Great Restaurant Management Explained
Sometimes it can feel as though running a restaurant is a near-impossible task. Obstacles can appear overnight, and the level of unpredictability in the sector at the moment is enough to give any restauranteur pause.
Even the very best restaurants are struggling, but great restaurants are great for a reason, and it’s usually more than just the quality of the food they serve that sets them apart. Usually a restaurant is great because it’s managed extremely effectively.
If your restaurant is going to succeed, then you need to see it in terms of a balanced spreadsheet as well as a place for people to eat. If it doesn’t make a profit, it can’t survive. So, keep an accurate record each day of the numbers of customers you are serving, for every sitting. Over time you’ll be able to predict weekly, monthly or seasonal trends which will allow you to better manage your stock and staff. This is much more important than knowing the number of dishes served, as it will give you more reliable data over time.
Keep track of and respond accordingly to ordered items. When you know which dishes are the most popular, consistently, over time, you’ll be able to focus on supply and build more dishes around similar themes. In terms of profitability, this data also allows you to set slightly higher prices for the most popular items, maximising your profit potential.
Great managers also know the profit margin of every single dish that leaves the pass. This doesn’t just take account of the ingredients but factors in overheads as well. The most profitable dishes need to be the dishes of choice on the menu, and if you can combine these two, you’ll stay in profit. Your serving staff can suggest them, you can advertise them or build sections of the menu around them to encourage customers to choose that dish.
It’s also wise to concentrate on the dishes that are least profitable and to consider their place on the menu on a regular basis. Less profitable dishes can sometimes earn their place as they lead diners to other, more profitable purchases, but no dish should make a tangible loss. Good management is also about cutting down wastage to a minimum, and the only way to do that is to have a continual dialogue with the head chef. That way, menus can be planned to achieve the minimum amount of wastage.
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