Most people are busy and prefer foods prepared and served quickly to save on their time. And those with a busy lifestyle, short lunch breaks, or individuals who want to have faster food for their children will always go to fast food restaurants to pick their various nutrients.
But for the restaurants to grow and satisfy their customers, they have to employ properly trained and adequate staff to help reduce restaurant wait time and prioritize the cleanliness of their environment and food. Most importantly, they need proper inventory management, kitchen, and customer-to-staff management.
Like any other business, the success of a restaurant will entirely depend on the management, how managers treat their team and customers and how staff also manage or relates with the customers. For such reasons, therefore, this article discusses some of the restaurant management tips first food restaurant managers can deploy to ensure the success of their restaurants.
What are first foods?
Fast foods are foods that are prepared and served quickly for immediate consumption. They may come from delivery, take-out-through, counter services, and sit-down restaurants.
The primary benefit of having fast food restaurants is mostly associated with its convenience. It saves time, especially for those running late to work, exams, or some official functions. It also serves functions like:
Healthy and Nutritious options
There are varied nutritious available in most fast-food restaurants. You can replace high-fiber menus with low-fat yogurt, fresh salads, and fruit cups. But you must avoid pairing the healthy foods with less nutritious ones like chips and fries.
There are also other healthy choices like grilled fish and chicken or wraps. Of course, they may be quite expensive, but you’ll get enough nutrients that are worth your money.
Today more than before, fast food restaurants now provide more kid-friendly and nutritious meals. You can get apple slices and low-fat milk in place for sugary sodas.
Research indicates that various menu leveling and presentations affect most parents’ meal choices.
Different cooking techniques
Another benefit of having fast food restaurants is changing cooking styles or techniques. For instance, instead of making fried choices, fast food eaters now include boiled fish or grilled chicken breast on their menus.
Availability of nutrition details
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demands that every company making foods or drugs include nutritional information. And that’s one of the significant benefits of taking fast foods; they always have the information on the total fats, calories, cholesterol, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, among other nutrient constituents.
Most restaurants will post their nutrition details about the specific foods on their menu boards. You can also check their websites for more information. The food nutrients you take help make informed and healthy or conscious food choices.
Despite the several benefits mentioned above, fast food restaurants may also present a few demerits like:
Some can be unhealthy, like those rich in fats, sugar, or fats that may not be helpful to your body as most have low-quality nutrient sources that only add flavors—consuming too many fats risks your life as it can cause severe complications and health risks.
It can be costly in the end. It’s easy for an individual to spend more or too much money on fast foods, especially when you make it a regular habit like continuously taking drive-through snacks at the expense of home-cooked meals. It will even be more expensive to feed the whole family.
Restaurant management tips and every manager should know
Whether it’s your first time starting or managing a fast-food restaurant, you’ll only grow and prosper in this business when you become proactive. For instance, you have to stay ahead of every future expectation. So:
Create a conducive plan
In the restaurant and food business, things can always change. So, it would be best if you were extra proactive and created a good plan with:
- Sufficient appeal in the business vision and mission in attracting customers
- Information and project on staff needs ad how to execute them
- Details on how you plan to do your marketing campaigns to reach more individuals
- Techniques on how to manage various inventories
- A plan on how to deploy technology to make your staffing and customers’ work easier
- And most importantly, have a detailed plan on how you’ll counter consumer trends
In your plan, also care to include:
- Your prime location and make it known to your prospective customers
- Obstacles to success like proximity to your competitors and any other fast-casualty industry may present some competition.
Define your managerial team
Depending on the organizational structure, a restaurant may have various management teams, including:
- General managers and their assistants- are responsible for the overall or general operation of the restaurant. As the big boss, every decision must pass through them.
- Kitchen managers are responsible for the aspects relating to the kitchen, like food preparation, purchasing food or kitchen supplies, and hiring kitchen staff.
- Floor or dining room managers: are tasked to ensure that front office operations run smoothly and ensure that customers are satisfied.
Having these various managers or leaders ensures every restaurant department runs flawlessly to achieve different assigned goals.
Get the best pool of employees and reduce turnover
Quality hiring is one of the important processes to your restaurant’s success. So, to ensure you get the right employees to help achieve your goals, conduct an accurate job description that clearly outlines the tasks that an individual will handle.
Also, include any benefits that come with the position. When applications are over, scrutinize all applicants and ensure only to choose a candidate who shows deep interest and passion for working for your restaurant.
Hiring quality employees will help your business in multiple ways, including:
- Reducing employee turnover
Losing employees is never good for your business. So when you hire the right employee interested in investing in your operations and taking ownership of your work and their responsibilities.
Such employees will not only prosper on their individual levels, but they’ll also help stabilize your business. To help reduce the possibility of employees leaving your company:
- Ensure you’re flexible with your scheduling
- Set and encourage team-building operations
- Provide growth or career opportunities to your employees
- Involve your staff in decision-making, including having a say on work hours.
Keep your staff happy and motivated.
Like your customers, your staff forms a solid background for the success of any business. Therefore as a manager, you need to ensure your employees feel valued. You can do that by:
- Organizing some employee fun programs
Employee programs like “Employee of the month” awards the winning employee some valuables like a gift card or bonus check, among other things that signify their achievements.
Such programs won’t only motivate other employees to follow suit. Still, it also ensures improvement of the general performances, especially when some want to follow suit or be awarded as others.
- Have one-to-one opportunities with your staff
This is one way to show your staff that you care about them and are there for them. Watching their concerns will make them more inclined to stay longer and work harder to meet the restaurant’s goals and objectives.
- Be transparent to your employees.
Transparency is a crucial aspect of management. It often eliminates confusion and builds trust between employees and managers, thus translating into an effective organization and high production.
When staff, especially millennial employees, want to know everything happening around them, are not informed of any processes, or feel the manager isn’t telling them something. In that case, some may be less motivated. So, it makes all your employees feel connected and part of the restaurant’s activities. This way, they’ll be more engaged and motivated.
You can also open-book management systems to improve transparency and loyalty among the employees. Tell them about your financial details like the profit sharing and profitability or any educational classes that will make them more valued.
Provide adequate training opportunities
Apart from motivating employees and reducing turnover, training employees is also a perfect way to ensure you provide the best customer service.
Training employees ensure they know or perfectly understand how to do their jobs. They’ll fully be aware of what’s expected of them and thus perform better than untrained employees.
Another importance of having trained staff is less supervision. Adequately trained employees are always efficient and understand the expectations, thus ensuring tasks are completed on time. Less time decreases labor costs, which helps the restaurant save some money.
Also, by training your cooks to ensure a reduction in food errors, they’ll work efficiently to meet your goals. Similarly, orienting your front-of-house employees like the cashier provides no or reduced mistakes and reduces customers’ line wait time.
Finally, adequately training your first food staff will help reduce any restaurant mistakes or accidents. The rule is that everyone is effectively trained and knows what is expected; then, the restaurant will run itself.
Avoid or cut down on waste
Most fast-food restaurant managers are stressed about hitting their targets. Sometimes, they feel frustrated about not meeting their desired profits. A lot of the stress is because by poor kitchen management, resulting in a lot of food wasted.
Besides, food costs and expenses will significantly escalate when you fail to manage your foods and ingredients. So, properly train your employees on the best ways to make portions and dishes ingredients, and use the correct methods to prepare foods. These will help cut on or reduce the amount of food or ingredients thrown away.
Also, have regular meetings with your staff, reminding them to practice good food and resource management to reduce wastage.
Here are some additional tips for food wastage management:
- Correctly store your foodstuff
Food preservation is the topmost key to reducing wastage. So, ensure you have freezers and fridges to help store various foods under favorable temperatures to help prevent bacterial growth that will lead to wastage. Store low-risk foods on higher shelves and ensure the storage places and clean and tidy.
- Avoid over-buying of food stock.
There are some seasons when the business will be low, but people will flood your business at some points. So, depending on the sales rates, ensure to only purchase ingredients and foods you are sure can completely use without some going bad.
Of course, it’s tempting to buy in bulk or over-stock, especially when your supplier offers a good deal, but that can sometimes leave you with more ingredients or foods that the restaurant needs.
- Practice proper labeling
Ensure any food staff decanted in various containers are well labeled with dates and other descriptions. This ensures you can easily track what you need or add to your lists. It also prevents throwing away unlabeled containers with foods because you don’t know what’s inside them.
- Check the use-by dates.
About 25% of food restaurant food wastage is due to spoilage. So, ensure you pay attention to use-by dates. Even better, create reliable stock management and rotational system to ensure no food goes out of date before using it. Also, check the expiry dates of the fast-food ingredients regularly.
- Be wary of any oversized food portions.
The number one aspect of food management should be choosing quality over quantity. It’s common for some customers to leave certain foods like chips or French fries as most consider fries an extra part of their meals. Meaning they’ll most probably leave them when served in large portions.
- Donate or share leftovers with the locals
This is the best way to manage some extra food. Instead of leaving them to rot, you can set up a link with some local charity and give them any leftover ingredients and foods. This ensures the food helps someone instead of being a waste.
Maintain adequate cleaning and safety
Along with creating a proper plan and effective teams, managers are responsible for ensuring the restaurant is kept clean to meet the health and safety standards.
Invest inadequate cleaning PPE for your employees and supplies and develop a clear sanitation policy to ensure your restaurant is regularly cleaned.
But why should you make cleanliness or safety your top priority? Apart from the fact that cleaning helps avoid or prevent pest infestations, especially those that arise in dirty environments like mice bed bugs, cleaning also distinguishes you from other restaurants. It gives you a better reputation.
Most importantly, customers values clean and safe restaurants for several reasons, including:
- It represents how safe the food is
Customers will probably associate that with poor kitchen management when dining in fast food restaurants or sit-down restaurants where there is dirt everywhere from the entrance. So, they’ll get concerned about the safety of your foods.
However, when customers enter your restaurant, feel the freshness, and see how the room is sparkly clean, they believe the same happens to their foods. They won’t get worried about contaminated foods, thus building your reputation.
- It’s part of effective customer service.
Customer service is all about caring for your customers and providing quality services. Ensuring your customers eat in a clean and well-maintained area makes a great impression that you care about their safety. This helps boost customer loyalty and provides a repeat purchase.
- Reflects on the general business
As earlier mentioned, customers will always judge their safety using how dirty or clean your environment is. Having a dirty eating area will only reflect how you run the restaurant, and people will question their food safety.
So, change and ensure your customers always perceive your place well. Make them always want to eat or shop with your restaurant by providing adequate cleaning or the entire restaurant.
Leverage customer data to improve your services
As a restaurant manager, you’ll sometimes realize that some of your fast foods are not selling. You might also have created the best practices, but still, some service stagnates. Here’s the good news: check your customers’ data from your restaurant point of sale systems (POS).
These systems can help provide reports on how and what your customers constantly purchase or order. If you think most people love specific foods, you realize that you only sell a few of those. In that case, eliminate the food from your menu list. Still, identify and maintain your bestselling foods and make them the best in the market.
Ensure proper wait time
Longer wait times are some of the reasons why most customers have changed their service or product providers. Similarly, keeping your fast food restaurant customers waiting for a longer duration can turn them off. So, to improve their experiences:
- Deploy adequate staff to ensure quick services
- You can as well provide self-service options to eliminate lines
- For the sit-down customers, ensure a short time is taken to give or offer the menu, take orders, and serve food and billing
To shorten their wait times, provide you:
- Inform them of how long they’ll be taking in lines
- Make the waiting entertaining by playing some cool music or displaying some movies
- And ensure you keep them busy or occupied when they wait. This you can do by giving the giving customers magazines and books to read
- Ensure the waiting bay has Wi-Fi so that they can log in and watch their various programs
Invest in a proper advertising and marketing techniques
Managing restaurants also mean drawing or bringing more customers to your business. Telling most of them of your existence and the best way to do that is by effective marketing strategy.
So, you can advertise your restaurant using various forms, including posting on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. You can also let your customers know of your existence through print ads.
Listen to customers’ complaints or concerns.
No matter how hard or thorough you get, you can never satisfy all your customers. The worst is that some customers may have negative reviews, tarnishing your reputation. So, listen to various problems or feedback and develop an adequate protocol for handling the concerns.
Some of the basic ways to deal with customer complaints include:
- Acknowledging customers’ complaint
When your customers are unsatisfied with some of your services, allow them to voice it out. This gives you the chance to perfectly handle it to prevent further occurrences.
- Provide immediate response
Once you have acknowledged the customers’ concerns, you should offer them the best response to solve their problems. Suppose it’s something that needs an apology. In that case, it’s better you take effective action and immediately apologize to them to maintain calm or peace.
Improve your problem-solving skills
Not everything will run as planned sometimes; you’ll have to deal with some ups and downs. You’ll need to be there when something happens to help solve the problem.
Therefore, when faced with a difficult situation, try to figure out the simplest, quickest, and most effective solution and execute it within the required time frame.
Appreciate and reward your loyal customers
To motivate your customers to keep on coming, you can make them feel welcomed and special. So, address them with their names, and you can also preserve a table, especially when you know their usual visiting time, among other ways of rewarding loyal customers.
Managing fast food restaurants can sometimes prove a challenging task, especially when you have to deal with employees, oversee the supplies and at the same time address the inventory. However, the above tips will ensure effective management with minimal wastage.