Many factors contribute to the success of a restaurant, one of which is a well-written restaurant management plan. It is the main instrument that allows you to stay on top of everything about your business, making sure that it’ll operate effectively.
Despite its commonality, there are plenty of restaurant owners who fail to create an assertive and profitable plan. A common mistake that restaurateurs make, especially the new ones, is that they see creating a business or any type of plan as exciting.
They treat it as a trivial task that can be overlooked. As long as they have the concept, the location, and the capital, they think that they’ll be able to rule the industry. While it may work for others, that kind of spontaneity is risking your resources and business.
Before you become a thriving entrepreneur, you have to think like one first. Maybe you like breaking the stereotypes, but you also have to consider the harsh reality of the industry. Why did you think that most of the restaurants shut their doors in their first five years?
Planning is a fundamental element of restaurant operations. And although things will not always go according to your plan, it is still ideal that you have something to guide you along your management journey.
Management Plan for Restaurants
Managing a restaurant is composed of different evolving subtasks. These tasks are made to adapt to the constantly changing market conditions and the unpredictable behavior of the customers.
In its most basic form, this plan is a set of written documents about the structure of your management. It reflects your business goals and the steps you intend to take to reach them. It helps you explain the nature of your management style, and how you intend on implementing it.
This document should be helpful to keep everything in line. Especially if you’re easily overwhelmed by things, running a restaurant may eat you alive. This is why having this plan at hand is advisable, to help you get through things that you think are not passable.
You can also use it as a refresher guide for your restaurant managers. This allows them to understand how you expect things to be done and why you like it to be done that way. It enhances empowerment and harmony within your management.
Also, if you’re not a self-financed entrepreneur, this document will be required by your investors. It’ll represent your entire business, thus, writing a good one is a must. Here are the essential elements to include in a good management plan for your restaurant if you don’t know where to start.
Management Plan for Restaurants – Elements
We tried to compile and cover the most basic and common management elements for restaurants. Looking at this guide, it’s our goal to provide you with helpful tools for your business management strategies.
Do you tend to micromanage everything? Or are you more of a ‘look-into-the-bigger-picture’ type of manager? This section should contain what type of management you plan on implementing in your organization.
It should give readers an idea of how you envision your operations and management will be. Developing a mission statement shall help you with this element. You’re on the right path when you know what type of restaurant you want to run and what sets you apart from others.
Do you aim to be a restaurant that serves authentic flavors? Or will you be making a statement about fusion cuisines? Establishing a strategy should be easier once you know which path you’re going.
The completion of your overall strategy is where things can get complex. It should unify the entire organization and provide clarity on how you plan to accomplish the business mission. In a sense, it’s like a blueprint relevant to guiding your business decision-making process.
Everything else you do in your management comes from it. Every other plan including your marketing, sales, and financial plans should and will be aligned with this element since it should contribute to the fulfillment of your objectives.
Technology: Restaurant Management System
It’s now 2021, if you’re still denying the fact of how helpful technology will be in your business, then it’s time to wake up. For your organizational strategy, this type of solution can help you ease the complexity of this plan.
A management system for restaurants is like a tech stack, but instead of different tech programs or coding languages, it combines the best features of all restaurant solutions. It is a solution that allows you to give attention to what matters to your restaurant and management.
It’s a set of software that improves, not just your management, but your operations as well. It contains all of the basic things you need for online ordering and food delivery services, reservations, inventory management, customer engagement, and third-party integrations.
Restaurant Production and Operations Management
As a business in the foodservice industry, you know that food production is not the only service that you have. Customer service is also a huge part of your operations. Production management will be based on the delivery of your customer service and how it brings more into your doors.
Food Production Management
While it’s understandable that you should provide high-quality food products, you must consider that you’re still a business. Your services should be making income for you, and not the other way around. This is where Menu Management comes in.
You have to adapt the practice of proper menu pricing. Take into consideration every cost involved starting from sourcing out the ingredients up to how it’s prepared. Pricing your menu can get tricky, you may consider benchmarking competitors to give you a headstart.
Once the menu prices are settled, you now must ensure that it’s always updated. Not just the aesthetics of it, but the contents as well. Keeping your menu updated avoids confusion from your customers and keeps them excited about your new items.
Customer Service Management
For most restaurants, it’s the experience and service that they deliver that keep them apart and at the top of the competition. You may serve the best food in town, but if your overall dining experience is subpar, then customers won’t have it.
In every restaurant business plan, it’s a must that you include how you plan to deliver your customer service to your customers. How will you train your staff to deliver the customer experience that you’re aiming for? How will you make them understand its importance?
Many factors can affect the customer service staff delivers. Make sure that you’ll tackle every part of it to establish to your staff and your investors how invested you are in creating a unique yet satisfactory dining experience for your customers.
They must know the fundamentals of customer service. Show them how you plan to engage, empower, connect, communicate, and satisfy the customers. It’s just this way that you can develop a common understanding of this subject.
Technology: Online Ordering System
An online ordering system records every piece of information about a single online transaction. It can show you patterns about your online transactions which you can use to improve your current system. This solution streamlines your entire operational procedures.
Inventory Management System
This solution helps you to monitor and track the entire inventory. It improves your purchasing process, as well as waste and revenue management. With this system, there’s a small chance of you over or under-stocking your storage.
There’ll always be adequate ingredients to sustain your operations and production. Reporting will also be easier as the data and analysis will be automated using this type of system.
If you want to know your customer better, then we advise that you deploy CRM software to your system. It records every information about a customer and its transactions. These data can then be organized however you want it to be presented.
Do you want to know more about the demographics of your customers? Do you want to send them a more personalized marketing campaign? Everything will be possible with a single click with this software.
This is an important customer service tool because it allows you to understand, not just the patterns, but the preferences of your customers. From this, you can help your staff to deliver a better and more personalized service.
Customer Loyalty Program
And once you know what your customers prefer, it’ll be easier for you to create a targeted customer loyalty program. This is not just to simply reward your most loyal patrons and keep them coming back, but it is also a way for you to thank them for their patronage.
Develop a reward program that’s not too sales and promotional. This is your way of expressing your gratitude, be creative, and give it some passion. Your customers will be more than glad just to receive a free cup of coffee every once in a while.
Will hire on a contractual basis or are you planning to provide all of your employees’ long-term employment? There are plenty of technicalities and legalities covering employment management, especially in this industry.
As the hiring crisis continues to rise, it’s a must that you have a system to manage your existing and potential employees. Starting from your managers, to your accountants, to your FOH team, to your BOH team, up to your utility team.
Although labor cost is not something that you can avoid, we assure you that it’s manageable. Treat it as an investment in your business and you’ll see the difference that it will bring to your entire team.
To establish an effective hiring process is to avoid internal conflicts and larger labor costs. It is part of restaurant planning to give a glimpse of how you plan to hire and employ staff. Would it be online? Staff referral? Traditional print? Or a mix of everything?
This is a crucial element of your management as this is where everything begins for your work culture. Failing to hire competent people and those who are aligned with your business philosophies would lead to the collapse of your business.
Also, it’s helpful that you provide them a clear job description as soon as you interview a potential candidate. This is for you to know them better on how well they’ll be handling the task that they’re applying for.
Give your staff adequate and proper training related to their job description. This will make it possible for them to perform effectively and efficiently during their shift. They’ll be able to contribute to the profitability of your restaurant this way.
Consider providing them an employee handbook. It’s a document where everything about their duties is written. It clarifies almost every concern an employee has towards the management. It will facilitate connection and communication between you and your team.
Did you know why there’s a need for seasonal employees in restaurants? Because it operates in a challenging and dynamic environment. Especially during the peak season where almost everyone has to work non-stop.
And you have to try your best to avoid that from happening to your team. You have to break the mindset that employees need to work for long hours since they work in a restaurant. Change the labor landscape and be smarter in terms of staffing.
With all the tools available, it’ll be a lot easier for you to identify which hours require more staff, and which one requires just a bit less staff. Deploying just the right number of staff on a shift improves their effectiveness, productivity, and helps you minimize your labor cost.
Technology: Staff Scheduling Program
This software allows you to monitor and track the performance of every staff member during a shift. It also gives you a better insight into every shift, giving you the chance to determine the correct number of staff needed for a particular shift.
For instance, your lunchtime during summertime needs a different number compared to during the wintertime. You have to understand the patterns of your customers, but since you now have the technology to do that, you can come up with a practical schedule in a jiffy.
Management of your finances is just as important as everything else as this is what supports your entire restaurant. From the food you serve to the staff that delivers it, it won’t be possible if you don’t have enough cash to pay for them.
Financial management brings stability to your restaurant. Failure to adhere to it could result in falling out and bankruptcy, which is a very hard position to recover from. An expert in this field is always best for this role since a high level of skill and training is required for this area.
Cash Flow Management
The first thing you must show in your management plan is how well you understand and manage your finances. Do you have enough cash to cover your expenses? Is the revenue that’s coming back to you close to your projected sales?
Numbers can get complicated, especially if you’re trying to balance your expenses and revenue. But this is the fundamental of management. It’s not just about handling people and services, it’s also about doing the admin jobs that support the business.
For cash flow management, you have to list down your projected and actual revenue. It can be for a day, week, month, quarter, or year. Depends on how much you want to measure. You must also include all the possible expenses involved in your management.
This includes the rent, labor costs, utilities, and the like. Once you’ve listed everything, you can now estimate and have an idea of how much you’ll be needing to sustain your operations for a day, a week, a month, a quarter, and a year.
Technology: Restaurant Accounting Software
What else can help you with your finances? An accounting software displays every cent your restaurant makes. With its modern touch, it can generate real-time reports about your financial situation and accounting activities.
It also helps you to keep your business afloat as you’re able to see accounting patterns through the reports. Even though you can’t predict everything through data, you can prepare for what’s to come and act on it right away.
It’s impossible to make a profitable brand if there’s no effective marketing behind it. Getting the word out there is necessary because it’ll be the reason why customers will soon be flocking into your establishment.
Without comprehensive management of your marketing, it could hurt your brand badly. Keep in mind that marketing is a fun yet complex process. One day you’re doing everything right, then suddenly people stop coming to your restaurant.
This is why you have to establish a system with your marketing. A plan on how you will allocate the budget and resources to every campaign that should be launched. You also have to determine what are the types of campaigns that are relevant to your audience.
Lastly, you have to know how you will approach your target audience. What message would you like to tell them? What platform will you be using? Will you focus on one platform or combine everything available? Answer these questions then you’re good.
Technology: Digital Marketing Software
The technology you’ll need will vary depending on which type of digital marketing you want to deploy. There are many types of online marketing to try out such as social media marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, and many more.
If you want to stick to the basics first, it’s best to try your luck with social media marketing. IT covers a huge demographic and offers just the right targeting tools for more targeted online campaigns. It’s affordable and easy to use too.
But avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Explore more and try other campaigns as well. It’s best to use the data from your CRM and learn what are the platforms that work well with your customers. If they’re into the email, then it’s time to roll out an email campaign.
Many things require your attention. And as an owner, you can’t just dismiss something if you can’t understand a thing or are too tired to read a report. You’re responsible for the overall management, and it’s your job to be keen on it.