Restaurant management is many things, though simple is certainly not one of them. This is something that countless poor souls have learned over the years, only to feel they weren’t prepared properly. Whether that leads to frustrating days and nights or outright failure isn’t important; what is important is that these complications don’t need to exist.
By taking a simple, flexible approach to restaurant management, you’ll find surprising success - but you’ll have to keep reading to learn more.
This is one of our most commonly asked questions, though if you’ve been around here for a while, you know it’s never as simple as “here’s one step to success!”
Below, you’ll find a framework for looking at restaurant management differently. It won’t promise magical solutions, nor will we claim to quadruple your profits in days - this is more practical advice. Each step below is about your mindset; take these steps daily, and you’ll find that wrinkles will smooth out naturally more often.
Now - step one.
While this may seem like obvious advice, you’d be surprised how often simply sitting down and making a plan can be forgotten.
As with all businesses, restaurant managers and owners need to understand what makes their shop tick. There are two main categories to understand - finances and your staff.
With each, all that’s required is a daily (or weekly) check-in. You can monitor what changes and what doesn’t, making adjustments as needed. And by turning this into a habitual practice, you’ll be cutting out loads of future headaches that may have occurred from an overfilled plate.
The first is mostly straightforward; you need to make a profit to keep a restaurant open. While there are countless creative solutions for increasing margins (such as opting for energy-efficient lighting or appliances), this often boils down to having control of your business expenses.
As for the second part (staffing), we’ll cover that in the next section.
In short, take time each week to set a goal (small or large) for your restaurant to achieve. Cutting utility costs, reworking the schedule for efficiency, or even making tweaks to standard practices can all go miles toward achieving your long-term goals.
Staffing is by far the most overlooked part of running a restaurant. We all know that labor and inventory costs are rising (thanks, inflation) as many businesses struggle with employee retention - that only makes proper management, training, and hiring of staff more crucial.
While we highly encourage you to check out our guides to staff retention and empowerment, there’s more to this advice. There are three things that you should make a weekly habit to improve your restaurant’s staff:
Scheduling requires a keen eye that’s carefully tracked your restaurant’s metrics. Understanding when your rush begins (and when to cut cooks) will simultaneously improve your margins, reduce the chances of burnout, and allow for a more smooth daily operation.
Training and hiring, though, is another story. Success in this area comes from experience; knowing how to train different people and spot their strengths is a skill, and a very valuable one at that. Understanding that cooks generally don’t have the best people skills and that FoH often doesn’t have great kitchen skills allows you to cater to your staff’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
But this isn’t a “one and done” type of situation - training is ongoing forever. Just because your chefs have memorized the menu and the servers have their upsell pitch down to ten words doesn’t mean you’re done. Look for opportunities to teach employees new skills, rework old practices, and seek ways to save time.
You’d be surprised how often Jeff, your new lowly line cook, may have an experience-based solution that can save your business both time and money.
The most important factor when managing a restaurant’s staff all boils down to employee retention and, ultimately, their happiness and stress levels. Everyone who’s stepped foot in a restaurant knows that it’s a stressful life - so recognize that and help your staff manage it (after all, you are a manager).
Allow that inseparable pair of chefs to work together every once in a while (even if they may be slightly slower when paired). Let your friendly but slow bartenders try out serving or hosting, or maybe just offer an early night off every week for the people who are there most days. What matters is that your staff is well cared for and happy.
And, perhaps more importantly, monitor your staff’s behavior. All it takes to begin a mass exodus is one bad apple - and management is included in this. When your employees approach you about hurtful, dangerous, or unprofessional behavior from anyone, take it seriously. Address it with the employee (or customer) in question, and offer a simple goal for them to achieve, whether it’s anger management or a simple apology.
In short, treat your staff like real people. Crucially, though, you should work with them to find and reward their strengths rather than punish their weaknesses.
We’re in the 21st century - which means it’s likely time to upgrade your restaurant’s gear. Tablet hell is a product of old hardware being paired with new software - but Cuboh solves that (and quite a few other issues) with a simple middleware solution.
The concerns of manually managing every minute detail of your restaurant’s web presence, marketing efforts, and metric tracking are old and don’t belong in this day and age. If you want a simple, intuitive, and affordable option to streamline your restaurant’s online presence, ordering, and analytics in one go, Cuboh is an excellent tool to keep up your sleeve.
And best of all, we provide regular guidance on how to market, open, and expand a restaurant, and even highlight great resources for people in the industry. While the term “one-stop shop” was coined over 100 years ago, we like to think that the dictionary would just have a picture of Cuboh - because that’s what Cuboh really is - your one resource for managing, running, and expanding your restaurant.
Book a demo today to see how we can help streamline your operations.