A person doesn’t stay in shape by exercising and eating right just sometimes. You don’t play a Beethoven piece with ease if you’ve only practiced piano once every other week for a month. And a restaurant certainly can’t run smoothly when procedures aren’t executed with consistency! Restaurants are complex–multiple facets need to work together in harmony to execute with efficiency. From the back-of-house to the front-of-house, each system process can ultimately add-up to either a poor guest experience or an excellent one. In the end, this will have a significant impact on your ROI. Let’s go over why consistency in execution will lead to success in your foodservice operation.
In the Kitchen
Isn’t it annoying (and extremely disappointing) when you visit a restaurant to order your favorite new appetizer — a decadent garlic lemon and parmesan roasted Brussels Sprouts topped with bacon dish — and it just didn’t taste the same as the firs time you remembered? Today the sprouts are less tender and the once sumptuous garlicky flavor is now tame and there are barely any bacon bits, to boot. Have you ever noticed that a restaurant’s take-out portions just seem a little on the slim side versus their dine-in plate? The last time you ordered something off the menu, it took 15 minutes but this time the same dish arrived 25 minutes later. It sounds obvious, but shouldn’t each and every dish taste and look the same? Yes, consistency in execution is paramount in the kitchen. Recipes must be easy-to-follow and exact. Chefs should be properly trained to deliver a dish without problem–they should feel confident and calm. If there aren’t enough ingredients to complete a dish correctly, there should be protocols to provide a guest with an alternative choice. Do you have proper prep work done well ahead of time to help your cooks? Is the kitchen outfitted with dedicated workstations and organized inventory to avoid confusion and delays? Do you have clear instructions on how to take care of takeout and curbside orders (especially relevant today). Take care of these issues and you can assure better overall patron satisfaction. Ignore efficiency in workflow and execution and don’t be surprised for negative reviews and higher employee turnover.
Here one day, gone the other? We all know restaurants typically like to offer limited-time offers (LTOs) or seasonal menu items. But when you don’t provide a consistent menu — especially of customer favorites — you’re welcoming a slew of confusion and disappointment from guests. Do you have a habit of raising menu prices right when food prices increase or when things get a little slow? You need to strategically delve into your menu’s detail and look at the food costs and contribution margins to remove any unprofitable menu items. Making changes to your menu should be done thoughtfully and strategically, instead of doing it on a whim or a hunch!
When your customers come into your establishment, are they greeted with a warm hello every time? Are the daily specials always in clear sight and mentioned to the guest? Are the tables thoroughly sanitized and set? If you have multiple locations, is the interior layout like where the cutlery and sauce stations similar to every other locale? We are creatures of habit. We need consistency for easy decision-making, like where to fill up or beverages and pick up our to-go orders. Every interaction with a guest is as important as the last!
While we touched on a few points of the importance of consistent execution, there are undoubtedly many more areas of restaurant operations that require this level of attention. If you would like to learn more about improving operational efficiencies or benefit from a free virtual tour of our new online restaurant eLearning training platform, Synergy Sync, please contact us at 1-888-861-9212.