Restaurant Self-Assessment

Why is a restaurant self-assessment vital to your restaurant operation?

Restaurant self-assessments can help pinpoint areas of opportunities. Once you pinpoint the areas that you need to work on then you can begin to rebuild your restaurant’s reputation.

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Restaurant Self-Assessment

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restaurant self-assessment

restaurant reservation form

Restaurant Self-Assessment  

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restaurant self-assessment

How to do a Restaurant-Self Assessment 
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All 5  Restaurant Self-Assessment Instruction Pages are

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How does a restaurant self-assessment work?
Once you download the PDF document and store it on your computer’s desktop, then you can self-assess your restaurant monthly, semi-annually or annually.

It is recommended to self-assess your restaurant on a monthly basis because you can catch and correct issues before they can become major problems.

You begin the restaurant self-assessment by printing out the form from your computer’s desktop. You will need a clipboard and a pencil with a good eraser.

The rating system is as follows:
Never/Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average and Always/Excellent.

As you conduct your restaurant self-assessment place an (X) in the column that pertains to your rating. Remember that this needs to be an honest restaurant self-assessment. If you find minor issues you still need to address them, these minor issues will accumulate to larger issues.

As you find discrepancies, write them down on a separate piece of paper.

The restaurant self-assessment touches base in every area in your restaurant: 

Restaurant Operations:

Are the shifts well prepared? Self-assess the busiest shift. You are grading the shift performance: teamwork, policies and procedures, the server steps of service, professionalism, uniform standards, and basic menu knowledge. Are all your employees trained in greeting the guest? Are your guest greeted in a timely fashion? Are the servers, suggesting dinner specials, suggestive selling and up selling? Is your staff, customer service focused? Is the management staff utilizing the pre-shift alley rally form to better organize the shifts?

Are food inventories done on a regular basis? I recommend weekly inventories. Some fast food restaurants may achieve as low as 25% food cost. Table sit down service may achieve a food cost of 28% to 38%. High end restaurants will have a higher food cost due to their menu mix and style of the restaurant. Overall all food cost percentages are based on the menu mix and style of restaurant.

Are in-house inspections done regularly? If you do an in-house inspection regularly then you will be able to catch issues much quicker. The more regular you conduct in-house inspections the better the chances of less guest service related issues.

Is Management maintaining a better food cost and labor percentage?

Managers need to know the food cost and labor percentage goals for your restaurant. 25% to 35% for food cost percentages and that depends on menu mix and the style of your restaurant. A better food cost percentage also depends on how well you maintain your food and drink inventory. A better food cost portion is based on minimal theft, full inventory count, management checking in all deliveries and menu prices up to date according to your projected food cost percentage.

Are sales and customer counts recorded and tracked?

If you are not recording sales and customer counts, then how can you begin to know your projected sales and customer counts? You need projected sales in-order to make an employee schedule. You need to know where your peak times begin and end so that you can adjust how many employees are needed. You need to monitor your restaurant sales by the hour: management needs to react to declining sales and send employees home to prevent high labor cost. Labor cost may be 25% to 35%. These percentages depend how many employees are on the clock, menu mix and the rate of pay. Sales also play a huge factor in achieving your labor cost goal.

Restaurant Staff:

Monitor the professionalism of your restaurant staff. Are the staff members following your policies and procedures? Are the uniforms clean and pressed? Are the staff members demonstrating teamwork? Are the servers presenting themselves to your guest by their first name? Are the servers, suggesting specials, suggestive selling and up-selling to your entire guest? Are all your staff members practicing food safety? Is your staff, customer service focused? Are the servers following the server steps of service? Are the servers timing the service to the guest which includes food and drink ordering and delivering? Do your staff members know how to recover guest complaints?

Restaurant Management:

Is your management staff professional when dealing with staff members and customers? Is your management staff 90% on the floor and 10% in the office? Do your managers visit each customer’s table to ensure top notch service? Do your managers give direction to the staff members and conduct follow up in that direction? Do your managers possess customer service skills? Do your managers know how to recover customer complaints? Do your managers know how to monitor labor and food cost during all shifts? Do your managers know how to manage cash control? Are the managers professionally dressed? Are the managers trained in each restaurant position in case of call outs or if sales are higher than anticipated? Are the managers trained in hiring and firing procedures? Do the managers know how to properly write up an employee (1, 2, 3) write up policy? 

Restaurant Condition:

Is the restaurant parking lot in excellent condition? Are the parking lot curbs in good condition? No trash or cigarette butts on the ground. Are the trash Dumpster and the pad cleaned and power washed. Are the menus clean? Do you have enough menus to accommodate your customers? Are your restrooms cleaned a well-stocked? Is the restaurant dining room in great condition and well stocked? Is all equipment in good condition and clean? Is there a good supply of glassware, dinnerware and utensils available? Is the back of the house clean, organized and in good condition, which includes the prep areas, shelving’s, walk-in refrigerator, walk-in freezer, dry storage and the manager’s office? Are the A/C filters changed on a regular basis? Ceiling and vents clean and in good condition. Is the paint on the inside and outside of the restaurant in good condition? Front and the back of the house floors in good condition? Are sanitation buckets with sanitation water used in all areas front and back of the house including the dish room? Is the sanitation water at the proper levels of Quat Sanitation (250-400 PPM) or (50 PPM) chlorine tablets? Is there a good supply of test strips available?

Restaurant Quality of Food and Drinks:

Are the restaurant menu products of good quality? Do the customers’ entree dishes possess excellent food presentation? Are the cooks preparing all foods in a quality manner? Are the prep cooks following the prep recipe guide lines? Are the cooks and prep cooks using date dots consistently and correctly? Are foods being rotated?

Are managers and staff members inspecting expired foods and is the waste sheet being used? Are the prep cooks using consistently and correctly the prep sheets? Are the past prep sheets being filed for review by the general manager? Are all serving and cooking utensils being hung on a food approved peg board? Is the peg board clean? Are all the storage containers on all shelving stored inverted and clean? Old date dots removed by the dishwasher person?

Restaurant Quality of Service:

Are the staff members providing top notch service to all guests? Do the staff members and management possess excellent communication skills? Is the management staff interacting with the employees and customers in a professional manner? Are the servers following the restaurants steps of service? Is the owner or general manager on the floor during peak time business to ensure management and staff are following policies and procedures?

Restaurant Food Storage:

Are foods being properly portioned by the cooks or prep cooks? Are prepped hot foods properly cooled down with-in a six hour period? 135°F to 70°F within two hours, 70°F to 41°F with an additional four hours, total cooling time six hours.

Are burgers and chicken stored in the walk-in on the bottom shelves? Are date dots used correctly? Are foods being rotated first in, first out (FIFO)? Are foods stored in the correct containers? Is the walk-in refrigerator, freezer and dry storage, cleaned and organized. Are all refrigerators at the proper temperature (41°F) or below? Are all freezers at (-0°F TO -5°F) or below. Does the staff know how to properly wash their hands? Place hands up to the elbow under warm running water, lather with soap and vigorously wash your hands up to the elbows for 20 seconds. Rinse your hands with warm water and dry your hands with a single ply paper towel. Turn the faucet off with a clean paper towel. Test your cooks knowledge, the temperature danger zone and food safety. The temperature danger zone is 40°F to 140°F. If the temperatures fall between 40°F to 140°F that is thought unsafe and can breed bacteria quickly. Bacteria can develop and reproduce rapidly in foods that are stored at room temperature, avoid leaving food sit out at room temperature especially with-in a four hour period. Every 2 hours make sure the temperatures of all hot foods are at 135°F or above. If the temperature drops below 135°F reheat the product to an internal temperature of 165°F for fifteen seconds. As a rule of thumb hot product should only be stored on the line for 2 two maximum, then trashed and recorded on the waste sheet. To avoid discarding large amounts of food, cook less more often.

Follow this restaurant self-assessment by touching each area in your restaurant. By very detailed as this assessment will help improve customer service and repeat business. A copy of this document will be available for free and will be located near the Restaurant Self-Assessment form. The Restaurant Self-Assessment form cost is $4.99.

After completing the Restaurant Self-Assessment make sure you go over all discrepancies with your managers during a managers meeting. Assign any discrepancies to your managers and staff members to be corrected. Give your staff member and managers a time line as to when you would like these issues to be corrected. Followup in one month by using the previous Restaurant Self-Assessment. Make sure that all discrepancies were in deed corrected. Post your results in view of the staff members and managers. Make it a big deal about the restaurant self-assessment. This should be a priority # 1 in regaining your restaurants reputation.  Once you have achieved the results then schedule a Restaurant self-Assessment every several months.

Stay focused and stay on top of it.