Restaurant businesses are constantly bombarded with employees who aren’t fully dedicated to the cause, which results in less-than-ideal customer service and lowered productivity. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to systemize your restaurant business so that you have a powerful, streamlined operation where every employee knows what they need to do and when they need to do it, making it easier than ever to provide stellar service and achieve maximum productivity at all times.
What does a system mean for your business?
It could be a way of doing business that increases productivity. It could be a marketing plan or even just a recipe for your favorite dinner dish. But when it comes to restaurants, systems are vitally important for streamlining operations and making sure things go as smoothly as possible. In fact, some systems are so important they must be in place before you open your doors!
Don’t wait until you are already busy
You cannot afford to wait until your business is busy and you don’t have time. Every hour wasted now will translate into losses later on, and that could be in terms of profits or productivity. The best time to systemize your business is when there are no customers around but you still need to get everything done. If there is ever a lull in business, like an hour before lunch where no orders come in, you can use that time to work on systemizing your operation.
Step 1 – Create an extensive menu
The more options you give customers, the more likely they are to buy something. When creating a menu, focus on variety and quality. The saying less is more doesn’t apply here; think more is more when it comes to variety. To accommodate a wide audience, you should have three or four entries per category (poultry, beef/veal, pork, and seafood), as well as at least two appetizers and three desserts.
Step 2 – Restaurant POS System
A great POS system is an important part of any restaurant business. Technology has evolved so much that there are now many different ways for restaurateurs to choose from when it comes to how they operate their business and what technology can help them run more efficiently. The first step in systemizing your restaurant is ensuring you have a solid POS (point of sale) system. A good best restaurant POS system will help you streamline your processes, keep track of inventory and reduce food waste, among other benefits.
Step 3 – Don’t be afraid of technology
If you’re not interested in spending your life on spreadsheets, then there’s nothing wrong with using technology to do it for you. Tech is here to help, not hinder. You don’t need a team of programmers and coders in order to use tech solutions that can save you time and money (in fact, many of them cost less than hiring just one employee). You just need patience and discipline.
Step 4 – Create a Serving Flow
This is your step-by-step guide for making sure every customer gets what they want, when they want it. For example, if you’re a server and you bring out someone’s drink and their main course is ready but still sitting under heat lamps in hot wait, it means you didn’t create a good flow. If there are three servers on your shift and one of them is taking orders at table eight while another is waiting on table six, that creates an issue with the speed of service. If tables nine through twelve all have clean plates but no drinks yet because no one has been by to take their order—that’s also a problem. The point here isn’t that these are necessarily bad things (it can be smart management), but rather that you need to make sure everyone knows where they should be at any given time so customers get served as quickly as possible. To do that, create an easy-to-follow chart or diagram that shows how things should work—and then follow it yourself!
Step 5 – Keep everything clean, fast, and easy to access
Don’t make any job harder than it needs to be. Make it easy for your employees to get their work done as quickly and as easily as possible. This is what we mean by systemizing a business: creating systems that increase efficiency and make tasks easier.
Step 6 – Gather feedback from customers
When you systemize your restaurant business, it becomes less reliant on hard work from you and more reliant on automation and simple processes. The first step in doing so is getting clear feedback from your customers. Ask them how they like the food, how they feel about the décor, what they didn’t like. Then, listen to them; adjust accordingly, and keep improving.
Step 6 – Involve employees in the process
There’s a tendency for new business owners to get so busy working that they forget about their employees. This is a mistake because your staff is an essential part of your business—and, at times, can provide you with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. Involve them in systemizing as much as possible.
Step 7 -inventory management system
Maintaining your inventory is an important part of running a business. With a solid inventory management system, you will be able to take inventory quickly and accurately as well as see where inventory shortages are occurring. This can save your restaurant money and help reduce waste by catching overstocking or under-ordering before it occurs.
The first step in setting up an inventory management system is deciding how often you want to take inventory. Some restaurants do daily inventories while others do weekly inventories. Daily inventories require more time but they also allow for faster adjustments when necessary. If you are unsure about how often to perform inventories, speak with other restaurateurs in your area who have similar menus and serving sizes. They may have experience with their own systems that could help guide your decision-making process on how often to perform inventories.
Review your current operations & look at the numbers.
Step one is to get out a pen and paper, launch your software, and jot down all of your business processes in terms of inputs and outputs. The easiest way to do so is by listing your front-of-house functions (the things that you know about) on one side, and your back-of-house functions (the things that are hidden from view) on another.
Systemizing your restaurant business doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you’re just getting started or want to refresh your current systems, these simple tips will help you make the most of your time and money as an entrepreneur in the food service industry.