Your Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Operations Management

December 30, 2022
One2 Guide

Restaurant operations management refers to how restaurant owners supervise the day-to-day tasks needed to keep their entire business in operation. This involves everything from inventory management to staff management, financial health maintenance, and everything in between. Get these right, and you should boost operational efficiency and customer satisfaction and increase restaurant business sales. Here, we offer a complete guide to operations management to help you with these growth opportunities.

How to maximize your restaurant operations management 

1. Make a clear operations plan

Should any operational areas be uncovered, it could lead to stress and inefficiency in the middle of a busy day. That is why start by outlining all the aspects of your day-to-day restaurant operations. Then, build a standardized procedure for your staff members to execute each task smoothly. Before starting their shift, your employees should know exactly what they need to do and how to do it. 

2. Have an efficient kitchen layout

Your ideal kitchen layout means enough safe and clean storage. It also includes working areas that can support the prep process of lots of orders simultaneously, thus maximizing your business sales.

You may consider integrating the kitchen and sitting areas. This helps attract more customers since they get to see chefs cooking in a clean environment. Besides, a well-maintained kitchen outfitted with emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers keeps accidents at bay and boosts customer confidence.

3. Offer a QR (quick response) code menu to improve efficiency

One2's QR code menu

One2’s contactless QR code-generated menu enables your guests to order the food items they want quickly. As their orders will get automatically transmitted to the kitchen, your restaurant staff can make immediate food preparation. No waiting times, no errors, just positive dining experiences!

4. Reduce the labor costs in your restaurant business

The food cost aside, the labor budget is another main operating expense of any business in the restaurant industry. It is hard to optimize labor since you need to consider operational issues, human resource demands, customer service standards, and labor laws. 

That said, restaurant owners can capitalize on sales forecasting to reduce labor costs. This enables the ability to examine these expenses up close. Ultimately, you can make more informed decisions about the best way of allocating your staff members.

It is important to mention that sales forecasting depends on general economic trends and historical sales data from comparable periods to detect sales trends. Should your point of sale (POS), accounting system, and scheduling software be integrated, sales forecasting can be an automated process backed by data.

5. Focus on hiring and training

Your employees present your eatery, so hiring ones with the right hard and soft skills is the key. Some traits your front-of-house staff should possess to maintain relationships with diners include humbleness, positivity, and loyalty. 

Speaking of the kitchen staff, find cooks who know their stuff. A chef that spills food inventory will incur extra inventory costs. 

Regarding your restaurant manager, ensure they are good at managing all restaurant operations and building rapport with both front-of-house and back-of-house employees. 

Aside from finding the best fit, properly onboarding new employees and giving ongoing training can help keep your restaurant running smoothly. This makes for better inventory usage, meal serving, and food safety procedure maintenance.

6. Schedule your staff according to occupancy

To boost the speed of service and improve restaurant operations management, you need to schedule your staff according to occupancy. It can be more challenging if you just started a restaurant and did not get to monitor the flux of customers. Here are some pointers:

- Unless you are a dedicated breakfast eatery, you will highly likely be busy at lunch and in the evening. So, have more staff working in the 2nd part of the day.

- Weekends are another busier time. 

- Holidays tend to be slow days.

- Get a designated team member to welcome and seat guests. Should diners sit themselves, there may be a big waiting time because servers will fail to notice them or be unavailable to help them.

7. Folster value-driven relationships with your restaurant employees

High turnover is closely related to your business cash flow. Based on the role you are filling, it can cost about 16% to more than 200% of an employee's annual pay to replace a worker in your eatery.

Making your staff feel valued is a great way to prevent staff turnover. More specifically:

- Let them know that they are a key part of your business. 

- Allow them to take their shift preferences.

- Be flexible with their shift time.

- Communicate transparently about what you can and cannot offer. 

8. Carefully manage inventory to minimize food waste

Good restaurant inventory management helps ensure the freshness of raw materials and reduces food waste. In this way, you can always have ample necessary stock to maximize sales. Especially, keeping food inventory in your restaurants in check is critical in an uncertain economy.

To control your stock better, start with the POS system from One2. As an all-in-one solution, One2 enables tracking your inventory in real-time and learning about its numbers. By doing so, you can make informed decisions about the state of your restaurant operations. Plus, the One2 POS platform is intuitive, requiring little to no training for your staff to understand how to use it for their duties.

9. Reduce food cost

Another main way to improve restaurant operations management is by optimizing the food cost. To do this, we suggest: 

- Reduce food waste. According to Champions 12.3, restaurants saved $7 in the costs of doing business for every $1 invested in decreasing food waste.

- Use the right suppliers. 

- Plan your menu items strategically to eliminate any unnecessary ingredients that fail to have a high demand.

- Have recipe costing cards for menu items to define whether there is a big difference between what food costs actually are and what they should be. Then, decide on areas for improvement. 

10. Monitor and forecast your orders

Monitoring the key restaurant statistics like the number of guests per day and the food item ordered often helps the restaurant owner or manager be better prepared with inventory and staffing. For instance, should you know your bestseller is fried chicken, ensure the required ingredients are not out of stock. 

Besides, you can discover where your service speed must be increased by reading your online reviews, getting servers to ask diners for their opinion, and talking to your staff:

Above all, One2’s online ordering system (also known as powerful restaurant management software) features real-time reports. These enable you to collect customer data, monitor pertinent restaurant statistics like the number of orders, and use them to generate actionable insights. With this capability, you can create a proper restaurant operations management strategy with more ease.

Checkout experience on One2

11. Manage customers well

Should diners be happy with your restaurant service, promoting your brand does not need a billboard - your guests will do the job. To this end, restaurant managers should ensure that their patrons have a comfortable and memorable experience from when they enter your eatery to the time they leave. For example, keep a good standard of food quality and accept payments online. Also, consider loyalty marketing to connect with new customers and develop long-lasting relationships.

12. Strengthen your restaurant’s security

The profitability of your food establishment may suffer from the theft of valuable items. For instance, a kitchen staff decides to steal pricey inventory like wine. The most practical prevention is installing security systems such as wireless cameras.

13. Follow health and safety standards

For successful operations and increased customer satisfaction, you need to comply with safety and health standards. More specifically:

- Adhering to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements

- Storing and serving meals at safe temperatures

- Doing regular temperature checks.

- Ensuring error-free logging.

- Ensuring decent airflow around stored food supplies.

14. Manage your vendors well

Necessarily, you manage the vendors’ information and contact data like Identity Proof. Also, regularly measure their quality of service, product quality, and contract compliance. Focus on the accuracy of invoicing and ordering as well. Doing so should aid in your operational management efforts.

Related questions

1. What are the latest trends in restaurant operations?

Labor shortages, contactless and mobile payments, and online ordering

2. Which components are involved in the daily operations of restaurants?

Purchasing items for inventory, menu pricing, food preparation, service, and keeping the restaurant clean

3. How can restaurant owners make a checklist for their restaurants?

You can make a restaurant operations checklist by documenting categories that a restaurant task might fall into (staffing, finances, and customer service). From there, list out individual jobs under these categories. 

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