Restaurant 101 – Restaurant Operations

Restaurant Operations

Critical areas that will either make you or break you

  1. Food Cost Management and Bench Mark Percentages

Both management and staff members should be thoroughly educated in food cost management.  Proper prepping procedures, correct food portioning weights and food safety controls are a few areas to be concerned about.  Other areas are: server training and kitchen training. Servers need to know the fundamentals in serving customers and the cooks need to know how to cook and how to proper plate the food for plate presentation.


The food Cost formula is (Beginning Inventory + Purchases) – Ending Inventory on Hand = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) then COGS / Food Revenue = Food Cost Percent. Monitor and react in food cost awareness per shift. Never batch cook, estimate how many portions do I need all day for the tickets that are hanging?  Standard food cost percentages for fast food type restaurants 25% to 30% everything depends on the menu mix and the restaurant style. Try to do an inventory at least once a week, if you are not doing inventories I will guarantee you that you are losing money somewhere. You will lose less money by doing weekly inventories because you are catching lost revenue quicker, than identifying what the issues are and correcting them.

  1. Labor Cost Management and Bench Mark Percentages. When creating your schedules, remember your busy times. In the food industry, we call it meal time peak periods. It would be your busiest times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Monitor labor cost per meal period hour by hour. Teach all managers, supervisors and key holders, labor cost awareness. Managers should on the hour monitor labor by retrieving from the POS the labor summary report and the restaurant total sales. The labor cost formula is:  Total dollars spent on labor divided by restaurant sales. Hold your restaurant managers accountable.  Send employees home or put them on break during your off peak times. Give the employees extra work assignments such as detail cleaning when it is slow. Fast food restaurants can achieve labor cost as low as 25 percent, while table service restaurants are likely to see labor in-between   30% and 35 %. Know what your labor cost percent is and hold management accountable when that goal is not reached. Teach management, labor cost awareness.
  2. Equipment Functionality and Employee Position Training. It is very important that the entire restaurant contain functionality. All equipment placed in areas where it makes sense for functionality.  If you have a two person window selling point in the kitchen, then person number one in window one would have a grill and fryer and the same goes for person number two in window number two a grill and a fryer. There are two reasons for this setup, to prevent the cooks from reaching over each other and having to selling points, the customer tickets would be divided by two. As the kitchen tickets print up on the printer, the window number one person will take that ticket and place it on the rail to be prepared. The very next ticket that prints, the window one cook will give that ticket to the window two cook to prepare, tickets will alternate between the two windows to cut down long ticket times. This method should be used during peak times and most weekends depending customer counts and labor cost percentages. Remember to carry out and remakes are priority tickets to be prepared.
  3. Management and Staff Training. Quality restaurant management training is the most important thing that could happen for your business. Mangers can either make or break your bottom line and restaurant. Hold your managers accountable in your policies, procedures and house rules. Train your managers to be you (personal ownership). Management Training
  4. Management and Employee Accountability. Always hold your employees accountable, strive for excellence.  Use manager performance evaluations, manager 360 feedback forms, employee performance form, restaurant action plan, employee write up form and employee corrective action form.

For more great forms, checklists, quick reference charts, spreadsheets and training manuals: 


©2012-2024 Copyright Workplace Wizards Restaurant Consulting Schim Enterprises LLC