How Restaurants Can Benefit from a 20% Time.


The concept is all too familiar in the tech industry–use a small amount of your time at work to work on passion project that can benefit the company. In a way, it’s a brilliant concept–after all, passion projects allowed people at Google to create Gmail and other popular Google products that’s used today. But in a way, or rather a few ways, even restaurants can gain from having such as 20% Time-rule. Here are some ways restaurants can benefit from having their employees pursue a passion project.

It gives your chefs an opportunity to test new recipe items.

Some of your greatest chef sensations came from experimentations–from Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck to Roy Choi’s Kogi, your chef success stories usually originates because they bucked the trend of the then-traditional menu and give people opportunities to experiment. And not only that, it’s a potential marketing boost for your menu as well.

It gives room to grow for your front-of-the-house staff.

Remember how we talked earlier about how a promote-from-within culture works? A 20% is a good opportunity to do so. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should promote your staff like going up an elevator, allowing your front-of-the-house staff to use their 20% time projects can not only potentially diversify your staff, but also set a good example of leadership towards your employees.

But don’t force it.

The interesting thing about 20% Time projects, especially Google’s implementaion of it, is that the project is not in firm-writing. In other words, Google hadn’t make a 20% a rule because, as the unwritten rule demands, you can’t force innovation. Instead, encourage the idea and see what your staff can do from there.