Restaurant Owners and Managers

Restaurant Owners and Managers Attitudes and Promises

Restaurant owners and managers can avail themselves of a wide array of strategies they can implement to make their business successful. However, I know of no principle more important than the attitudes of the owner and the restaurant’s employees toward their customers. It seems as though customers have a “sixth sense” about this, and, as we know, the customer is always right. Equally important, is fulfilling both expressed and implied promises made to customers relative to advertising, food quality, and the restaurant’s marketing campaign and image. This article briefly discusses a few simple examples of “Attitudes and Promises” that can be used as a primary management strategy for your restaurant.

Restaurant Owner’s Winning Mantra:

One mantra to help you achieve success is to “promise less than you know you can actually deliver and then deliver more than you promised”. This philosophy is far more than “don’t make promises you can’t keep”, but is about delightfully surprising your customers by exceeding their expectations. This is a sure-fire way to build your restaurant’s reputation, not just with your customers, but also with your employees. Employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service and receive positive feedback from their customers generally work harder and more efficiently; they love being part of a winning team.

Develop the right attitude in your employees. Make certain they know that serving the customer properly and promptly is their first obligation. Create the understanding that poor service equals a lost customer which in turn means no business, and no business means no paycheck and no job. Every employee must understand the importance of superior customer service. One successful approach is to give the wait staff a certain level of autonomy and authority to make decisions that will immediately fix a customers problem. This allows them to make a “promise” they know they can fulfill. This will reflect in their attitudes and your customers will be thrilled with the attitudinal differences they find in your restaurant versus what they find with the competition.

Restaurant Management Style:
Make a difference with your management style. Manage your restaurant in such a way that your employees are productive, efficient, and effective. Involve your employees in important decisions, share your business plan with them, and ask for their advice about how to solve problems or improve the restaurant’s operation. Train your employees in both customer service and sales techniques and reward them when you “catch” them doing something right. Highly motivated and informed employees will serve your customer well, and your customers will easily detect their positive attitudes.

Realize the “threat” posed to your restaurant by the competition who is literally trying to take away your customers. How can you differentiate yourself from them with your menu items, superior customer service, quality, loyalty programs, price or your food presentation? Additionally, how can you encourage their customers to patronize your restaurant? One technique is to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and make certain both your employees and your customers completely understand it and the value your restaurant offers. The USP must contain a differentiator that will set you apart from your competition with respect to both service and attitude. However, be true to your USP and ensure it is genuine and authentic. Customers will notice and will brag to their friends about the service and attitudes your employees display.

Follow through with the promises and customer expectations that have been set by you and your wait staff. Ensure that promises and expectations are not made that your restaurant simply can’t meet. Example: have all menu items in stock, particularly the specials that are currently being featured in your advertisements. There is nothing that loses diners faster than broken promises or failed expectations.

The importance of using a commercially available restaurant management checklist to serve as a guide for managing your restaurant’s operations cannot be overstated. With such a tool, you greatly enhance your ability to provide consistent customer service, meet your financial objectives and be focused and organized as well as operate your business more efficiently. Visit www.Checklists4Business.com for other business strategies and for information about a unique Restaurant Management Checklist.

Restaurant Checklists

Restaurant Checklists can Help Improve a Restaurants Cash Flow and Profit

Although adhering to a checklist to operate your business may initially appear to be constraining, it is actually liberating. Similar to a budget that forces you to manage your personal finances, the long-term gain of becoming financially free far exceeds the short term pain that comes with disciplining yourself to stay within your budget. Likewise, disciplining yourself to adhere to a well developed business checklist for your restaurant can eventually free you from being caught up in every day activities and overlooking important revenue generating tasks.

Bill, a small restaurant owner was a great Chef and he also knew how to market his business very well. However, he was more than a little inexperienced with the financial aspects of operating his restaurant and soon discovered he wasn’t staying current with monthly and quarterly bills.

Bill was paying his bills as they arrived in the mail.  He had not planned for longer term bills, such as taxes and insurance premiums.  As he paid those, money was not immediately available for rent, utilities, and inventory.  He began to fall behind with his payables.

The solution was to develop a checklist for how to deposit funds from each day’s receipts.  An analysis revealed the amount to be set-aside for various taxes, food and alcohol costs, salaries and overhead.  Although receipts varied daily, standard percentages were developed and entered into a financial table created with spreadsheet software.  As Bill recorded the daily sales, he followed the checklist to set-aside money into each category.  When the bills arrived, he deducted money from each set-aside category and paid the bill.  He was now “back on track” to manage his money effectively and finally see a profit.

Checklists are a valuable tool for any size restaurant.  They provide a meaningful, realistic way to organize, prioritize, and manage money, operations, and results.  In Bill’s case, he took charge of his cash flow and payables, and began to realize the profits he knew were always there.  Effective management tools such as simple checklists make for large gains. Visit www.jaguarconsulting.com/restaurant.cfm for other business strategies and information about a unique Restaurant Management Checklist.