The US is home to some of the most popular chain restaurant business like The Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc. What makes them desired is their will to deliver consistency to their patrons, but how do they do that?
It can be a little tricky to maintain consistency across all your outlets, especially if you run several establishments or have franchises.
The taste of the food and the ambiance is what keeps the customers coming back to your restaurant business. They identify your brand with the taste and the hospitality, not being able to maintain that could make your customers irate.
We have prepared a list of things you should be practicing in order to maintain consistency across all your outlets.
How To Ensure Consistency In Your Restaurant Business
Chain outlets in the USA are preferred more than independent restaurants, in fact, they receive 1.2 billion visits every year!
Customers value the uniform experience that chains offer. Therefore, they do not hesitate in eating at chain restaurants, wherever they might be located. This is because consumers know that they will be able to choose from the same menu and will receive the same quality.
Here is how you can maintain consistency in your restaurant business even if you have multiple outlets.
1. Have A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Having a standard operating procedure will help you streamline the entire restaurant process across all your outlets. These are the written practices and procedures that help you maintain consistency across different restaurant location.
Having an SOP plan is highly recommended for restaurant businesses with multiple outlets.
- It helps you in maintaining consistency in vendors and ingredients. If you have your vendors and ingredients listed down, restaurant managers across other outlets can use it for reference.
- SOP also includes the recipes and the proportion size which ensures the food tastes the same throughout.
- It also includes cooking and workflow instructions.
This step-by-step guide is great for maintaining consistency across the different outlets. Create an SOP that will best suit your restaurant’s operating style and ensure it is followed in every outlet of yours.
2. Install A Central Management System
Installing a central management system will ensure you have standard operations across all the outlets. A central management system is an excellent investment for large chain restaurants. It will make it easier for you to manage the operations across all your outlets from one location.
Perks of installing a central management system are:
- Central Kitchen Management: This feature is handy for restaurant owners who have a central base kitchen. It will help you manage the overall circulation of food from the base kitchen to various outlets.
- Central Recipe Management: You can use this feature to create a main recipe which the chefs of other outlets can follow. You can easily change the recipe at the main level and it would automatically reflect at other outlets.
- Central Menu Management: It allows you to manage your menu across all outlets. If you add or remove any menu item at the central level it will automatically reflect across all the other restaurants. This would ensure you have the same menu across all the outlets.
- Vendor Management: Your vendor plays an integral role in helping you maintain consistency. You can keep track of the vendors for each outlet by creating a separate profile for each vendor. It will let you track the orders placed by each outlet.
3. Having A Central Kitchen Model
Having a central base kitchen for all your outlets within the same city is a smart move. This will ensure the food is consistent as it is being prepared under one roof.
A central base kitchen would make it easier for you to keep a check on the quality of the food before you send it out to other outlets.
You can install a central kitchen management system as it will help in making the management process even more simpler.
You can calculate the actual stock needed for consumption for all your outlets’, order stock items on the basis of the yield of each item. It will also let you view the Food Costs incurred by each outlet and compare it with multiple outlets to analyze the performance of each restaurant.
That is not all! You can even forecast the sales at each outlet based on past data and reports.
Having a central kitchen is a great way of ensuring consistency across all your outlets.
4. Having Alike Interiors
Your food isn’t the only thing people associate your brand with, the interiors also play a vital role. It is important to have a consistent theme and to maintain that across all your outlets.
For example, we are used to seeing yellow and red colors being used extensively at McDonald’s. Imagine walking into a McDonald’s outlet and seeing green interiors! That does not sound right, does it?
Every brand has an interior design customer are familiar with. Not being able to deliver that familiarity might cause a disturbance to the consistency; therefore ensure you have the same interiors if not possible the same color theme in all your outlets.
5. Having Similar Equipment
Having the same equipment supports consistency! It is important that you have similar equipment at all your outlets. This will ensure you are producing the same product. This also helps in maintaining the identical cooking procedure across all your outlets.
If the types of equipment are similar, you can have common cooking instructions distributed throughout.
6. Focus On Training
Even if you hire the best staff for your outlets it is essential to train them. This will ensure great customer service and will make your staff familiar with your goals and objectives.
You can provide the staff with a training handbook; this would be highly resourceful for the employees and something they can go back to for reference if and when required. This training handbook will also help in maintaining consistency across all your outlets.
You can also give basic knowledge about various departments to your staff, this will make them more efficient and flexible enough to fill in a person’s position if he/she is unavailable.
Training them once is not enough, the training should never stop. Hold refresher meetings regularly and help the employees recall the training they were given. Continuously supervise the staff and ensure that they are practicing what has been taught to them.
If your restaurant business is known for good food and great hospitality make sure you live up to that reputation. Not being able to deliver the same experience across all your outlets can deplete a customer’s perception of your brand.
The information included in this article will help you maintain consistency in your restaurant business across outlets and help maintain your restaurant business’s reputation throughout.