Management strategies forimproving a restaurantProvided by High speed trainingPoor efficiencyPoor efficiency in a restaurant could be caused by:•Poor stock management and rotation.•Staff missing items off orders and bills.•Poorly managed rotas, especially for peak times.•Lack of table management.These inefficiencies can result in wasted money and stock, poor customer satisfaction, lost sales, and lowstaff performance. They can even cause stress and health and safety risks due to people being overworked orapathetic, which further damages restaurant efficiency.So, it’s good business sense to implement changes that make your establishment more efficient. You shouldensure all staff – from head chefs to front of house staff – receive clear instructions and training to facilitatesmooth operations across every team.You’ll see your sales rise, more return customers, and, ultimately, greater business success.Advertising• Boost your advertising• There’s always room to refine your marketing, both online and offline.Often, all it takes to attract more diners is letting them know you exist andwhy you’re great.• Build up a social media presence with personality.• Social media is vital for advertising. As a restaurant, Instagram is the bestplatform, but it’s good to have a Facebook and Twitter too. Always consideryour target audience, as it defines the tone and format you should use foryour posts.• Keep people in the know about upcoming deals, lunch offers, holidaymenus, etc. to encourage new people to try you out and previous guests tocome back for seconds. Avoid posting too frequently though; it looks likespam.Social media• Share attractive photos of dishes, drinks, and the restaurant interior –especially during holidays. It gives potential customers a taste of theatmosphere and menu, which makes them more likely to come anddine. Lastly, try seasoning your social media feed with casual poststhat interact with your audience, like asking your followers whatthey’re cooking tonight.•Spread a word• Being social is particularly important if your restaurant is in a citycentre or tourist hotspot – you’re competing against numerous otherplaces, often for the attention of first-time diners.• Post flyers in busy locations like hotel lobbies, tourist informationcentres, university campuses, and even train and bus stations if youcan.• Use geotagging on social media so people can see what’s near themand where you’re based. It’s a good way to lead potential customersdirectly to your door.Up sale• Promote food and drinks with the highest gross profit. That’s not to say yourmenu should only consist of the most profitable products; customers should havea selection to choose from. You should just make sure that everyone knows whichproducts gain the biggest profit margins – the most expensive dishes and drinksdon’t always gain the highest profit.• Identify which side orders go well with dishes. For example, garlic bread withsalads, onion rings with steaks or burgers, and extra fries with almost anything.When staff take a main order, make sure they ask guests if they’d like a side to gowith it, and provide recommendations.• Staff should offer more drinks when guests are almost at the bottom of theirglasses. Also, make sure waiters know what products you stock, in case customersask for ale or wine recommendations.• Ensure staff always offer dessert and coffees at the end of a meal. Guests mightnot know you have desserts unless there’s a menu on the table or you tell themdirectly, and some diners may not go out of their way to ask.Incentives• Incentives and discounts encourage both newcomers and regulars todine at your establishment. They can also benefit advertising: peoplelike to tell their friends and family about a great deal or menu theytried recently.• You should also incentivise staff. Doing so motivates them to upsellproducts and increase sales. Set a goal for staff to sell x number ofdrinks or side dishes over x shifts, and reward whoever does withcash, a complimentary meal, or gift card.Table Management• Identify how many tables you have and how many they can comfortably fit. Beaware of the number of occupied tables at all times and record the arrival timesof diners, so you can give walk-in guests an estimate of how long they have towait. Be aware of the average time it takes certain parties to dine.• Experiment with table arrangements to maximise the amount of people you canaccommodate, especially large parties. Identify suitable areas in the dining roomfor bigger parties so you can efficiently allocate the rest to other guests.• Shift tables accordingly to improve your use of space when you have a lot ofreservations lined up.• Calculate the average amount of tables that get booked. Averages give you anawareness of when tables might be going spare or are likely to get fully bookedup.• Utilise an EPOS system and table management software. At a glance, staffshould have a clear idea of how the dining room seating is booked for the day.Promote Sunday lunch• Be generous with gravy boats, vegetables and potatoes, and Yorkshirepuddings – these cost very little for the business and promote a greatfamily vibe of sharing dishes and passing bowls around the table. Themost expensive component of a Sunday lunch is usually the meat, sobe generous but not careless.• Always give family tables plenty of time; you might find more dessertsand coffees being ordered too.Cost reduction• Ensure staff members update tabs. Staff should enter products as they areordered and should double-check everything is accounted for.• Use proper food safety systems (like HACCP). Follow guidelines on labelling,preparing, and covering food in the fridge.• Keep up-to-date inventories so you are never carrying too few or too manyproducts.• Ensure staff follow a FIFO food storage strategy so customers are always servedthe best quality stuff and nothing goes to waste.• Use an EPOS system to forecast stock levels and prepare for sales spikes, forexample around Christmas, New Years, Mothers’ Day, Valentines, etc. Avoid thepitfall of blind ordering and always check the cellar or stock-cupboards. Whenessential stock runs out unexpectedly and you have another site nearby, it mightbe worth checking if they have a surplus that they can transfer to you.Rotas• Make sure rotas correspond with bookings, i.e. you should have theright number of staff working for the nature of the shift.• Monitor rotas and calculate staff hours needed for certainshifts. Quieter shifts like afternoons are a good time to get jobs done,but they can also make it easy for slacking off. Therefore, make suredowntime is utilised effectively, e.g. for cleaning and odd jobs.Maintenance• Ensure staff carry out regular routine maintenance on fridges, ovens,hobs, and cellar equipment to keep running costs down. Don’t forgetto check fridge door seals and to clean their fans and grilles. Turnburners and ovens. off after use to save gas and electric costs.Gross profit margins• Set gross profit targets and monitor the GP you bring incarefully. Doing so is vital to ensuring the business makes money. Beaware that products and costs vary between suppliers and this canaffect your GP, so do your homework and focus on purchasingproducts that help you gain a profit.• Ensure that the costs of menu items maximise GP. Be aware of whichfoods are distributed into a dish and which are used fully, and keep inmind that you want your menu to be affordable. Look to achieve ahigher GP on lower cost dishes, e.g. lasagne and steak pies, instead ofon high cost dishes, e.g. sirloin steaks, so the high cost meals remainaffordable.Suppliers• Use approved, reputable suppliers to ensure you get what you payfor.• Keep up to date with your suppliers about prices. Suppliers’ pricescan often creep up, and there may be a cheaper alternative or offergoing elsewhere. Check monthly and quarterly to help keep costsdown and maintain profit margins, and don’t be afraid to try a newsupplier if you find a better deal.• Improved restaurant efficiency and costs will bring more customers tofill the dining room night after night and ensure the business reachesits full potential.
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