6 Top Tips In Restaurant Operations

Managing restaurant operations effectively will ensure your restaurant has the necessary materials, processes, resources, and finances. In this article, we will provide an overview of restaurant operations and six best practices to ensure your restaurant runs smoothly in every work shift.
Restaurant operations include a number of responsibilities across key areas of the business, including:
Purchasing: The process of buying the raw materials and supplies needed to make the products on your menu. These responsibilities include building relationships with suppliers and managing your inventory to ensure you don’t buy too much or too little.
Food preparation: How the kitchen staff creates menu items, from cutting ingredients to cooking food to preparing dishes. Understanding the amount of time it takes to prepare each ingredient and dish will help your staff deliver orders to customers on time.
Service: How waiters, bartenders, cashiers, and others interact with guests. Your service influences the atmosphere and culture of your restaurant. By setting up smooth front-of-house operations, you’ll create a positive experience that keeps customers who dine in or go through delivery coming back.
Cleaning: Restaurants must follow specific sanitation guidelines in order to stay in business, from taking out the trash to tidying the bathroom to clearing the table. It is important to establish cleaning processes in all areas of your restaurant to keep your operations compliant with local health standards.
Accounting: Keeping track of your restaurant’s finances is very important. Operators can maintain restaurant profitability by tracking sales and expenses, finding ways to reduce costs, and forecasting restaurant sales ahead of busy or low seasons.

How to improve restaurant operations

Want to optimize the day-to-day processes in your restaurant? Here are a few things that will help you set the foundation for effective restaurant operational management.
1. Do a SWOT analysis
Before taking steps to improve your restaurant’s operations, it’s best first to understand your current status. Performing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis on your restaurant enables operators to understand their business better. This technique will help you to identify which areas to focus on when improving your restaurant operations. To begin with, write down what you and your team think are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Ask yourself important questions, such as:
What makes customers choose your restaurant over others?
What keeps customers coming back?
Is a complicated sales system slowing you down?
Is your best-selling dish unprofitable?
2. Standardisation of operational and training processes
Creating standardised processes for your restaurant operations not only increases efficiency but also makes delegation easier for your team. Take the time to write down the steps for key tasks, such as cleaning, food safety protocols, reservation management, and dining room service. Many operators post checklists throughout the restaurant so that the employees can adhere easily.
You can also create a restaurant employee handbook to train your staff and ensure consistency. The manual should include a list of key tasks critical to the success of your restaurant, as well as who is responsible for completing each shift. Manuals should be available and editable in digital format so that everyone has access to the most recent information. Be sure to solicit input from team members when you create employee handbooks and checklists, as they can help set realistic expectations about what is working and what is not.
3. Maintain profit and loss and monitor costs closely
As material and labour costs continue to rise throughout the restaurant industry, operators must find creative ways to maintain profitability. Real-time tracking of costs and revenues in the income statement (Profit & Loss) will help you assess the financial health of your restaurant and offer insights on how to improve your restaurant’s operations.
The P&L provides a line-by-line breakdown of where you made or spent your money. This report will help you answer questions like: Was there a specific period of time when you could have hired fewer people? Can you add a delivery service to increase profits? Can you focus on low-cost marketing channels? Through these efforts, can update your operations based on these insights.
4. Reduce food waste
Whether due to over-ordering, over-preparation, or portions that are too large, restaurant food often goes into landfills. Implementing initiatives to reduce food waste in your restaurant can help you save money and increase sustainability. Start by conducting a waste audit to get a clearer picture of which menu items and ingredients frequently go to the trash so you can rethink your inventory strategy. You can also create menu items that use excess ingredients and then launch limited-time offers to promote them. Minimizing food waste will not only help the environment, but you’ll also reduce costs and spend money more efficiently.
5. Set up efficient shipping operations
Creating processes for delivery operations increases efficiency in the kitchen and helps you generate more positive customer reviews. Get started by integrating third-party delivery services with your POS. When you use OrderPin POS, you can integrate your food delivery services platforms, such as foodpanda, GrabFood, and ShopeeFood with OrderPin POS. Thus, your kitchen can receive and fulfill orders smoothly and quickly. Creating clearly marked designated pick-up areas in your store also helps delivery drivers and pick-up customers know where to go right away.
Finally, set realistic preparation times for delivery orders. Online food delivery partners have the option to adjust order preparation time based on how busy your kitchen is. This will delay the pick-up time and notify the customer that delivery will be slower than expected.
6. Develop an effective communication strategy
There’s no point in spending time creating restaurant operational processes if your team doesn’t know about them! An effective restaurant communication strategy quickly informs and trains your staff about changes made to your menu, service, and operational protocols.
Develop a standard system to communicate new processes or changes. Take advantage of the restaurant’s internal communication methods and keep them going — whether it’s an all-staff email, a group text message, one-on-one meetings, or a bulletin board post.
Following these restaurant operational best practices will help you keep your team happy and differentiate your business from the competition. When you implement operational changes, be sure to gather feedback from staff and customers to understand whether your new process is working. Restaurant operations were not created to manage your customers and you must constantly adapt them to best serve your guests.