You may know that Zingerman’s Roadhouse is a full-service restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI, with a reputation for really good American food and great service - and you many also know that we’ve practiced open-book management since opening in 2003. That’s not to say we’ve always done it perfectly, at any of the Zingerman’s businesses! One thing we’ve learned time and again is that the culture of the huddle is a good pulse on how the business is doing overall, and that’s even more true when you’re talking about the team in the kitchen.
Below is an assessment that you can use to determine your own huddle culture!
What is the participation like - both for reporting and other attendees?
1 - One person dominates: heads are down, little eye contact, no questions are asked, and no suggestions are given.
2 - Most of the speaking is done is by a manager, and questions get shot down.
3 - The same people speak up as always, not much discussion.
4 - Questions are asked, the group works together to solve problems, and all voices are in the room.
5 - Active participation by all present, lots of great questions, and input from the front line. Leader is in a coaching role.
What is the attendance like at the huddle?
1 - What attendance? Is it a huddle with only one person?
2 - The two people who have to be there, and the suck-up.
3 - Same people as every week.
4 - All of the key players are there, and many people also opt in, even when they don’t have to be there.
5 - We can hardly fit in the room!
What is the team energy like when you wrap the huddle?
1 - Significantly lower than when we started - anyone walking in room would turn around and walk out again.
2 - Worse than when we walked in - picture rain clouds above people’s heads.
3 - So-so, not worse, but not better either - very medium.
4 - Higher than when we started - there is some laughter and checking in among the staff.
5 - Through the roof - everyone is pumped to go back to work and hit those forecasts!
Add up the numbers for each of your answers. If you got:
3-7 points - Sounds like your huddle could use some help.
8-11 points - You’re on the right track, and could stand to tune up your work huddle.
12-15 points - Give yourself a high 5! You’ve got a good huddle; can it get even better?
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