Restaurant Management

Create a restaurant management plan

This in effect this is your business plan, make sure you cover all the bases to ensure success. Develop a plan that will cover all the require areas of a business plan such as restaurant market research, financial planning including funding and capital, cashflow forecast, human resource planning, competitors analysis and a marketing plan. Your restaurant management plan will be the roadway forward for your restaurant and will help you get back on track should you come off the rails.

Use restaurant management tools

I have seen too many restaurant managers and owners not use available tools, there are lots of tools available all over the internet that can help and make you life easier. Not only have these tools already been developed and tested before it more importantly will save you time should you need to develop a new restaurant management tool like a spreadsheet, form or template.

Market your restaurant

There is an old saying that a “rolling stone gathers no moss”, this is true when it come to marketing your restaurant or cafĂ©. The faster you can get your restaurant going the less stale it will become. So… when developing your restaurant management plan be sure to include a comprehensive marketing plan as this is the engine of your restaurant, so be sure to give it some fuel to keep going.

Conduct regular restaurant training

Training your staff would have to be one of the most under rated aspects of restaurant management, too many restaurant operators neglect this side of the business as they give too many excuses. These excuses like “I don’t have time” or “my staff don’t need training” are just crap. Training not only will provide you with better service to your customers but even more importantly will help you increase your sales.

Create a restaurant budget

Do you think the county sets a budget for the trillions of dollars they manage, you bet they do so it is no different for any restaurant whether small or large to set a budget of the income and expenses they think they will encounter during a full year. Not only will this help you understand your business better it will also allow you to forecast the cash flow in the business. A comprehensive restaurant management plan should include a cash flow statement so you know when or if you may need to borrow further cash to keep your restaurant going.

Incentivise your staff

Unless you are a one person restaurant, you have staff, and if you have staff that are on a incentive program not only will you see them more happier you will also see further cash in your cash register or POS. When implementing a staff incentive program into your restaurant management plan make sure you incentivise them though the sales they generate for the business.

Make procedures for everything

Procedures, procedures, procedures… This is the holy grail of restaurants as an owner to have the restaurant completely operate independently of you. It can be done if it is included as part of your restaurant management plan, start off with small chunks like cash register procedures and then advance to the more technical aspects of the restaurant like what the owners does. As part of a complete plan you could in effect complete the whole process in 9-12 months.

Ask for help when you need it

Last but not least… if you need help ask for it or go looking for it as I said earlier there are plenty of restaurant management tools and toolkits that can make your life a lot easier.

Is a Restaurant Franchise Right For Me?

If there’s one thing that everybody likes doing, it’s going out to a restaurant. Whether you have experience in the service industry or you’ve always been interested in owning a restaurant, a restaurant franchise might be right for you. Owning a restaurant franchise is one of the most sure-fire ways to have a successful business. People dine out based on brand recognition, and when you become a restaurant franchise owner you’ll be able to offer a familiar name and menu to customers.

When you’re looking for a restaurant franchise it’s easy to see the track record of success that other people have had in different areas. By opening a restaurant business in a nearby area, you can capitalize on the success that the restaurant has seen elsewhere. This is especially true if you are opening your restaurant business in an area where there is a lot of passing traffic. Out-of-town visitors are more likely to eat some place with a recognizable name than to try a local restaurant.

There are nearly a million restaurants nationwide and national sales records for 2008 should reach $558 billion. Even in times of economic hardship, people still continue to eat at restaurants. 70% of adults surveyed say their favorite restaurant has dishes and flavors that are not reproducible in their home kitchens. Although there’s a large initial investment when opening a restaurant franchise, it’s not comparable to going into the restaurant business alone. When you’re independent of the franchise system you won’t have the added benefits of brand recognition and support from the home office.

As you probably know, there are many different types of restaurant franchises to choose from. You can choose based on cuisine, type of service offered or even focus on food specialties, like at Zoup. Zoup is a fast service soup restaurant franchise. It offers a healthy alternative to burgers, fries and normal fast service dining options. If you want a restaurant business like no other, this may be just the right one for you.

You may want to go with a more familiar restaurant franchise, like McDonald’s, Burger King or Carl’s Jr. These restaurant franchises offer a familiarity that come with an expensive price. If you’re married to the idea of owning a burger joint, Checkers may be right for you. Checkers is a drive-through restaurant franchise that focuses on burgers, fries and shakes. In a small but efficient space, your staff will work a double drive-through to provide quick service at a great price.

Restaurant franchises like La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill offer ethnic food in a casual dining environment. In the industry since 1979, La Salsa is committed to providing fresh Mexican food with the added feature of a fresh salsa bar in each restaurant. Casual dining restaurants like La Salsa are growing in popularity and this type of restaurant franchise is sure to be a winner in your area.

4 Keys to a Successful Restaurant

One of the warnings that new restaurant owners hear when they talk about opening their own restaurant is that it will require long hours in order to earn the mount of money you would earn in a 9 to 5 job. Sadly, for many restaurant owners, that is very true. Everything they own is tied up in their restaurant, and it consumes nearly all of their time. You can see this in almost any community with independent restaurants. They are surviving, but are they are not what you would consider restaurant success stories.

Restaurant success can mean many different things, depending on who you talk to, but most owners will agree that there is a vast difference between running a successful restaurant and managing to keep your doors open. Most people with an entrepreneurial spirit do not want to become slaves to their business. Yet many restaurant owners become just that. If the restaurant is open, the owner is there.

So, how does a restaurant become successful. While defining success will be different from owner to owner, there are some keys to restaurant success that most will agree on.

Food

A great meal starts with great food. A meal that is well prepared with quality ingredients is a must on any menu. It would take a true friend to come back to your restaurant time and again if the food was not good.

Along with the quality of the food is that it is consistent. One truth of restaurants is that you will not be able to please everyone with every dish. If the majority of the people that try an item like it, then don’t change it. If you change your recipe every time a customer complains you will never have any consistency with your menu. Then when a customer that did like the item returns, they will be unhappy that the recipe changed, and they did not receive what they wanted.

Service

Customers will go where they are treated well. It does not matter how good the food is if your customer service is bad. Your customers are coming to your restaurant for the dining experience, not just for good food. If their experience is not enjoyable, they will start looking for a restaurant that treats them with care and respect.

For your restaurant to be a success, you need to take the time to train your staff in how to treat your customers. Everyone from the greeter to the dishwasher needs to know and understand how to respond to any complaint or suggestion from a customer. While the customer may not always be right, they are the one who pay the bills. Without them, you have no business.

Cleanliness

The next thing that will add to, or destroy, the customers experience is the cleanliness of your restaurant operation. For many customers, if there is anything that appears to be dirty or unsanitary, they will automatically assume that the entire operation is unsanitary. They will never know whether you serve the best food in town or not, because they will be so put off by cleanliness issues that they will never eat at your restaurant.

Cleanliness and sanitation does not stop with the physical building. It extends to the hygiene of your staff. Although it can be difficult to have personal cleanliness discussions with your staff, you need to make sure that they come to work clean, and wearing clean uniforms.

Cost Control

While your customers will never see the administrative part of your business, they will see the results. If you fail to keep your costs under control you business will suffer. When costs tart to escalate, there are things that some restaurant owners do that will have serious consequences to your business.

The first step restaurant owners take is to reduce the size of the staff. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can have some negative results. If the staff gets too small to serve the customers adequately, you will have customer service issues. In order to avoid that the owner will need to start doing more work on top of the work they are already doing. That will mean even more hours spent in the restaurant.

The next thing restaurant owners consider to reduce costs is to use lower quality ingredients. Lower quality ingredients will lead to lower quality menu items, which will ultimately result in fewer customers. If the owner tries to lower the food cost without lowering the quality of the food, they will sometimes consider raising the menu prices. When money is already tight, many customers are bargain hunting, and increased menu prices will drive them away.

The easiest way to control your costs is to make sure you have menu items properly costed out before setting your menu. Then you need to monitor your costs to make sure they are in line with your budget.

Restaurant success is a very real possibility for owners who can do the four items listed above. the better you are at any or all of these areas, the better your odds of having a successful restaurant.