One Minute Goal Setting

15 Nov

I finally started reading Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager. My original idea for a book was to re-tool Blanchard’s work specifically for the fast food environment. But then I thought that I should write something a bit more academic for my first published material.

Now, reading The One Minute Manager has got me thinking that I can do both. The One Minute Manager idea will take less than six or seven months to write, while the academic book can be an expanded, more detailed version of The One Minute Manager.

Which leads me to this first post on One Minute Management Secrets: One Minute Goal Setting. This plays off of my first article on empowerment so well, because the whole point of One Minute Goal Setting is to be as concise as possible with the goal.

Now, in fast food, we all know that it is just not possible to meet with every employee prior to a shift and write a one-page goal summary of less than 250 words. But it is possible to set goals for the shift itself that can be communicated in, say, 50 words or less. In turn, these organizational goals translate into between one and four goals for each person on duty.

Let’s talk in more concrete terms. We have Susie on drive-thru, Chet on front register, and John, George, Seth, and Veronica in the kitchen. You’re the One Minute McManager, and you start your day by looking at the performance from the prior shift. You see that you are +5 hours on labor already (darn day shift never cuts), and that means that you’re going to have to cut on your shift. The day shift, despite the high labor usage, has also managed to screw up the service time, leaving it at an average of almost three and a half minutes.

So the first thing you have to do is organize for speed. At your first break, Chet and Susie are going to have to stock that drive thru and counter area up, plus Chet is going to have to clean up all of his tables before dinner. So grab Chet and Susie, and in one minute, talk them through that. Also mention the horrendous service time and let them know that, once again, “We have to show the day shift how it’s done.”

That’s what I like to say. Most fast food places where I’ve put on the gold manager pin have had a serious day shift vs. night shift mentality, so I play the competition up to get better results from people. It helps when one shift screws up labor or service time, because that way I can use that to motivate the next shift–to show ’em how it’s done.

Next, grab the kitchen staff and talk to them. Let them know about the horrendous service time, and that it’s time to school the day people on how a shift is supposed to be run. Meanwhile, it’s time to stock the raw food products so that no one has to go anywhere during the big rush. Assuming that Seth and Veronica are your closers, I’d also let them know that they’re likely going to have to take a break, as well as deal with others getting sent home early.

In all of these conversations, keep them as brief as possible–less than a minute, if you can. And make all of the expectations crystal clear: the service time, having to cut labor, and making all of the usual rush preparations.

During the course of the shift, it is important to remind people of the goals. I like to yell out the service time, and if it is bad, I don’t say anything. But, if it’s good, I tell everyone that they’re doing great and offer some encouragement to keep it up.

This is the secret to One Minute Goal Setting in fast food.


One Response to “One Minute Goal Setting”

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