Running a restaurant is a complicated but rewarding endeavor. There will always be surprises, but there are things you can do to ensure that service runs as smoothly as possible.
Follow these 6 tips for smooth restaurant operations:
- Adapt to customer feedback
- Clearly define employee roles
- Advertise and market your restaurant
- Streamline the items on your menu
- Be disciplined in your cash management
- Keep your team motivated!
Focusing on these six areas of improvement will help your business have the resources you need to keep delivering excellent service every day.
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1. Adapt To Feedback
Customer service is your number one priority. Sometimes we can lose focus on that priority. As an owner or manager of a restaurant it’s important to always stay engaged with the needs of guests.
If you find that a trouble area keeps popping up it’s your job to find the underlying issue and correct it.
If customers provide feedback about their experience take it without judgement or being defensive. Try to imagine yourself in their shoes and how they perceived the situation.
Customer feedback isn’t always negative. Often customers will express their gratitude or contentment with things they are pleased with. Identify these areas as well and explore how you can highlight them in marketing or provide these delights to more of your guests.
2. Clearly Define Roles
When staffing your restaurant team it’s important to match people with the right positions. Everything that needs to get done, needs someone assigned to do it.
Start by making a list of all the processes that need to be completed for service. Divide these tasks into back of house and front of house duties. Now assign each task to individuals, being sure to balance the load.
Once you’ve defined the scope and role of each position you can train individual team members to accomplish these tasks. When scheduling, you can rest assured that the work will get done, even with a small crew, because everyone’s jobs are clearly defined.
Avoid overlapping duties and situations where employees can say “I thought so-and-so was going to do it.”
3. Advertise and Market
To have a smooth service you need a steady flow of guests to patronize your restaurant. Part of maintaining your customer base is through active marketing and advertising.
Use feedback from your existing customers to focus your marketing message. Spread the word about the best parts of the services you offer. This will attract guests with similar needs and tastes.
Advertising and marketing also reminds your existing customers to return more frequently. Building up a regular client base is certainly key to smooth operations.
4. Streamline Your Menu
One of the best things you can do for service is to simplify your menu. When you have a streamlined menu your kitchen can run more efficiently.
Think of the food you sell like a product that’s manufactured. If your factory is putting together too many different parts it makes the manufacturing process more complicated.
Find a common theme with your best sellers. Refine your offerings to match your guests’ preferences. Think of how you can cut out steps that don’t sacrifice quality. How about reusing ingredients in a creative way in new dishes to streamline prep?
5. Disciplined Cash Management
To have a smooth service your team needs to be equipped with all the resources they need. That means having cash to pay for repairs, maintenance and necessary equipment.
Additionally, cash is used to purchase food ahead of service. Having cash flow issues affects your ability to keep your restaurant well stocked. Running out of food during service is embarrassing and costs you potential profit.
To avoid cash flow issues that affect service it’s important to have a disciplined approach to spending.
Don’t spend cash when you don’t have to. Negotiate to get the best prices from suppliers. Think carefully about adding services that require a lump of cash upfront.
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6. Motivate Your Team
A motivated team works efficiently and communicates well. To keep your restaurant staff motivated make sure you are providing incentives for their hard work. Thank them for their dedication to guest service.
Opening up opportunities within the restaurant for advancement can be a powerful motivator and helps with staff retention. Keeping around senior staff significantly improves service.
Another way to motivate staff is to run sales contests. Sales contests help raise average tickets for the restaurant, which means that even if they haven’t won the contest your servers' tips have probably gone up — and that’s great for motivation.
Read More: Restaurant Kitchen Management
Focus on these six key areas of restaurant operations and you can expect to have a smooth service most nights.
Listen to your guests and embrace constant improvement. Define each team member’s job so that everyone knows what duties they are expected to complete each shift.
Market your restaurant to ensure a steady stream of customers to keep business going. Streamline your menu to simplify production and help food move out of the kitchen to guests.
Buy what you need to get service done. Fix what breaks so that quality standards can be maintained. To do this you need disciplined cash management so that you have the necessary resources.
A motivated team runs service with gusto. Keep your team engaged by running sales contests, encouraging upselling and providing a career path within the restaurant.
This guide to 6 tips for smooth restaurant operations is part of the free resource library provided by Rezku. You can find more tips for achieving restaurant success in our library home.
Since 2012 Rezku has been a leading hospitality management technology provider to restaurants and bars across America. Rezku’s solutions include online reservations, host stand table management, advanced point of sale with table side ordering and integrated online ordering and much more.
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