Running a restaurant is no easy feat – it requires well-thought-out restaurant management strategies to coordinate numerous processes, all while ensuring the quality of your customer experience. In order to stay on top and keep up with the ever-changing industry, it is essential to understand and effectively manage your restaurant operations. In this article, we will discuss strategies for streamlining these operations, including human resources, supply chain, and compliance protocols.
Previously we discussed the vision, content, and planning setup of your restaurant, including how to build a cohesive brand, and then location, space, and procurement, among other things. But after all that, you have to actually run the place.
In order to streamline your restaurant operations, you need to have a strong handle on human resources, supply chain, and compliance. Let’s take a closer look at each of these key areas:
Your human resources department is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training employees. They also handle employee benefits and payroll. To streamline your human resources department, make sure you have a clear understanding of your staffing needs. Then, develop a system for recruiting and hiring that meets those needs. Finally, develop a protocol handbook and train your employees well so they can hit the ground running.
Your restaurant’s supply chain includes everything from the food suppliers you use to the equipment you need to run your business. To streamline your supply chain, start by developing relationships with reliable suppliers who can provide high-quality products at a fair price, and are reliable! Saving a buck doesn’t help if you have nothing to sell or the means to sell it. Then, subscribe to a cloud-based technology system for tracking inventory and placing orders so you can eliminate cumbersome manual tracking. Finally, put procedures in place for returns and damaged goods so you can keep your losses to a minimum.
There are many laws and regulations that apply to restaurants, from food safety to employment to disability access. To stay compliant with all applicable laws, start by doing some research so you understand what is required of you. Or speak to your restaurant consultant, as they’re familiar with all the compliance regulations, licenses, and certificates you’ll need. Put systems in place to help you meet those requirements, such as keeping track of employee hours or ensuring that food is properly stored and labeled.
Restaurant Management Strategies
Human Resources Strategies
As the restaurant industry becomes increasingly competitive, streamlining operations has become essential for success. Human resources, supply chain, and compliance are all critical areas that can be streamlined to improve efficiency and bottom-line results.
Human resources strategies:
1. Implement an applicant tracking system: An applicant tracking system (ATS) can save time and money by automating the recruitment process. By using an ATS, employers can post job openings online, screen applicants, and track candidates throughout the hiring process.
2. Develop a handbook: Develop a good onboarding training program so staff understands the restaurant’s vision, concept, mission, and goals, as well as their role as a contributor in attaining them. Write a handbook so that they have a guide to fall back on whenever in doubt.
2. Conduct regular performance reviews: Performance reviews are a valuable tool for identifying efficiency. It is easy to want to postpone dealing with a bad employee because you feel you’re too busy or have more important things to do. As the old adage goes, watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves, so too pay attention to the detail at the lowest levels of the operations as they’re the foundation on which the business is built: it doesn’t matter how efficient the back office is if the staff isn’t up to the task of providing customers with a great dining experience.
– Staffing and Training Protocols
The restaurant industry is one of the most labor-intensive businesses in the world. In order to run a successful operation, it is crucial to have well-trained and motivated staff. Here are some tips for streamlining your staffing and training protocols:
1. Hire the right people: The first step to having a well-run operation is to hire the right employees. That may sound trivial, but you might be surprised at how many restaurant owners hire the first people that apply. Take the time to screen candidates carefully and make sure they are a good fit for the position. While experience is a major plus, their character is equally important — do they work well with others, are they quick learners, can then handle stressful situations, and/or take on responsibilities in a crisis?
2. Train your employees thoroughly: Once you have hired the right people, it is important to train them properly. Again, it is not enough just to make sure they understand your standards and procedures, they also need to understand their role in contributing to the overarching goals.
3. Set clear expectations: It is important to set clear expectations for your employees. Let them know your expectations and the consequences if they do not meet them.
4. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to managing your staff. Make sure you are consistent in your expectations and in the way you enforce rules and regulations.
5. Be available: Employees often need guidance and support, so it is important to be available when they need you. Make yourself accessible and take the time to answer their questions or address their concerns. If you’re a good multitasker you can perhaps do this on the fly, if you’re more structured then build questions, suggestions, and complaints into the employee protocol handbook so that they know the procedure in addressing these issues, and when it is OK to simply come to you in real-time.
– Employee Retention Practices
In any business, employee retention is key to maintaining a high level of productivity. In the restaurant industry, this is especially true: the longer someone is working within your system protocols the more seamlessly your operations become; also given the fast-paced and often demanding nature of the work, training new employees requires expending yet more resources. To ensure your restaurant is operating at its best, it’s important to have effective employee retention practices in place.
One way to boost employee retention is to offer competitive wages and benefits. This will help to attract and retain top talent. Another way to keep your employees happy and engaged is to provide them with opportunities for career development. This could include offering training and development programs, as well as opportunities for advancement within the company.
It’s also important to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated. Listen to their suggestions and concerns. This can be done by investing in employee morale-boosting initiatives such as team-building activities and social events. Additionally, regular communication with employees about company goals and objectives can help them feel more invested in their work and motivated to stay with the company long-term.
By taking steps to streamline your restaurant operations, you’ll be better positioned to retain your best employees and keep your business running smoothly.
Supply Chain Strategies
For any restaurant owner, a well-functioning supply chain and inventory system are essential. By having a clear understanding of your supply chain will ensure that your kitchen always has the ingredients it needs, while the front of the house has the supplies it needs.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for setting up a supply chain and inventory system, there are some basic steps that all restaurants should take to get started:
1. Define your needs: The first step is to take a close look at your restaurant’s specific needs and requirements. What type of cuisine are you serving? How many menu items do you have? What is your average daily real (or projected) customer count? Answering these questions will help you determine the quantities of each item you need to keep in stock.
2. Establish relationships with suppliers: Once you know what supplies you need, it’s time to start sourcing them from reliable vendors. If possible, try to establish long-term relationships with suppliers so that you can always leverage cost, quality, and reliability.
3. Create a storage plan: This includes deciding where each item will be kept and how it will be organized. For example, dry goods might be stored in bins on shelves while perishable items like produce could be kept in coolers or refrigerators.
-Do I need real-time data tracking or can I get by with less frequent updates?
-What is my budget for a new system?
-Do I have the internal staff resources to manage a new system?
-What kind of customer support does each option offer?
In order to set up an effective restaurant supply chain and inventory system, you need to select the right software and technology platforms. Time is money, so automate where ever you can. There are a number of factors to consider when making this decision, including the size and scope of your operation, your budget, and your specific needs.
The most important thing is to choose a system that is scalable and can grow with your business. You also want to make sure it integrates seamlessly with your existing POS system. Other features to look for include real-time tracking, automatic reordering, and robust reporting capabilities.
Once you’ve selected the right platform, you’ll need to set up accounts with suppliers and distributors. This process will vary depending on the software you’re using, but in general, you’ll need to input supplier information, product catalogs, and pricing data. Once everything is set up, you’ll be able to track inventory levels, place orders, and manage your supply chain more effectively.
– Inventory Management System
An effective inventory management system can help streamline your operations, improve your bottom line, and keep your customers happy.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when implementing an inventory management system:
1. Keep track of what you have on hand. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to have a system in place that allows you to quickly and easily see what ingredients you have on hand. That way, you can make sure you’re using them before they expire and avoid over-ordering.
2. Know what your most popular items are. This information will help you determine how much of each item to stock and when to order more.
3. Stay organized. A well-organized restaurant is an efficient restaurant. Make sure your inventory management system is easy to use and understand so that everyone on your team can use it effectively.
4. Automate where possible. There are many great software programs available that can help automate your inventory management process. This can free up time for your staff so they can focus on other tasks, like providing great customer service.
5. Train your staff on the system. Once you’ve implemented an inventory management system, be sure to train your staff on how to use it properly. They should understand how to input data correctly and how to generate reports so they can spot any potential issues quickly
It is important to have compliance strategies in place to avoid potential legal issues and save time and money in the long run.
When it comes to restaurant compliance, there are a few key areas that you need to be aware of. First and foremost is health and safety. This includes everything from food handling and storage to employee hygiene. You also need to make sure that your establishment is up to code in terms of fire safety, electrical safety, and other general building safety standards. And finally, any new construction — whether for a new or existing business — needs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you serve alcohol, you need to make sure that you are following all state and local laws regarding liquor sales and service. This includes things like obtaining the proper licenses and permits, as well as making sure that your staff is properly trained in responsible alcohol service.
Labor laws that apply to restaurants include minimum wage requirements, overtime pay rules, and other workplace regulations. And lastly, compliance with the Americas with Disabilities Act in the physical location — as well as online — will mitigate legal exposure.
By understanding the basics of restaurant compliance in these key areas, you can help ensure that your business is running smoothly and compliant with all applicable laws.
When it comes to compliance, one of the most important things to do is to ensure that all of your employees are properly trained. This includes providing them with information on health and safety regulations, as well as any specific procedures that they need to follow in your restaurant. Training can be done through online courses, manuals, or even on-the-job training.
Another key compliance strategy is to keep up with the latest industry changes. This includes changes to health codes, food safety regulations, and employment laws. By staying up-to-date on these changes, you can make sure that your restaurant is always in compliance.
Finally, it is important to have a system in place for dealing with complaints from employees or customers. This system should include a way to track complaints, as well as a process for investigating and resolving them. By having this system in place, you can quickly address any issues that arise and prevent them from becoming bigger problems down the road.
For a more detailed review of compliance rules and regulations, click here.
– Regulatory Requirements for Restaurants
There are a number of regulatory requirements that restaurants must comply with in order to operate legally. These include health and safety regulations, food safety regulations, and labor laws.
Health and safety regulations aim to protect employees and customers from potential hazards in the workplace. Restaurants must have a written health and safety policy that outlines how they will manage risks and prevent accidents. They must also provide employees with training on how to safely perform their duties.
Food safety regulations are designed to ensure that food is safe to eat. Restaurants must have a food safety management system in place that covers all aspects of food handling, from storage and preparation to cooking and serving. Employees must be trained in food safety procedures and there must be regular checks to make sure that these procedures are being followed.
Labor laws cover issues such as working hours, minimum wage, overtime pay, and vacation entitlements. Restaurants must ensure that they are complying with all relevant labor laws in order to avoid penalties or legal action.
– Food Safety and Sanitation Protocols
A food safety and sanitation protocol is a set of guidelines that help to ensure the safety of food. There are many different aspects to consider when creating a food safety and sanitation protocol, but some key elements include:
• Keeping food clean – This means washing hands often, as well as keeping food preparation areas clean. It is also important to cook food properly and avoid cross-contamination.
• Storing food safely – This includes keeping food at the proper temperature to prevent bacteria from growing. It is also important to keep cooked and raw foods separate.
• Avoiding illness – This means being aware of the signs and symptoms of foodborne illness and taking steps to avoid getting sick. It is also important to practice good personal hygiene.
Creating a detailed and comprehensive food safety and sanitation protocol can help to streamline your restaurant operations by preventing costly mistakes and ensuring that your customers can enjoy their meals with confidence.
Equipment Management Strategies
From order management to employee scheduling, there are a number of ways to streamline your restaurant operation and make it more efficient. One area that is often overlooked is equipment management. Here are a few strategies for better managing your restaurant’s equipment:
1. Keep an inventory of all your equipment. This will help you keep track of what needs to be replaced or repaired and will also help you budget for future purchases.
2. Develop a maintenance schedule for all your equipment. This will help prolong the life of your investment and ensure that your equipment is always in top condition.
3. Invest in quality equipment. Cheap, poorly made equipment will only cause headaches down the road. Do your research and invest in quality pieces that will withstand the rigors of a busy restaurant kitchen.
4. Store your equipment properly. Taking care of your equipment will help it last longer and perform better. Make sure to store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
– Kitchen Set Up and Maintenance
When it comes to your restaurant’s kitchen, setup and maintenance are key to streamlining your operations. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
– Keep your kitchen organized and clean. This will help with both food safety and efficiency.
– Train your staff on proper food handling and kitchen safety procedures.
– Make sure you have the proper equipment for your menu items. This includes things like commercial-grade appliances, small wares, and storage solutions.
– Stay up to date on all food safety regulations. This includes keeping your facility clean and maintaining accurate food temperatures.
– Front of House Set Up Streamlining
Your restaurant’s front-of-house (FOH) setup is critical to your operations. Here are some tips on how to streamline your FOH setup:
1. Clearly define roles and responsibilities for each position.
2. Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) for each position.
3. Train your employees on the SOPs.
4. Have a system in place to track employee performance and compliance with the SOPs.
5. Continuously review and improve your FOH setup procedures.
Streamlining your restaurant operations not only good restaurant management strategies, but proper technology, equipment, and protocols. It is an important part of running a successful business. By taking the time to engage a restaurant consultant you can ensure that you have the right human resources, supply chain, and compliance strategies in place, and save yourself time and money — while making sure that your customers get the best experience possible. Hopefully, our tips have given you a few ideas on how to make sure your restaurant runs smoothly so that it can reach its full potential.