Why You Need A Restaurant Operation Manual In 2024

Restaurant operation manual

According to a report by Barclays, UK restaurants witnessed a spending decline of 10.3% by Brits in 2023 (October) despite an 5.6% growth in takeaways and fast food. Nearly 56% of customers decided to cut back on eating out in restaurants to afford their energy bills throughout the autumn and winter. This is one of the many reasons that indicate now is the time for the industry players to come up with a plan to settle down the disorderliness triggered by the pandemic, which is where the restaurant operation manual comes in. 

Though restaurants have recovered from the pandemic wave, they are facing challenges in terms of staffing. Nearly 67% of restaurants lack non-head chefs, and 36% are in need of kitchen reporters. Needless to say, 64% of food service industry staff want to quit their job for better opportunities.  

That said, to set up a thriving restaurant business, you need to streamline your day-to-day activities, and one of the most effective ways to do it is by creating a comprehensive operation manual. A manual may not be the most exciting piece you will ever write, but it is essential if you intend to offer consistent quality and customer delight over time. This article will discuss in detail the importance of an operation manual for a successful restaurant business in the UK.

What Is A Restaurant Operation Manual?

A restaurant operation manual is a handbook that provides guidance on various activities that are integral parts of a smoothly running restaurant business, from purchasing raw material to food preparation to customer service. In other words, a restaurant operation manual provides a complete list of instructions along with a checklist and the name of the personnel responsible for the tasks. While preparing the operation manual, please ensure it is written in a lucid and easy-to-understand language.

Parts Of A Restaurant Operation Manual

The most effective way to set up systems in stone and communicate them to newly appointed staff members is by recording the work systems in an operation manual. There are many other benefits of an operation manual (which will be discussed in the next section), but it can only be realized if you include at least the following components in an operation manual :

  • Floor operations procedure (includes opening & closing procedure, cleaning task, customer service)
  • Procedure for staff recruitment
  • Process for staff training
  • Method for performing miscellaneous tasks
  • Emergency contact details (telephone numbers & email addresses)
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Importance Of Restaurant Operation Manual In 2024

A restaurant operation manual covers almost every aspect of a restaurant and hence is the guidebook for any problem that you may face while running a restaurant. A well-written manual reduces the possibility of mistakes and eventually improves productivity in the long run. Now, it’s time for us to look at some of the significant benefits of having an operational manual:

1. Reduces Time Required To Train Staff

It usually takes quite some time to teach the new staff members the operating style of a restaurant, which now includes the norms to be followed post-COVID-19. However, the training process can become much easier if you provide them with a manual-equipped with all the instructions to be followed while performing any tasks. It serves as the ready reference and saves a lot of training time as the staff themselves learn many things by simply reading the manual. A good restaurant analytics software can help identify the training needs that you should capture in an operational manual.

2. Improves Employee Management

The instructions provided in a restaurant operation manual ensure that all the employees can cover up for any staff on leave and customer service doesn’t get impacted. The instructions and checklist help the employees perform any task efficiently, making them all-rounders. However, to ensure that everybody can accomplish anything with the highest level of efficiency, it is important that the manual is updated regularly and the instructions are defined clearly.

3. Maintains Quality Of Operation

The operational standards improve significantly once the restaurant manual is in place. The reason is that everybody follows a given set of guidelines, which eventually results in a consistent standard of operations over a period of time. You can assess the consistency of service quality based on the feedback received from the diners. A suitable restaurant feedback app can help keep track of customer feedback and determine whether or not the service quality is at the desired level. Maintaining the prescribed service quality in a recovering market like now can lead to a delightful customer experience resulting in market share gain.

4. Simplifies The Task Of Delegation

A restaurant operation manual provides clear instructions or guidelines for any task and mentions the name of the staff member responsible for it, which means everyone knows which job is to be performed by whom. So you don’t need to delegate work. Such inherent delegation of tasks leads to ownership and makes it easier to track progress. The resultant ownership reduces micromanagement without negatively impacting the overall process.

Some of the major benefits of having a restaurant operational manual include enhanced employee productivity, minimized mistakes, and improved quality of service. As mentioned above, Posist can be a helpful resource in creating a restaurant operational manual through some of its handy and beneficial tools. Develop a restaurant manual today for a successful restaurant business.

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Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


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