Building Restaurant Sales

Building Restaurant Sales: Consistently Use Forms, Checklists and Spreadsheets

Did you know that 90% of start-up restaurants fail in the first year? Statistics show that 42,000 restaurants apply for restaurants permits yearly in the United States. Only 10% of those restaurants actually make it past the first year. With statistics like those, owners and managers should use any resource available to prevent the closing of their restaurant.

Successful restaurants use systems that work. They consistently use forms, checklists, spreadsheets, that are designed to maintain their standards. These same standards apply to any restaurant. The restaurants that maintain consistent standards have a high success rate. Do you know of some restaurant chains that are worldwide? Most of those restaurants started with one restaurant that set up a system that worked, and grew larger by maintaining consistency and efficiency.

Do you want to build a successful restaurant? If you do, then it is important to learn the same standards that made these restaurants grow to be large corporations. You may think you do not need standards for your independently owned restaurant, but consistent policies and procedures are important in every restaurant! The first independently owned restaurant was a success because the restaurant provided exactly what their customers wanted, and found a way to build on it. They built success by being consistent, providing the food and beverages their customers wanted, and having excellent customer service. Using consistency in the restaurant can be maintained by using forms, checklists, spreadsheets and other systems designed to build success.

The standards that the corporation sets up for their restaurant must be consistently followed by each restaurant in the company. Most of these corporate restaurants have a process of auditing the success of each restaurant to maintain their set standards. So your local chain restaurant has to follow corporate mandates. Those mandates are passed to the local chain through the use of specific training techniques, policies, procedures and systems. A paper trail is maintained through forms, checklists and spreadsheets, and other means of recording what is happening in a restaurant-whether electronic or on paper. Onsite Assessments are great ways to pinpoint how well your restaurant is doing.

How would a corporation know if a restaurant isn’t following those standards? One way is by the numbers and information generated by their systems. This comes from the paperwork done at the local level. Another way is through customer complaints, or through mystery shoppers. Declining sales send a red flag to the corporation. No matter what happens, if they want their corporation to succeed, they will make sure that each local restaurant is following their standards.

When the corporation sees a restaurant isn’t following those standards, they generally send someone in to pinpoint and fix the problem. This could be higher levels of management or an internal inspection process. The corporation will make sure that the managers at that local chain restaurant follow the standards that are set up. If the local managers don’t follow through, they may be disciplined and generally have a course of corrective action they have to follow. These managers know that they must follow the standards or risk employment issues. Performing management reviews and assessments can help you see how your managers are doing.

If the problem is not able to be solved it may end up in the restaurant closing. Even corporate restaurants may contribute to the overall restaurant closing rates because the local restaurant doesn’t follow those standards that have been set up by the corporation. Some corporate chain restaurants may be part of the 90% failure rate of closing restaurants. The loss of one restaurant to the corporation would be small compared to the chance of the whole chain being lost by the one that didn’t do what it should. When you are independently owned it is just as important to maintain high standards and use resources, such as forms, checklists and spreadsheets to build your business.

Restaurant forms, checklists and spreadsheets are excellent tools to organize every area with in your restaurant. You always can tell if a restaurant is organized and managed well, by its excellent customer service and great tasting food.

Here are some common reasons that customers will never return to a restaurant:

  • Inadequate customer service
  • Quality of food is below average
  • No organization
  • Dirty restaurant
  • Inconsistency of employees and management
  • Poor employee training

You could use Customer Satisfaction Surveys or Mystery Shoppers to determine what your restaurant is doing well and if you have areas of improvement. Keeping customers happy is your key to profits.

How can forms help my restaurant achieve excellent customer service and great tasting food consistently? The use of checklists, employee reference charts, sales tracking, and inventory control all contribute to the owners and managers knowing where they stand and what is being done on a daily basis. This also gives stability and consistency between managers and staff because everyone is aware of what is expected. This organization is ultimately is seen by the customers who visit your restaurant. The customers may not see the checklists, but they will see the consistency you maintain through the use of these forms.

Restaurants can use checklists to properly and consistently set up their restaurant to be prepared and organized for any meal period. Forms can be used to maintain cleaning standards, employee information, training and other aspects of restaurant maintenance and management. Spreadsheets can be used to see what is working and what isn’t, to track sales, inventory, scheduling and payroll. These are valuable resources to pinpoint issues, and to find out what is working the best.

Without these tools, you are trying to keep all that information in your memory and straining yourself. Instead take a more organized approach and help your restaurant be a success.

Forms help prepare the restaurants shifts and establish consistency and organization if used daily. There are so many types of forms for the front of the house and back of the house such as:

Various checklists are used 15 to 30 minutes prior to any meal period. Managers will visually check food amounts, proper use of ladles, storage containers, dates, scoops, and monitor the time, temperature, and quality of food. This is to make sure that enough products are readily available to get through any meal period. Managers also check the service area. It is important that all silverware, dinnerware and glassware is fully stocked for each shift, to avoid running out. Enough employees have been scheduled and are prepared for the peak sales periods.

When used properly and consistently, these forms and checklists are great for building restaurant sales, with great customer service and great tasting food.

Now you know why it is important to use forms, checklists and spreadsheets to establish a working system to make sure that your restaurant thrives in today’s economy. Your local success may even lead to a chain of restaurants with your name attached to it. Imagine the profits that would generate for you!

The Workplace Wizards can help you get organized and more efficient. You’ll find more great information and resources such as: forms, checklist and spreadsheets. Call to discuss your needs with a restaurant consultant, who will listen and guide you in the right direction.

Call today for your free consultation! All services or resources can be customized to fit your restaurant’s needs.

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