All jobs in the service and hospitality industry are difficult, but working as a restaurant manager has to be one of the hardest. As the old saying goes, time is money, and for no one is that more true than for restaurant managers.
If the chefs get their timing wrong then the food will be ruined and produce will be wasted, while if the service is too slow, customers will never come back. Every manager needs to have his eye on every aspect of time and money and use them wisely and effectively.
To help you ensure the future success of your restaurant here is how to approach your management to save money and time.
1. Learn to Delegate Responsibilities
Even small restaurants will have many staff members and one of the best ways to save yourself time is to learn how to delegate responsibilities to capable employees. This could mean that you trust someone to open up in the morning or check deliveries, or that they can organize a big table without your help. Not only will the extra responsibilities show your faith in your staff, but it will also give you more opportunity to focus on other areas of the business which may need addressing.
2. Improve the Ordering Process
There is nothing more frustrating for a chef than a badly written ticket and it can throw a whole service completely off course. To improve the ordering process and make it as fast and error-free as possible, every restaurant should be using up-to-date POS software.
The folks at Point of Sale USA explain that this will enable servers to transmit orders directly to the kitchen with no handwritten tickets or delay. This ensures that the kitchen can get straight on with cooking the food and also means that servers spend more time in the dining room looking after the customers.
3. Automate Processes
Most restaurants will have staff on different contracts and with different working hours. This can make payroll very difficult as you will have to cross-reference work timetables with sign-in sheets and sick day forms. The easiest thing to do is to automate the whole payroll system so that you don’t need to check anything.
When an employee arrives at work, they can sign in digitally which will then be recorded on the payroll software. After they sign out later, the software can calculate the exact money they are owed, including any overtime. This can then be paid automatically into their bank at the end of the month with a payslip generated digitally and sent to their email.
4. Recognise and Promote Talent
Starting at the bottom of the ladder in the restaurant industry is about as tough a job as you can get. Long hours, low hourly pay, and unsociable shift patterns mean that many employees do not last long in the industry. One way to keep hold of your best employees is to recognize talent and help it to flourish.
If you have a junior chef or server who clearly has talent, make sure that you offer them the training to help them move up in the industry. By giving them your support and backing, not only will they become even better at their job, you may be able to promote them later. This will give you employees in senior positions who are loyal to you and the restaurant and will also save you time and money hiring externally.
5. Build Good Relationships with Suppliers
Suppliers are enormously important to restaurants as they ensure that the chefs, and ultimately the customers, receive the highest standards of food. You must build good relationships with local suppliers because they will be more likely to let you know first about any special offers and to be a little flexible if you have had a difficult period and money is tight. It is always crucial to use local suppliers rather than corporate ones because the quality of the product will be better and customers always prefer to support local businesses.
6. Always ask Your Customers for Feedback
It is easy to waste a lot of money on menu concepts, market research, and other fancy ideas, but often the simplest way to find out what the customers think about your food is to ask them. Leave anonymous comment cards on the tables now and again so that any guests who have something to say about the food, service, or any other aspect of your restaurant will have a way to do so.
Successful restaurant management is an art form and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Part of running a profitable restaurant is ensuring that money and time are spent wisely but this is often easier said than done. Follow the six tips explained in this guide and your restaurant will be well-positioned for a successful future.