve, which requires an “on-the-spot-type” response to solve these problems.

How Is Communication Measured?

Successful communication is key to retaining happy customers. Therefore, Ms. Rufus states that through “customer service scores, performance appraisals, and safety checks,” the store can become more responsive and proactive to become a better communicated store. Surveys and safety checks provide opportunities to externally judge Pizza Hut, and the means to improve on discrepancies.

What is the Impact of Communication?

Communication is not just important in the workforce, but it has positive contributions on our every-day lives. When asked how can we improve while we are still in college, Ms. Rufus stated “everybody has room for improvement when it comes to communication. A world without effective communication falls into disarray.”

Joshua Schexnayder, Guest Blogger

 

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