Have you started a restaurant of your own, but managing your staff is becoming a difficult task? Are they while working on the floor face stressful situations, which they do not know how to solve? One thing that can help you deal with all these unwanted situations is a restaurant operations manual. Two things need absolute clarity before you go on to understand why a restaurant operations manual is essential for your restaurant. These are:-
- What are restaurant operations
- What is a restaurant operations manual
What Are Restaurant Operations
Restaurant operations, in the simplest terms, are various activities that are carried out in a restaurant to run the business. These include all activities involved in the preparation of food, customer service, cleaning, purchasing raw materials, accounting, reporting, etc. All these front of the house and back of the house activities together form restaurant operations.
What Is A Restaurant Operations Manual
A restaurant operations manual is a list of tasks that are essential to your business success, how to do these tasks, and who is responsible for the functions listed. It will be a comprehensive collection of guidelines, checklist and duties, and such other information that every employee needs to know. It will act as a reference guide so employees can quickly check this document if they need to know something.
Things to Remember While Creating a Restaurant Operations Manual
While a restaurant operations manual will help you to run your business seamlessly, preparing it right might take a toll on you. The main things that you must keep in mind while making your restaurant operations manual are:
- Use Checklists: They are a beneficial tool when having to complete tasks in a particular order. It is always a good idea once an employee has gone through the checklist to have them sign in. This brings a sense of ownership and accountability to what they have completed.
- Write and Explain the Processes: Written procedures will also help keep good quality employees.
Some processes that restaurants must include are:
- Kitchen procedures (including food safety)
- Dining room procedures
- Reservation handling
- Cleaning guidelines
- Create Easy-To-Read, How-To Guides: The processes must be easy to decipher so that the employees can understand and implement it efficiently.
- Renew the Manual: A restaurant operating manual is a living document, which is subject to change. Generally, you must review it every quarter. The best way is to have it in electronic format on a web-based system so that all employees have access to the latest version.
Importance Of A Restaurant Operations Manual
Once you create your restaurant operations manual, you will realize that your employees have a solution book for all the problems which they might face in a restaurant. The main things that increase the importance of having a restaurant operating manual are:
1. Reduces The Learning Time Of The Employees
Mostly, the new employees on board take a long time to get accustomed to the operations of your restaurant. No matter how experienced your new staff is, since every restaurant has its way to go about with its operations, the new team might take time to get in tune with it.
Now, imagine, if you have a comprehensive and well-written and a well-researched restaurant operations manual, you can easily hand them over to the new employees on board. They can then easily read them and understand what is expected of them and how they should go about with their work. For example, once you have assigned your new employees their job responsibilities, it should not surprise you if they happen to forget their duties. Here comes the importance of a restaurant operations manual.
You can ask these employees to read the manual every day and tick the tasks they have done. This will help them to self-train themselves and will help you to save a lot of your time and energy. It acts as a ready reckoner for daily tasks.
2. Makes Your Employees All-Rounders
There can be various reasons for which a key staff member might be unavailable to come to work. Does this mean that the restaurant operations would come to a standstill? Such a situation has the potential to hamper the activities of your restaurant for the day, which will have negative consequences on the restaurant’s sales.
In such a time of crisis, by referring to the restaurant operating manual, one can fill in the place and carry on with the restaurant operations on an immediate basis. This will ensure that all your employees are trained in all sections of your restaurant operations.
3. Helps In Maintaining The Standard and Consistency Of The Operations
You can have a detailed guideline on how you should go about with the operations of the restaurant, which every employee must adhere to. Once you have this restaurant operations manual in place, then you can very easily maintain the standard and consistency of your restaurant operations. Consistency will be maintained while preparing a dish while serving the guests and cleaning the kitchen and the tables. Once you have consistency in food and customer service, it will help you to attract and retain customers more efficiently.
4. Delegating Tasks Become Easy
A well-written restaurant operations manual will include an organogram of the business, as well as have a short job description and contact details for each staff member on board. Hence, if you need to delegate a specific task, you can see at a glance who will be able to help you or advise you. This will help you to stop micromanaging, as it will be clear who is responsible for what.
5. Helps In Increasing Customer Delight Through Consistent Service
Your restaurant operations manual will clearly define and set a standard way of dealing with the customers, with their queries, refunds, promotions, follow-up, and more. This will ensure that all your clients are treated fairly and equally, enhancing their interactions with you. Once you deliver consistent customer service, you will be able to create a band of happy and loyal customers; it will automatically help you to keep your cash registers overflowing.
Consistency and efficiency are the two most important factors for a successful restaurant. By providing a comprehensive restaurant operations manual to your staff, your staff will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and it will help minimize the chances of mistakes or inconsistencies that tend to happen when written documentation is not provided.