Running a restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart…
Putting aside the labor shortage, which has made it difficult for even high-end restaurants to find the reliable workers they need, running a restaurant can be a complex affair. Managers have to manage a variety of constantly interlocking parts, making sure that everything runs smoothly amidst a fast-paced environment with few, if any, breaks. Even a small interruption in any of the complex processes involved in getting paying customers their food can cause a backup that will lose the restaurant business, making it vital for managers to take steps to prevent (and if necessary, put out) fires quickly and efficiently.
This is just as true for the back-of-house as it is for the front, as while emergencies that take place in the dining area are more likely to be noticed by customers, those that take place in the back are likely to delay (or even harm the quality of) food. As such, if you’re a restaurant owner, you should consistently be evaluating your processes to make sure they’re running smoothly, looking for opportunities to improve and prevent the need for process-slowing quick fixes.
Even the smallest details should be taken into account, and you’ll need a team who communicates issues that they’re having with you. If you notice that your restaurant is moving slower than it needs to be, or that your customers seem to be having negative experiences overall, consult your team first: they are your soldiers in the field, the ones who have to deal with customers daily, and they may be the first people to ask if something seems to be going wrong in the front of house or the back.
After starting with their feedback, if you’re still noticing that something doesn’t appear to be running as smoothly, you may want to consider this list. While not a comprehensive list of potential improvements to your restaurant’s processes, this list can provide a baseline from which you can build off to make your establishment run smoother than ever.
3 Tips for Running a Restaurant:
Let’s get into it.
1. Keeping Your Workspaces Clean
While janitorial work is often considered unfavorable by food service workers, janitors are every bit as important as the chefs prepping the food, making sure that everyone’s work environment is clean and sanitary as well as maintaining the areas that customers actually eat in. As such, you should endeavor to make their job as easy and efficient as possible: encourage chefs to consistently clean their stations, depositing any detritus from their cooking into the proper receptacles and encouraging them to keep floors clean and dry.
You may want to invest in equipment such as self-dumping hoppers to facilitate taking out the trash, but regardless you’ll want to have a mode of taking the trash out where customers can’t see it and where your janitorial staff can handle even heavy loads. Lastly, set a vigorous, thorough cleaning regimen upfront, and make sure that your customers can see your janitorial staff keeping their environment clean and safe.
2. Hone Your FOH Operations
The front-of-house can quickly become the most disorienting, complicated aspect of the business to run, if your team isn’t equipped with the tools they need to survive. Make sure that your team is equipped with cutting-edge technology that may prove helpful in these pandemic-infested times, such as a state-of-the-art POS system and digital menus. Keep track of all reservations, using an online reservation system to take human error out of the mix, and keep an updated map of all open tables and sections, making sure to keep track of your personnel as they work.
3. Finally, Listen to Your Customers
Aside from the odd aberration, customers are generally reluctant to complain when they have a less-than-great experience; therefore, you should pay attention when they do. Customer feedback is actually one of the most valuable ways to track your progress and figure out where you need to improve. Listen to your customers and your team, and you’ll be well on your way to smoother-running operations. As said above, running a restaurant isn’t easy. But with the right feedback and making sure your team has the tools needed to survive, you can make it a whole lot easier