How to Use Restaurant Forms to Organize Your Restaurant Business

In every restaurant, you can see the same dilemma the employees face whenever they perform their tasks each day. Too much supply can spoil, but too little can affect the kinds of dishes the chefs can make for diners. The latter situation leads to problems with customers, which affects how the restaurant fares in the public eye. Remember, a less than smoothly managed restaurant loses the potential to earn.

Smooth management requires good organization and time management skills from a restaurant manager. An effective way to keep your work in line uses restaurant forms. Each process in restaurant operations uses a restaurant form to record information and to guide each employee’s actions in the process.

Consider these possible scenarios in restaurant management:

  • Each day, the staff does inventory management to control the number of supplies, dates for delivery and inventory costs. Ordering too many of an ingredient will soon spoil it, especially when it is rarely used in dishes. However, purchasing too few will also put the restaurant menu in jeopardy, especially when certain dishes are a hit with customers.
  • The kitchen team members prepare the ingredients, taking note of the prep time allowed for certain ingredients. Over-prepping the food can produce inconsistent flavors that affect how the dish will taste to restaurant patrons. On one hand, lacking an ingredient or two can also affect the overall quality of a recipe.
  • Support staffs, such as janitors, dishwashers, and electricians, make sure the lights and kitchen appliances are functioning. They also make sure the place is always clean before the restaurant opens and when it closes.

In every scenario, we see the need for restaurant checklists and inventory schedules for employees to record and track information. In the first scenario, inventory checking at the end of the day controls costs when the manager tracks the number of supplies in the pantry. Once the numbers reached the critical point, the manager knows in advance the number of items to purchase from the supplier, and when to purchase them. This also helps accountants to manage the money spent for each month.

In the second scenario, employees need to use kitchen prep sheets and order forms to keep track of information, such as the type and amount of ingredients needed and prep instructions, the menu items ordered by customers, and personal preferences of some diners, i.e. no tomatoes, no cheese.

In the third scenario, although most restaurants do not hire separate staff for janitorial and electrical services, the importance of using restaurant forms to keep track of cleaning schedules, laundry days (for curtains and table clothes), and machine maintenance should be given time and attention.

These scenarios are just examples of how a manager can use restaurant forms to help organize restaurant operations. A well-organized business saves time and effort, which leads to less food and labor costs expended.

Business Plan Tips for a Restaurant Business Plan

We’ve covered the basics of writing a restaurant business plan in another article, but here are some more tips to help you really make your plan pop and create an extremely positive impression on your partners, lenders or investors when you present it for their inspection.

Do add an extensive appendix

You can throw everything in here you can think of- the more there is, the more you give the impression you have been hard at work on gathering info, doing research and generally getting things started as opposed to simply wishing it was going to happen.

You can include things like a sample menu, marketing materials, sample coupons, a supplier list, a staff list, an equipment list, floor plans or blueprints, decorating item photos, uniform samples, a printout of the restaurant website design, the sign design, the restaurant logo, sample printed materials, your incorporation papers, a copy of your health permit, and literally anything else handy.

Do recruit and list an advisory board

The more people you can attach to the project, the more considerable it looks. Try to find people with extensive restaurant experience, business experience or preferably both. They don’t have to agree to do anything more than meet with you occasionally to review your progress and allow you to use their names as advisors. The more the better.

Don’t worry about fancy binding

It really makes no difference. This is one area that people simply don’t care about. It is what inside the cover that counts.

Do include financial projections

You can tell a great story, but sooner or later any serious investor or banker wants to talk numbers. Not including solid and industry standard financial projections in your plan makes it look amateur at best or like you are hiding something or simply don’t know at worst.

Do include a comprehensive list of the competition

People aren’t starving to death waiting for you to open, so there must be some alternatives to your restaurant concept. Include each one, and explain why you can out do them, or simply co-exist with them. Not acknowledging the competition shows a kind of arrogance and inexperience most serious money sources will shy away from.

Don’t spend a lot of time on national statistics

Trends may be up or down nationally, but who cares? It is what is happening in your neighborhood that counts. Make sure you can explain the local numbers in terms that work in your favor.

Don’t write a lot of vague, wishy washy or unsubstantiated claims

A business plan is no place to “hope things work out” and ask that “people just give me a chance to show what I can do”. This is business, and if you aren’t sure you can succeed, don’t expect other people to want to invest in you. Stick to facts and avoid anything that sounds emotional, unsure or like pleading.

Biggest Challenges Involved in Managing a Restaurant Business

Operating a restaurant is awash with numerous obstacles that the owner has to deal with from time to time. Usually, people in this business know the amount of hard work required to run a restaurant successfully. Sometimes, even if you do everything correctly, things can go wrong. Those, who know the biggest challenges involved in managing a restaurant business, along with the ways to deal with them, surely have a better chance to succeed. However, not for every business owner the biggest challenge is same.

For some, the major issue is to retain skilled cooks and servers, while for others hiring a capable and dedicated staff is the most testing part. As the owner of a restaurant, you may be expected to offer certain benefits to your staff, such as health insurance, vacation pay, sick time etc. Today, employees look for all such benefits and thus, in order to keep best people, a restaurateur ought to provide them with a highly competitive package, including great benefits. Another challenge which comes with running a restaurant is to control costs. It involves examining all business related expenses and then looking for ways in which you can save. Purchasing supplies, along with employee costs, would eat up a good amount of money. So, be wise when deciding how to spend. Waste in the kitchen can sink a restaurant. Preparing the food improperly, having the food spoiled before it is served etc, are some of the things that can add unnecessary costs and reduce your earnings.

Another challenge which every restaurant owner encounters is how exactly to get more and more people to their eating place. Marketing a restaurant is not a cakewalk. In fact, the type of marketing which is most helpful for the restaurant industry is still a big question. Newspaper advertisements have considerably lost their usefulness in the last few years and a large percentage of people do not read the newspaper anymore. Television advertisements are quite expensive and may not necessarily reach your target audience.

To a certain extent, the inception of internet is responsible for the failure of these mediums in restaurant marketing. Today, a restaurateur can have an enticing website designed by a professional web designer and showcase the various aspects of restaurant to the world. However, there are still a few traditional marketing ways that are still effective, when it comes to advertising a restaurant. For instance, pamphlets and circulars can easily reach the people who reside nearby your restaurant. By offering them a discount or delivering a great meal, along with a superb service, when they visit your eatery, you can make sure they keep coming back to receive the wonderful treatment. Though the restaurant industry is full of challenges, but if you know how to deal with them the right way, you are sure to succeed.