David B Townsend
10 Priorities in Restaurant Operations-an Evaluation
A few decades ago, at the beginning of my F&B consulting career, I developed a series of questionnaires, one for servers, and one for Owner/managers. The servers, potential hires or existing, were tested with 20 questions regarding basic food knowledge, i.e., what is a Beurre Blanc Sauce, what does saute mean? Are you familiar with a method for table service that doesn't' require you to ask each guest which dish goes where? It provided a starting point for setting a training outline, based on current levels of knowledge.
Likewise, the questionnaire for the owners asked them to prioritize ten areas of their operation to prioritize issues they felt were affecting their success or profitability.
Now, a couple of decades later the general concept of it stays relevant. Here is that list:
Rate 1- 10 from most important to least.
[ ] Guest relations- service, mailing lists, special events like theme dinners, or wine tastings.
[ ] Accounting Systems- A/P, A/R invoice tracking, and accurate tracking of profit.
[ ]Menu Costing/Planning/Presentation of the dish
[ ]Increasing Guest Check Average
[ ]Cash Flow: improve vendor credit, lower inventories, better purchasing practices.
[ ] More Productive Employees: lowering payroll, and turnover, Higher sales. fewer mistakes, etc.
[ ] Tracking Sales/Menu preferences: customer trends, server performance, best and worse menu items. item profitability vs. popularity of an item.
[ ] Cash Control: Registers, Server banking, missed drinks or self-made salads on checks (server accountability)
[ ] Employee Manual- procedures and policies
[ ] Inventory Systems: security of high-cost items, tracking breakage (liquor) lower inventory and discount purchasing.
Ask yourself "are these areas are of a concern?" Prioritize them from one to ten. It can be helpful and even reveal a hidden bias in your approach to potential issues. Of these ten areas, I can help with half of them through marketing and training: Guest Relations, Menu design & presentation, Increasing Check Averages, Employee Productivity, and finally the Employee Manual, in part, by creating procedures related to creating excellent guest service. For more information on any of these areas read articles from my Ambrosia-Blog.