Cash in the Trash

Cash in the Trash?

The restaurant and bar business can be quite hectic, especially during the meal time peak periods. Perhaps you are throwing cash in the trash without even realizing it.

In addition, if you own a large restaurant or bar, then it becomes even more challenging to manage your business. Maybe you could just stand in the middle of your restaurant and look around. Then think about what systems you use to maintain your business.  It’s time to get organized. Then your managers can effectively manage the restaurant. Of course, if you have no systems or controls, you could be jeopardizing your customer service or even your food safety. That’s like throwing cash in the trash.

What does your business need?

My response to that question depends on several things:

    1. The size of the business
    2. Number of employees
    3. Cost and inventory of your goods
    4. Cash controls in place
    5. Proper Training
    6. Consistent Management

Size of the business

If you manage your business by the square feet, then you know the bigger the business, the more difficult it becomes to manage. Does your establishment have more square footage than you can handle? Just the cost to heat or cool the restaurant is a big expense. In addition, what you do with that space makes a difference. The size of the business matters.

Of course, if you can see and hear every customer and every employee from the middle of the restaurant, then it becomes much easier to manage. Maybe you can’t reduce the size of your restaurant or bar. If so, then you need even tighter controls on your food costs and your workforce.

What about Labor?

The right mix of staff on every shift leads to providing excellent customer service to each and every guest. Also, the right mix of staff talents and the right number of employees scheduled for each shift becomes critical to manage labor costs. Managers who know when to cut staff and how to manage people effectively goes a long way.

In addition, cross-trained employees reduce the cost of labor. Also, hire top performers who possess a sense of urgency.  Similarly, each employee knowing your expectations comes a long way to making a difference. They need to know the standards time frames you expect for them to complete each task. They need to know that their work counts. Happy employees are one way to reduce cash in the trash.

In addition, the owner, general manager and restaurant managers should be involved in the operational aspects of your business. Maybe you can even schedule yourself to fill the position of the server, cook or as a greeter during slower times. This helps achieve your targeted labor percentage goals.

Training your employees to be productive top performing quality employees will yield you fantastic results, specifically in customer service.

How can you effectively manage your business?

First off, set up the systems you need to maintain consistency. Then, use that knowledge to apply that information to your business. You should know your target customers and approach employees in a positive, consistent manner.

After obtaining the necessary knowledge for the type of business you are in, then it’s time to pass the buck to your employees.   Your employees are now exposed to that knowledge that you passed down to them. It doesn’t stop there, the endless cycle of training, monitoring and correcting is an on-going process.

Let say that your employees are not retaining the information passed down to them from you or they chose not to move forward using that knowledge. This may cause a domino effect of poor performance to every employee in your business. Employee training and performance evaluations are great tools.

Letting your employees run your business instead of you managing them will definitely create a disorganized, chaotic outcome.  Of course, this outcome will cost you BIG-TIME. You could lose hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over periods of time.

Why does the menu matter?

In the restaurant world, one of the big considerations you need is the size of your menu. Maybe you think more is better. However, you can get better food costs, check times, and overall customer service with a smaller, more focused menu.

If you use ingredients in more than one recipe, it saves food costs. Chefs and cooks are easier to train and keep the kitchen under control. The Servers can know the menu and be able to quickly respond to customer questions. I find it annoying when at a restaurant when a server needs to run to the kitchen or a manager to get the answer to a question about a menu item.

Also, a smaller inventory can be counted more quickly. In addition, food orders become easier. If you aren’t doing an inventory, today is the day to start. We have lots of resources to help you.

cash in the trash

Why does Cash Control Matter?

All that money that you spend on labor, food and space adds up over time. Conversely, reduce the amount of cash in the trash to increase your chance of success.

There are hundreds of ways to lose revenue in your business. How do you pinpoint the issues that are keeping you and your business from moving forward and prospering?

Restaurant Assessments are an effective way to pinpoint problems in your business. Certainly, a Restaurant Self-Assessment is inexpensive compared to not doing anything to fix the issues.

In reality, you are creating Cash in the Trash.

What is WRP?

Willingness: Wanting to make a positive difference, you have to want to do it
Rational Decision Making: Creating logically sound decisions
Perseverance: If you want something bad enough, you can achieve it.

Apply WRP to your daily walk-through routine. Check out the Manager’s Walkthrough and Figure Eights manual for how to maintain that consistency in your management.

Don’t give up until you have reached your goals and even then stay the course. Maintain WRP at all cost.

Use the restaurant assessment action plan form to record, identify and correct areas of opportunities.  The owner, general manager or district manager should oversee every manager and supervisor during the action plan process. This is to ensure that the contents of the action plan are being executed properly and consistently.  Create a reasonable expectation with attainable time frames to fix the issues outlined in the action plan.

Remember the Smart Goal Method:

Set SMART Goals

  • Specific – be very specific and describe what needs to be done to achieve the goal
  • Measurable – have a way to measure the goal and track how close it is to being achieved
  • Actionable – the actions needed to achieve the goal, small steps toward bigger goals
  • Realistic – be realistic and attainable, you can reach the top by meeting smaller goals
  • Timely – there should be a specific time frame and deadline to achieve the goal

Applying a variety of strategies to help pinpoint areas of opportunities are necessary components of a working system that will yield you positive results. Remember, include a working, well-designed action plan. It’s your money, reduce the amount of Cash in the Trash.

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