Anyone who knows me will know I enjoy my food. Maybe a bit too much, but that’s besides the point. I’ve seen my fair share of food-related TV shows and love to see the insides of how successful restaurants work. Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares showcase great examples of how not to run restaurants and their episodes are just as relevant to software as they are to the food industry. One practice that is common in exemplary restaurants is a daily standup between the entire restaurant staff, usually combining the kitchen staff and front of staff as well. I remember seeing one of these at one of my favourite restaurants in Berlin, Dos Palillos. It was hugely visible because they have an open kitchen on a ground floor with almost floor to ceiling glass windows.
Knowing what they discuss is easy, having insights from these TV shows. Often the group will synchronise on daily specials, on things to be wary of and maybe any special events or offers for the evening. It’s a chance for everyone to bring things up. Without this, you can only imagine some of the problems that ensue.
I was reminded of this yesterday, walking past the newly Michelin-starred restaurant near my place, North Road and seeing their staff having the very same huddle.
Software teams are very similar to restaurants. It’s useless to have a wonderful kitchen staff churning out amazing food if it fails to be delivered hot, or in the appropriate way, just as much as it is having amazing software teams only to fail getting software out to users. Both group’s success relies on a collaborative effort, not just on one person’s skills alone. Maybe you’ll notice this the next time you walk past a well run restaurant.