Running a restaurant business is a very challenging task, and it may be daunting for many budding restaurateurs. Many restaurants shut down every year primarily due to floppy management and lack of standardized processes. A well-drafted restaurant operations manual may come in handy in such situations. It can help you establish a more systematic approach to the activities carried out in your restaurant daily.
What is a Restaurant Operations Manual?
A restaurant operations manual covers all the processes in every single department of your restaurant and tells you precisely what has to be done in every possible scenario. It may not be the most exciting piece of work you will ever create, but it is a critical resource if you intend to provide consistently high-quality service over time. And it becomes even more crucial when you operate multiple units across geographies.
A restaurant operations manual consists of a list of guidelines, checklists, and instructions to be performed, along with the name of the employees responsible for it. Some of the critical activities it must cover include reservation handling, dining room processes, cleaning instructions, and kitchen procedures. Creating the manual in a lucid and easy-to-understand language is essential for better results.
What are the benefits of a restaurant operations manual?
A restaurant operations manual is the go-to book for every problem that allows the employees to function seamlessly, even without an expert. Essentially, it reduces the chances of error and improves employee productivity in the long run. Here is a list of the benefits of having a manual:
- The new staff member can learn much faster from a ready manual with all instructions and guidelines, saving a lot of time.
- A manual helps maintain a consistent standard of operation over time and across locations.
- Delegation of work becomes simple as a manual contains details of the job instructions and the name of the staff responsible for it.
- Improved staff performance coupled with a consistent standard of operation leads to a delightful customer experience.
Now that you know the benefits of a restaurant operations manual, it is time to know how to create a comprehensive manual. You need not worry; this article will tell you everything you need to know to create a well-drafted restaurant operations manual.
How To Create A Comprehensive Restaurant Operations Manual
The best time to write a restaurant operations manual is after you have decided on the concept or at least before your restaurant’s opening. Although there is no standard format for it, you should try to cover all the essential aspects of your restaurant business. So, here is a list of things to be included in a standard restaurant operation manual.
This section should include a brief introduction to the restaurant and its day-to-day operations. It should also have the purpose of the manual and the brand character you intend to build. In other words, you should address your restaurant’s objectives and long-term goals, along with opening and closing schedules. It is crucial to have an introduction page as it helps your staff understand the working of your restaurant in a better way.
This section acts as the guide for the different departments of your restaurant. It tells how the staff needs to carry out all the operations. It contains various department-wise instructions, such as opening and closing procedures, necessary tasks for each shift, standard uniform and equipment for each shift, order of service, etc. In short, the staff gets a brief overview of the daily operations and how they are supposed to carry out all of them smoothly.
This section should describe how food is prepared and served in your restaurant. The detailed step-by-step instructions ensure that your menu items always have the same taste no matter who cooks them. It also helps you keep the food costs under control. Although the kitchen staff mainly uses it, it may also be a valuable reference for the front of house staff as they too should be able to answer customer queries about food preparation.
Opening and Closing Procedures
In this section, you need to capture all the information about the standard procedures to be followed while opening and closing the restaurant. This opening/closing checklist will make the work easier for you and your staff. However, this checklist is primarily intended for the new recruits of your restaurant as they can refer to the manual for guidance in case of any confusion.
Every restaurant follows its unique service standards, so it is necessary that you also clearly mention them in your restaurant operations manual. It is essential for both the newly hired staff members, even for the highly experienced ones to follow it.
You should specify the way you intend to serve your restaurant guests. For instance, you may want your staff members to greet the guests in a certain manner as soon as they enter your restaurant. Communicating such finer details to your staff helps you run the restaurant operations seamlessly.
Technology is already making its way into the restaurant industry, so it is crucial to make your staff aware of the ones used at your restaurant. Although you can arrange a few training sessions, it is a better option to have all the information stated in a manual for future reference. It should be mentioned how they are expected to handle the technology and how it makes the day-to-day operations faster.
Following these steps, you can create a comprehensive restaurant operation manual to ensure your restaurant delivers a high standard of service for the years to come. It’s true that creating a manual is a time-consuming exercise, but it is well worth the investment.