Kick Restaurant Operations up in the New Year

Kick Restaurant Operations up in the New Year

How to start fresh in 2020 by getting rid of harmful habits

It’s a new year and time for a fresh start. Now is a great time to take a close look at your restaurant operations to decide what needs to be changed.

This guide will help you evaluate your current operations and offer industry standard advice about how to improve.

Improving Restaurant Operations

For a restaurant owner, it’s easy to become overwhelmed staying on top of every moving part in a restaurant. Many restaurant owners and operators spend most of their time working and overseeing their restaurants.

For the new year, resolve to delegate more of your duties by mentoring key employees, improving operational efficiency and weeding out toxic personalities.

First, let’s look at the overall operations and the dynamic between management, servers and cooks.

The restaurant industry has the highest instance of harassment compared to any other workplace, with 90% of women and 70% of men surveyed admitting to having been sexually harassed.

To get a fresh start in 2020, it’s more important now than ever to weed out bad apples from your staff. Harassers, bullies and those with bad attitudes create a toxic work environment, damage your brand and undermine your authority. They have got to go.

The next step is empowering your staff. When leaders delegate, there’s a myriad of improvements that can happen, including increased work satisfaction for employees and more time for you to do the important work (or maybe actually relax?).

As a leader, good delegation is a skill worth building in yourself and others.

Look at each team, identify the most trusted and responsible members. Begin to build your practice in delegating by mentoring them to take on more responsibilities. Help them learn to train and encourage others in their crew.

Remember, if you’re improving operational effectiveness there needs to be a culture of high standards and success. Managers can’t be the only competent and accountable workers.

This includes getting honest feedback from staff about what works and what doesn’t. They are the boots on the ground—the front lines. They will tell you what the bottlenecks are.

Another tendency is for owners and managers to look at worker feedback as grousing or complaining. This is entirely understandable if you’re trying to keep the ship afloat all by yourself.

But to look at it another way, your staff want to help improve efficiency in their domain, to serve your customers better. And you would rather know what is holding them back from giving their best during service.

Don’t look at it as petty problems being thrown onto your already crowded plate. Recognize the opportunity to empower your staff and potentially offload some of your busywork.

Improving Front of House Operations

How can you improve front of house operations in the new year? A great place to start is improving customer dialogue. While you should already be checking up on diners periodically, start the year by adding a customer comment card to guests’ tables.

Because it’s a bit more anonymous, this can provide valuable additional insights about customer satisfaction. Try it for a week and see what the results are. While criticisms can be heartbreaking, you’ll also learn what customers love about your restaurant as well.

Another key to improving front of house logistics is taking a look at how your guests move through service. Does the reservation or waitlist system work smoothly? Or are guests waiting longer than they anticipated?

How does the restaurant handle unexpected large parties? If there’s no way to pace seatings and the orders coming into the kitchen, things can quickly fall apart from front to back, increasing mistakes and decreasing customer service.

Consider an affordable table management app like Rezku Reservations or Waitlist to help optimize the flow of guests through service and load-balance between servers.

Your point of sale is also of key importance to front of house operations and guest service. Modern restaurant point of sale systems like Rezku POS reduce the amount of mistakes and speed orders out of the kitchen smoothly, with wireless tablet-at-table ordering, along with all the additional operational improvements that come with a new point of sale.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

Improving Back of House Operations

Starting fresh in the new year includes reforming back of house practices that don’t work and are costing you money.

How is your kitchen communication and quality control? Many small to medium sized restaurants can benefit by splitting their cooks into stations, printing separate tickets to each station and utilizing an expediter.

For smaller restaurants an expo may seem like an extra or unneeded position. But the fact is that the position is invaluable when it comes to coordination, communication and quality control.

If your kitchen struggles with timing, substitutions and teamwork, an expo chef is probably the missing piece of the puzzle, to hold the kitchen accountable at every turn.

To really step into the new year on the best footing, you need a clean kitchen. This one is incredibly easy to let slide with everything else going on. But it’s an important one to stay on top of.

Kitchen fires, workplace injuries and health code violations due to slacking kitchen standards can cost you your livelihood. But a rotating cleaning schedule that is ongoing can reduce the burden and the buildup that can make this such an onerous task.

How much of your raw food inventory is wasted, rotted or stolen? To crack off the new year right, your inventory management practices should be examined for improvement. This is another task that requires commitment from staff and managers to be done right.

Inventory should be taken every week before new delivery. Prep waste should be weighed and recorded. Stock should be tagged and rotated to avoid spoilage.

Rezku POS can also help track and record your inventory levels. It integrates with advanced inventory systems that even help you re-order from your vendors when stock is low.

Summary

It’s a new year and time to sweep out the old practices that have been holding you back. While everyone is making personal resolutions for improvement you can similarly resolve to improve your restaurant’s operations in the new year.

Look at your overall restaurant efficiency. Clean house and improve workplace culture by removing toxic personalities. Appoint team leaders to take on more responsibility and hold team members accountable. Listen to your staff’s recommendations for improving service.

Conduct an anonymous customer survey to get candid feedback about your restaurant. Improve logistics and avoid surprises by using a table management system. Make sure your POS is modern and up to date to take advantage of operational advancements through technology.

Make sure your kitchen works as a team and coordinates service by appointing an expediter. Keep your kitchen clean to avoid fires and mishaps. Track inventory to reduce costs associated with waste and spoilage.

Combined, these improvements will truly get your restaurant off to a fresh start in the new year! With a little investment of time and care, you’ll be making more money, reducing stress and running a tight ship into 2020 and beyond!

For more articles to help you improve restaurant management please browse our entire Restaurant Management Library.

To learn more about how the experts at Rezku can help take your restaurant operations into the future schedule a 1-to-1 consultation today!

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