Restaurant Operations Management: A Busy Supervisor's Guide

Four restaurant employees and their manager gather in the kitchen to discuss plans for the upcoming shift. Each person is wearing an apron and looking at the screen of a shared tablet.

Did you know that restaurant operations management skills are the secret ingredient to your success? Well, now you do. We can always make accurate predictions about how successful your business will be by how well you’re able to manage day-to-day responsibilities. In other words, as a restaurant operations manager (ROM), the key to breaking or making the business is in your hands.

From staff management to menu planning, regulatory compliance, and everything in between, being a ROM means overseeing all the crucial aspects of the restaurant business. You’ll need to have excellent critical thinking, communication, and people skills, to mention but a few. Not only can this be overwhelming, it can also be outright scary to know just how vital your role is in ensuring that your restaurant remains profitable. 

But not to worry, we’re here to help. In this guide, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to know to improve your efficiency and make your business the talk of the town. Let’s get started.

Step Up Your Restaurant Management Game with These 6 Tips 

Whether you’re an experienced restaurant operations manager or just starting out in your new role, these vital tips will have you running your business with the confidence and dexterity of a seasoned pro:

Work With a Clear and Actionable Plan

Like with every other serious project you wish to undertake, you must always run your restaurant operations on a well-articulated plan. From preparing food to handling finances, accepting orders, maintaining equipment, managing inventory, etc., there’s always something that requires your attention. Sadly, it doesn’t help that each of these tasks requires excellent attention to detail. This means that without a solid plan to help you organize daily activities, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll fall short of expectations in many areas.

So, always be sure to comprehensively outline every aspect of your day-to-day operations, specify how they must be carried out, and designate each one to the most qualified individual.

Manage Food Inventory Efficiently

Regardless of the many hats you’ll have to wear as a ROM, the goal is always to make your restaurant as profitable as possible. As such, how well you manage your restaurant’s inventory is directly proportional to its cash flow. Proper food inventory management is non-negotiable. This means that you should always strike the perfect balance between quality/fresh ingredients and reduced food wastage. In other words, aim to have just enough of the necessary supplies with zero surplus stock at all times.

Optimize Food Costs

Food cost is another aspect of restaurant operations management that you must take very seriously. Yes, you have limited powers in deciding how much food items cost in the market. However, you can still significantly reduce the amount you spend on food by avoiding food waste and partnering with quality suppliers. Keep in mind that the best suppliers will help you save costs by offering you the most value for your money.

Another way to optimize food costs is by confirming the difference between your actual and theoretical food costing. Ensure that the difference is not too much, and make use of recipe costing cards to avoid making mistakes.

Focus on Team Efficiency

You cannot do it all. So, instead of trying to be a superhero, create extensions of yourself by building effective teams. Not only does this help you maintain your strictly supervisory role, it also makes for a more sustainable strategy. However, this doesn’t mean that you should employ anyone who shows interest in a job role, as you must always employ a cost-effective approach to hiring the best talents.

It’s advisable to understand the sales and demand trends. This knowledge will make you well-equipped to determine the ideal number of staff you need per time. Also, know when you need to lay off some team members by studying your POS history sales data.

Prioritize Reporting and Insights 

There will always be a need to improve on an aspect of your business. The only way to know what and when to carry out the changes is by taking data management seriously. It’s not enough to study your manual spreadsheets. Be sure to incorporate restaurant management software or POS for better data collection.

Improve Your Training and Hiring Skills

No matter how good your plans and management skills are, they may never yield the best results if you employ the wrong hands. Continuously improving your hiring and training processes will pay dividends. Ensure that you adopt a standardized approach to hiring to avoid unfairness, and to training so that there is uniformity of knowledge. You’ll find that fewer problems arise when every employee has clarity about their roles and responsibilities.

Latest Restaurant Operations Trends 

The food and beverage industry is ever-evolving, and you need to always stay on top of the trends to avoid losing out to the competition. Here are some important trends to note:

Online Ordering 

Pay attention to online ordering on your websites while partnering with Uber Eats, Grubhub, and other third-party delivery services. That’s because, according to statistics, 60% of customers prefer to order their food online, while 31% of them use third-party delivery services a minimum of two times per week.

Shortage of Labor

Almost 75% of restaurants are experiencing labor shortages right now. So, be sure to prioritize staff retention, improve your hiring skills, and work out modalities to run your business more efficiently, regardless of the strength of your workforce. Leveraging technology to reduce workloads and automate processes is highly recommended. 

Payment Trends 

Customers love all the flexibility they can get when it comes to paying for their meals. Make sure that their experience with your brand is remarkable and easy by expanding your payment options whenever possible.

Run Your Restaurant Successfully with Us

When it comes to saving food and inventory costs as a ROM, your work gets a lot easier when you work with reliable suppliers. Carolina Food Service proudly serves operators in North and South Carolina. At Carolina Food Service, making your business thrive is our priority, and we’ll do everything possible to provide tailored solutions to your supply needs. Become a customer today!

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