Types Of Business Communication | 4 mins read

Types of Business Communication

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

4 Types of Business Communication

Business communication encompasses all of the processes and tools a restaurant uses to share and distribute information. Communication can be internal, which includes messages between employees within an organization. Or, communications may be external, which encompasses all messages to various stakeholders outside an organization.

Different audiences require different forms of real-time communication. An effective owner knows how to speak to various stakeholders through written communication, face-to-face interactions, nonverbal communication, and more. Whether business communications are internal or external, restaurant managers cannot be good leaders if they don't have good communication skills.

Restaurant owners have to prioritize effective communication in order to interact with customers, manage contracts with vendors, and oversee employees. To ensure the best results, managers must utilize the various communication methods available to them. Depending on the type of communication method, business owners will keep employees informed and maintain high customer satisfaction rates. Read ahead for the top communication types and how they are used within a small business.

1. Business Communication Internal, Upward Communication

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Internal, upward communication is when subordinates exchange information with managers or any other superiors. Effective leaders need regular updates to truly understand what is going on in their business.

The vast majority of communication that flows upward is conveyed through reports, emails, surveys, and templates. These resources enable team members to provide all information in written form so none of it is lost or misconstrued. Written communication also provides an audit trail so managers can reference any data later, if necessary.

  • Organizations can lose up to $525,000 due to poor internal, upward communication
  • Employees who feel their voices are heard are 4 times more likely to perform their best work
  • 25% of employees who quit their jobs did so because they felt they were kept in the dark
  • 75% of employees say they would stay with a company that values their opinions and addresses their concerns

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2. Business Communication Internal, Downward Communication

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Internal downward communication is any form of communication that flows from a superior or manager to subordinates. This is usually written communication in the form of an email, letter, or verbal communication (directive).

Leaders should be clear, use proper facial expressions, and maintain good eye contact to get a point across. For example, a manager may write an email to all restaurant employees to inform them of new training procedures. The email should include very clear directions to complete training, any necessary attachments, links, and deadlines. All of these messages must not leave any room for interpretation, or it could lead to more problems later on.

Furthermore, managers need to be polite, encouraging, and use good body language as they convey organizational goals. This will show respect to team members, which will improve job satisfaction.

3. Business Communication Internal, Lateral Communication

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Internal, lateral communication refers to all of the emails, instant messaging, and verbal communications exchanged between coworkers. This may include digital or verbal directives from the front-house to back-house, or just in one area of the restaurant.

For example, servers may send orders through digital communication channels to the line cook. The server must make sure to input all data properly or it will impact order accuracy and customer satisfaction. Inaccurate internal, lateral communications will also hurt relationships between coworkers and departments, which impacts morale and turnover.

  • 75% of employees regard collaboration and relationships with coworkers as very important
  • 83% of employees rely on digital tools for collaboration
  • Employees now spend 50% more time engaged in collaborative work
  • Online collaboration tools improve productivity and worker efficiency by 30%

4. Business Communication External Communication

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External communication will vary, depending on the industry and the employee. External communication involves any communication that leaves the restaurant or office. In the restaurant industry, external communication can include any employee-customer interactions. It can also involve any emails from a manager to a stakeholder, such as a food supplier or person in the supply chain.

In a business environment, external formal communication may be a letter from the owner to customers. Digital external communications can include social media posts, video conferencing/meetings, updates to customers about an order, and more. All external communications must be professional and appropriate to maintain high customer retention rates.

Sales personnel also create external communications in the form of presentations or marketing letters. These should be enticing but transparent to build trust with clients. Any correspondence to outside entities to build business relationships should be clear, concise, and professional. Good leaders know how to respect outside stakeholders' time to maintain these high-quality relationships.

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Key Takeaways of Business Communication Types

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In conclusion, here are the 4 types of business communication in the workplace -

  • Internal, upward communication is any communication that occurs from a subordinate to a manager. This is usually in the form of a report, survey, or feedback. Subordinates should be professional and clear in all correspondence. They should use written communication to maintain an audit trail of critical data. This will help optimize managerial decision-making.

  • Internal, downward communication is any effective business communication from a manager to a subordinate. Good leaders are clear, concise, and polite when speaking to an employee. This builds internal relationships and minimizes any miscommunications that lead to bottlenecks.

  • Internal, lateral communication is any communication between coworkers, or across departments. This may be in the form of emails, instant messaging, or face-to-face discussions. Coworkers should be respectful and clear in their communications to prevent errors or conflicts.


  • External communication is any communication that flows outside of an organization. In the restaurant industry, this includes employee-customer interactions. All written and verbal communication should be professional, easy to understand, and concise. Effective managers know how to respect stakeholders' time to maintain those relationships.

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