8 Ways to Boost Operational Efficiency in Restaurants
Maintaining operational efficiency in restaurants entails managing several operations, such as employee, customer, inventory, and workflow control.
Restaurants have to juggle multiple simultaneous operations on any given day, from tracking sales to planning the logistics around vendor procurement. With traditional administration methods, this can become overwhelming.
However, with management software, restaurants can promote their operational efficiency to reduce expenses, enhance productivity, and expand the bottom line.
8 Tips to Boost Operational Efficiency
Managing restaurant operations can be challenging, as supervisors need to handle staff, financials, compliance issues, and daily procedures. However, businesses can streamline standard tasks by improving operational efficiency, making it easier to manage the restaurant.
Restaurants can improve their operational efficiency by-
1. Developing Relationships with Staff Members
Many restaurants find it difficult to acquire and retain skilled workers, as the average turnover rate for restaurant employees jumped to nearly 75% in 2018. Not only is this frustrating for restaurant owners, but it also wastes extensive time and money during the onboarding process.
While restaurants can't completely eliminate the risk of losing employees, owners can reduce turnover by developing healthy relationships with their workers. By providing incentives and flexible schedules, workers feel more valued and less expendable. Businesses can also hold routine employee performance meetings to reward top performers with bonuses or raises.
2. Improving Security
Restaurants need to protect themselves against both external and internal theft. Employee theft can occur through stealing cash, inventory, and even equipment, such as computers. This can not only significantly impact profits, but the restaurant's reputation and customers' perception as well.
Therefore, owners must prioritize security by implementing safety measures, such as surveillance cameras, employee tracking, and motion detectors. These methods alert supervisors when people enter the building, and when employees complete transactions or handle inventory.
Cameras enable security to supervise activities in real-time, as well as refer to the footage when something goes missing to determine which employee or customer was responsible.
3. Creating an Employee Training Manual
Unfortunately, some restaurants do not document employee training, making it difficult to keep the onboarding process consistent. Without a training manual, supervisors may forget procedures and teach poor techniques.
By creating an employee training manual, workers can reference standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure tasks are completed correctly. This can help to minimize discrepancies, inefficiencies, mistakes, and confusion. Relying on a manual also ensures training is consistent, boosting service standards and promoting quality.
4. Minimizing Food Waste
Food waste is a significant drain on a restaurant's profitability and inventory management. Overstocked raw materials can expire, forcing businesses to throw away invested capital. By actively reducing food waste, establishments can save $7 in operating expenses for every $1 they invest in reduction efforts.
Restaurants can practice stock rotation and different ordering strategies to minimize spoilage and food waste. By monitoring the demand for different dishes throughout the year, establishments can optimize stock levels to fulfill orders with minimal leftovers.
Management can also use a food cost calculator to determine how much each dish costs. This enables restaurants to minimize food waste and boost profit margins through proper inventory control.
5. Adhering to Health and Safety Regulations
Restaurants must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws, as well as food safety regulations to protect the health of employees and customers.
Prioritizing sanitation and compliance earns restaurants high health ratings, satisfaction rates, and positive reviews. This makes customers feel comfortable eating at a restaurant, knowing that their health is not at risk.
A significant element of food safety is checking meal temperatures to ensure that ingredients are fully cooked, eliminating the risk of foodborne illnesses. Restaurants are also responsible for maintaining their equipment and storing foods in appropriate containers.
6. Leveraging Software and Tools
One of the main goals that restaurants have is enhancing the customer experience to boost satisfaction and sales. With management software, such as a point-of-sale (POS) system, businesses can streamline standard operations to limit customer wait times.
For example, with POS software, restaurants can simultaneously manage their inventory, complete transactions, and monitor employee activities. This eliminates the need for manual calculations, which can result in elongated check out times, human errors, and frustrated customers.
POS solutions also handle reservations, loyalty programs, and table orders, enabling employees to quickly seat, serve, and checkout guests.
7. Maintaining Financial Statements
Restaurants need advanced bookkeeping tools to manage their sales, inventory, payments, and payroll for financial statements. Modern POS systems integrate with existing management software to generate an overview of the restaurant's performance.
With a POS system, restaurants can view real-time and historical-
- Sales Trends
- Stock Levels
- Employee Schedules
By implementing POS software, restaurants no longer have to rely on traditional recordkeeping methods to report, analyze, and audit data. These solutions can generate detailed analyses of sales patterns, financial health, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
8. Improving Vendor Management
Typically, restaurants source their ingredients from several vendors to get the best rates for different materials. While this leverage helps during negotiation, it can make vendor management challenging.
By integrating the POS software with an ordering solution, restaurants can monitor stock prices, invoices, and contract terms for each supplier. This makes it easy to determine which vendors to phase out and which to build long-term partnerships with.
Establishing a business relationship with vendors often provides benefits, such as shorter lead times, wholesale pricing, and exclusive deals.
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