If you’re in the restaurant business, then you know how crucial running an efficient restaurant is. Not only does it mean good customer service and happy customers, it also means that time, resources and money aren’t being wasted, resulting in a higher bottom line.
But you can’t improve your restaurant’s efficiency if you don’t know where to look to improve efficiency, and that’s where this article comes in. Here are our ten key areas to consider to improve your restaurant’s efficiency.
Reinforce Staff Roles
When staff members know their role, and know precisely what they need to do, they will have fewer things to focus on and perform better. Tasks can also then be performed without employees stepping on each other’s toes or getting in each other’s way. Taking time to define each staff’s role and responsibilities and ensuring they cohesively come together, can go a long way to improving a restaurant’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Set Up Awesome Systems
Efficiency is created when things can become systematised and automated. Think about and list down what can be systematised and automated in your restaurant, and look to create systems for all these things. Map out how these systems could work, and look to continually improve them when practiced over time. At Abacus, we seek to provide a comprehensive restaurant system solution that allows for the full automation of processes, which not only saves time but a bucket load of money as well. For more on how we can achieve this, feel free to contact us.
Develop Specific Procedures
If everyone in a restaurant knows the process for preparation, cooking, delivery and cleanup or anything else, then your restaurant becomes like a well-oiled machine. No matter the shift or the employee that comes in to work. This is the reason McDonald’s has become the prolific success it has, by establishing a model of clear procedures that are simple for almost anyone to understand and fulfil. Particularly for wait staff, developing a clear and effective procedure also not only creates greater efficiency but also enhances the customer experience.
Everything in your restaurant needs to be compatible and work with each other. For instance, your menu and your kitchen need to be compatible. This means designing a menu that matches with what you have available to you: ingredients, equipment, storage, staff resources and skills, and kitchen layout. It also may mean not having menu items that are overly complicated to prepare and cutting your menu down in size so it’s more manageable for your kitchen and using fewer ingredients so it will lower inventory costs.
Identify Problem Situations and Develop a Response Plan
Who cleans up when there is a spill or accident? Should the kitchen staff bring out food in the case where a front-of-house team is understaffed? When there is a complaining customer, who deals with them? Identifying problems that happen in a restaurant and outlining a response plan for each situation will not only reduce stress when that event inevitably happens but reduce confusion and wastage of time between staff when it does.
Speed Up Ordering and Checkout
For maximum efficiency in the ordering process, staff need to be well versed in the items or services that are on offer, including information on ongoing promotions, items that are sold out or unavailable on the day, and even ingredients and potential allergens. This will mean clear and efficient communication to customers and less running back and forth from table to kitchen. At Abacus, we have developed a system that provides all information at the fingertips of wait staff without them having to rely on their memories, including specials, allergy requirements, items sold out and much more.
Enabling customers to pay however they want can speed up the checkout process. Along with credit cards, many people now use Apple Pay and Google Wallet with their smartphones. Enabling this in your restaurant can make checkout much faster. With the Abacus System, we enable customers to order using tablets and pay right from their table. This allows staff to focus on serving customers, gives them less to worry about and ultimately, improves the customer experience.
Have a Sensible Layout
A well-designed restaurant makes a big difference. This difference is not just felt in the ambience it creates and the customer experience, but also practically. A wait staff should be able to easily access all tables and take as few unnecessary steps as possible, which over a long day or night, will add up. Numbering tables in a sensible way for wait staff will also minimise any possible confusion.
A Culture of Open Communication
Often employees will have valuable insights in being the hands and feet of a restaurant. Creating an atmosphere where they can voice their concerns and offer suggestions for improvement fosters a sense of ownership in what they do and can also lead to new ideas to solve problems and improve efficiency.
The more things in your restaurant that can be measured, the better they can be managed and the better they can be improved. Think of every action as a data item, whether it be the number of potatoes used, the number of desserts ordered, the cost of beef, whatever it may be, look to capture it as data. The more data you have, the clearer you will be able to see the full picture of what is happening in your restaurant. And with data comes valuable information that can be used to make decisions that make your restaurant much more efficient. This guide by restaurant.org outlines how restaurants now can easily and should use collectible data to measure and improve business performance.
Invest in Technology
According to a study reported by ToastLab, 79% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves their guest experience, which experts only anticipating this figure to grow as the future of the restaurant industry becomes more digitalised.
But in addition to providing customers with greater technological options, investing in technology for your restaurant can save time and money, reduce mistakes and increase customer satisfaction. There are some amazing technologies available to effectively capture data to give you a full perspective of what is going on in your restaurant or to facilitate for systems and processes to be set up and automated to take your restaurant to the next level.
To understand further how technology can make your business run easier, smoother, simpler and be more profitable with the use of a comprehensive yet affordable technological system, talk to us about trialing the Abacus restaurant system today for free.
Article by Abacus POS