Small Business Brief

Business Advice, Restaurant

8 Actionable Strategies for Improving Restaurant Operations

It is estimated that around 60% of restaurants will fail within their first year. By the fifth year, 80% of new businesses in the industry will have closed. So how can you ensure your eaterie does not become another statistic?

Luckily, there are several small tips you can perform to get big results. Read on as we give 8 action steps to take to improve your restaurant operations. 

1. Streamline Your Menu

Cutting back your menu allows you to concentrate on delivering dishes of a higher quality. When you have fewer options to prepare, you can concentrate on getting quality ingredients and serving them correctly. If your menu is curated right you can even cut back on costs, buying local and seasonal ingredients. 

This does not have to mean you conduct a large cull or make huge changes. Instead, make sure you keep the favorites and have an option for vegetarians and vegans. Try to limit it to one page containing starters, mains, and desserts. 

Make sure you also curate your delivery menu. Some items do not travel well and may result in negative reviews on delivery applications and review sites. 

2. Create Systems

When you have structured systems in place, running a restaurant becomes much easier. If people don’t know what or how to perform a task, they will improvise it. This can lead to miscommunication and problem solving later down the line. 

Kitchens, ordering, deliveries, and customer service can all have processes added. This ensures they are dealt with and managed correctly. Even daily tasks can be made easier in this way. 

3. Keep Staff Trained

Another way to improve restaurant operations is to invest in your staff. If you keep them trained it works on two levels. First of all, your staff will know how to operate and manage the processes and procedures in the building. 

After this, correct training makes people feel empowered. They will feel valued in your workplace. When you are working in a high turnaround industry such as hospitality, this can help and improve staff retention. 

4. Reduce Food Waste

Even the most well-managed restaurant can’t cut down on food waste entirely. Ordering, preparation, and even the food on people’s plates will produce some waste. Yet one of the best restaurant business tips is that you should aim to cut down on it as much as possible. 

Food waste is not only environmentally unfriendly but costs you money. Start by getting the system for your inventory and ordering correct so you are not letting ingredients go out of date or spoil before being used. 

Follow this up by checking portion sizes. If there are lots of ingredients left on customer plates, you may be able to cut down on their use. Some may be omitted entirely. 

Finally, create food cards. These should contain the costs of each ingredient and meal, then the profit you make on it. You can look to see which are the most profitable items and which are not making the revenue you need. 

5. Optimize Staff Schedules

Improving restaurant efficiency through its scheduling has several advantages. The main one is that it helps reduce staff turnover. You can’t expect your staff to work at peak efficiency if they have not been well-rested or are exhausted. 

This also cuts back on understaffing which can seriously hamper your service. The only alternative is to hire from an agency, but this then creates a transient workforce that is not conducive to building a community. 

You will also help keep staff payroll in check as you can monitor hours worked. It will also help comply with labor laws regarding how ad when working hours can be conducted.

6. Provide and Get Staff Feedback

Providing staff feedback increases morale. This will ensure you have better retention of staff and increase productivity. Have a clear system for providing feedback, being positive but always including constructive tips on how to improve. 

Feedback sessions can be set up either monthly or quarterly. Make sure you follow up on them to see what improvements have been made and if it has had an impact. 

In turn, you should also listen to feedback from your staff. They are the ones who are deep in the process, whether in front of the house or working in the kitchen. This puts them in the best places to get customer opinions and see how things can be improved, so don’t forget to ask them for their input. 

7. Give Your Workforce the Right Tools

There are certain elements you can not change when managing the finances of your business. The tools your staff need for running a restaurant will always be a cost factor. Yet choosing the right equipment carefully can bring a huge return on investment. 

Ask them what you could buy to make the processes easier. It could be extra industrial dishwashers or points of sale. 

8. Listen to Customers

The greatest method you can use to improve restaurant operations is by looking at customer feedback. If you don’t, then a lack of customers is going to prove a problem. You should also understand that retaining customers is just as important as attracting new ones. 

With online reviews and feedback, it is easier than ever to see where problems are occurring. Always reply to customers professionally for both positive and negative reviews. 

Improving Restaurant Operations

These tips to improve restaurant operations are all easy to implement. Plan to introduce them over the coming months, allocating time and a budget. The benefits and the return on investment will become apparent extremely quickly. 

This article is one of many helpful business guides to maximize your profit. From finance to marketing, we can assist in all aspects of business in the coming year.