How to Improve Restaurant Operations: 12 Proven Methods
The restaurant industry has changed significantly in the last two decades, and adopting new technologies and processes that improve operational performance is essential. As a restaurant manager, you likely manage multiple facets of your business—from employee relations to marketing.
While this can be overwhelming, it’s important to remember that you can take many simple actions to improve your operations. In this post, we’ll share 12 tips on how to improve restaurant operations and what does restaurant operations mean. Read on!
How to Improve Restaurant Operations
No matter where you view, no business can survive without proper management. Restaurant operation is one of the best examples of this assertion. People who have never run a restaurant before wonder how to improve restaurant operations. But what are these steps? Let’s take a look.
12 Ways On How to Improve Restaurant Operations
1. Streamline Your Menu
If you’re looking to streamline your menu and reduce costs, menu engineering analysis is a great place to start. This process involves assessing your current menu and determining which dishes are most popular with customers and which ones are more expensive or time-consuming to prepare.
By reducing the number of menu items, you can save on food costs and reduce food waste. A standardized recipe also streamlines your menu and makes it easier for your kitchen staff to prepare consistent, high-quality dishes.
2. Use Recipe Costing Cards
One way to keep track of food costs and ensure that dishes are priced profitably is to create recipe costing cards. These cards list all ingredients needed for a dish and the price per portion. This information helps determine whether a dish is worth keeping on your menu so you can adjust prices accordingly.
3. Invest In Your Employees
The restaurant industry is facing a labor shortage, and one of the best ways to improve restaurant operations is by investing in your employees. Training your staff on food safety, customer service, and efficient work processes can help them be more productive and provide better service to your guests. By investing in your employees, you can help alleviate the restaurant labor shortage and improve the aspect of restaurant operations at the same time.
4. Invest In Restaurant Technology to Automate Tasks
Investing in the right technology saves time and money while improving the overall efficiency of your operation. Technology helps automate many tasks in a restaurant, from food ordering and inventory management to a customer loyalty program. In addition, technology helps you better understand your customers’ needs and preferences, allowing you to tailor your offerings and improve customer experience.
Some examples of restaurant technologies that improve operations include:
- Point of Sale (POS) Systems: A POS system helps streamline transactions, track sales data, and manage inventory. It also provides insights into customer behavior patterns.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems: CRM systems help you track customer data and interactions, identify opportunities for upselling and cross selling, and improve your restaurant loyalty program.
- Inventory Management Systems: A restaurant inventory management system helps you keep track of food and beverage stock, streamline ordering, and reduce waste.
- Tablet Point of Sale (TPOS) systems: A TPOS system provides a mobile POS solution for restaurants that don’t have a traditional fixed POS system. TPOS systems are typically more affordable than traditional POS systems and offer similar features and functionality.
5. Have a Cleaned and Organized Kitchen
A restaurant’s success depends on many factors, but one of the most important is keeping a clean and well-organized kitchen. A well-designed kitchen layout is just as important as a well-designed bar layout. Both play a vital role in supporting a productive restaurant.
A well-organized bar and kitchen area ensure that everything the bar staff or the wait staff need is within easy reach. This minimizes time wasted walking around or looking for things. A clear kitchen and bar layout also helps prevent mistakes and speeds up drink and food preparation.
Investing in a good kitchen and bar setup is essential for any restaurant that wants to be successful. By taking the time to design an efficient space, restaurants can save time and money in the long run. Furthermore, a clean and organized kitchen helps reduce mistakes and accidents.
To keep your kitchen clean and organized, follow a daily cleaning schedule and stock up on the necessary restaurant cleaning supplies. Use our restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist as a guide. Taking these measures helps improve your restaurant’s operations and ensures a smooth-running operation.
6. Establish SOPs and Clear Communication
Good communication is essential in any business, but it is especially important in restaurants where there is often a lot of the hustle and bustle. Establishing a clear line of communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done. You can do this by holding regular meetings with your staff and setting up an effective system of shift changes.
- Specifying how staff should perform tasks.
- Setting up checklists for tasks that need to be completed.
- Establishing protocols for dealing with different types of situations.
Having SOPs in place ensures that everyone on your staff knows the restaurant’s procedures and how to carry them out properly.
7. Utilize Third-Party Integrations
To improve restaurant operations, utilizing third-party integrations is a great way to automate various tasks and free up your time. For example, integrating with a point-of-sale (POS) system helps with bookkeeping, ordering, and scheduling. Using a QR code menu makes it easier for customers to browse meals and order from your restaurant.
Third-party integrations can be extremely beneficial for restaurants, helping to streamline operations and increase restaurant sales. One great example is our very own BlueCart, an all-in-one order management platform that offers features like eCommerce payment processing.
Partnering with BlueCart saves time and money by simplifying transactions. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your restaurant’s operations, be sure to explore the possibilities of third-party integrations.
By taking advantage of these types of integrations, you can focus more on interacting with customers and managing your staff, which leads to a better overall experience for everyone involved.
8. Maintain Inventory
One of the most important aspects of running a restaurant is keeping up with inventory. Having a good restaurant inventory software in place helps you keep track of what ingredients you have on hand and how much of each you need.
A perpetual inventory system is one way to streamline inventory management. This system constantly updates your inventory types and counts, so you always know what is in stock. You can do this manually or with software that automatically tracks inventory levels.
Another thing to consider is safety stock. Safety stock is the minimum amount of an ingredient that should be on hand at all times, in case of emergency. This way, you can be sure that you’ll never run out of an ingredient.
Another way to improve inventory management is to set the par level for each ingredient. Par levels are the minimum amount of an ingredient that should be on hand at all times. This ensures that you never run out of an ingredient and have to make a last-minute purchase.
9. Conduct SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis for restaurant is a tool you can use to evaluate your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This type of analysis is beneficial in identifying areas where your restaurant could improve.
If your restaurant is failing, a SWOT analysis can be especially helpful. By identifying the root of the problem, you can make changes that could turn things around.
For example, if your food quality is poor, you can work on improving your recipes or sourcing better ingredients. If customers are unhappy with your service, you can train your staff to be more efficient and courteous.
No matter your restaurant’s situation, conducting a SWOT analysis gives you a better idea of what changes need to be made in order to improve operations. With this valuable information, you can make your restaurant the best of its kind.
10. Track Metrics
The first step in improving restaurant operations is to track metrics. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and allow you to set goals.
There are several metrics you can track in order to improve restaurant operations. Here are the most important ones:
- Sales: This is perhaps the most important metric to track, as it will indicate how your business is performing. It’s also a good idea to track sales by type of product or service, so you can see which areas are doing well and which need improvement.
- Customer satisfaction: This is another key metric, as it will tell you how happy your customers are with your food and service. There are several ways to measure customer satisfaction, such as through surveys or customer feedback forms.
- Employee productivity: This metric will help you see how well your employees perform and identify areas where they may need more training. There are several ways to measure employee productivity, such as through time tracking software or monitoring sales per employee.
- Food cost: This is an important metric to track, as it indicates how well you are controlling your purchases. There are a number of ways to measure food cost, such as through invoices or by tracking inventory levels.
- eCommerce analytics: this gives you insights into how your restaurant is performing online. You can use this data to improve your eCommerce strategy and make sure you’re getting the most out of your online presence.
- eCommerce KPIs: These performance indicators will help you track progress and identify areas for improvement in your eCommerce operation. By tracking KPIs, you can ensure that your restaurant is on track to reach its goals.
By tracking these and other metrics, you can identify areas that need improvement and set goals for your restaurant. Doing so will help you improve operations and boost profit margins.
11. Listen to Feedback
Your staff is on the front lines of your restaurant, and they have valuable insights into its operations. Make sure you listen to their feedback and use it to improve processes.
Encourage your staff to share their feedback with you regularly. You can do this by setting up a formal process for collecting feedback or asking for input during team meetings.
Once you’ve collected feedback from your staff, take time to review it and identify areas where you can make improvements. Implement changes that will help streamline processes and make your restaurant run more smoothly.
In addition to listening to feedback from your staff, keep them engaged in the operation of your restaurant by sharing positive feedback and offering growth opportunities. This will help ensure that they’re motivated to continue providing valuable input that can help improve your restaurant’s success.
12. Expand Your Reach and Build Customer Loyalty
Reaching new customers is essential for any business, but it’s crucial for restaurants. After all, if you’re not getting new people in the door, your sales will eventually stagnate. eCommerce marketing can be a great way to reach new diners by using social media and online ordering directories to promote your restaurant.
You can also use O2O (online-to-offline) marketing techniques, such as offering discounts and coupons online that they can redeem at your restaurant. Once new customers come in, it’s important to keep them coming back. Loyalty programs are one way to do this by offering rewards for repeat visits. You can also provide incentives such as discounts for large parties or special events.
It’s important to keep improving your business and the way you do things. Test out new systems and see what works, and try to refine your existing ones. Experiment before making big changes. It may seem like a lot of effort, but it’s worth it in the long run.
What Does Restaurant Operations Mean?
Restaurant operations refer to all behind-the-scenes activities that keep a restaurant running smoothly. This can include everything from food preparation and inventory management to customer service and marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Improve Restaurant Operations
What Are the Four Major Challenges for Restaurant Operations?
The four major challenges for restaurant operations include:
- Finding and keeping good employees
- Managing food and labor cost
- Dealing with regulatory compliance issues
- Keeping up with technology and trends
What Is the Most Important Thing In Restaurant Business?
The most important thing in the restaurant business is customer satisfaction. This means ensuring that your customers are happy with the food, service, and overall experience they have at your restaurant. Keeping your prices competitive and offering value for money is also important.
What Are the Operations of a Restaurant?
Most restaurants have four main operations: front of house (FOH), back of house (BOH), human resources, and accounting. The FOH is responsible for all aspects of customer service, from taking reservations to seating guests and handling their complaints. BOH staff handle food preparation, cooking, dishwashing, and other kitchen duties. Human resources manage the restaurant’s staff, while accounting tracks the finances.
Restaurant operations are typically overseen by a manager or general manager. They are responsible for ensuring that all four areas of the business are running smoothly and efficiently. This can involve hiring and firing staff, ordering restaurant equipment and supplies, dealing with customers, and keeping track of finances.