Every restaurant owner dreams of instant success, but many don't even find it even if a lot of hard work is put in. Don't let failure pull you under. Follow our task list guide to being a great restaurant owner and watch your success roll in.
In the fast-paced world of the food industry, you have to be on your toes at all times, aware of growing trends, and ready to switch gears at the drop of a hat. It's exciting and rewarding, but it can also be a significant drain on your patience and peace of mind. Doesn't it always seem like something happens when you're not there, for example? Nobody goes into the restaurant business thinking it'll be a cakewalk, but a lot of restaurant owners are shocked to see just how many hurdles they'll be jumping before they see real profits.
Many of the problems that commonly plague restaurant owners can be easily prevented, but the ones who know how haven't been willing to share their secrets. Until now. Before we get into the restaurant owner task list for success, let's look at some of the common problems they can run into in the job… and off! If any of these issues sound familiar, you're not alone, and you won't need to suffer much longer. If you haven't run into these yet, consider yourself lucky, then arm yourself with our guide so you can keep avoiding them.
a. Falling behind on trends
b. Overspending on staffing
c. Inaccurate inventory management
d. Poor customer service by employees
e. Low productivity
f. High staff turnover
g. Fines for labor law breaches or noncompliance with food regulations
The list goes on from there, but these are the top reason we hear over and over. Being a restaurant owner means you need to know how to handle all of these problems, plus so much more. It's daunting to think about it, and even just seeing this list might fill you with dread. But, as we promised at the beginning of the article, we have a great list of ways you can become a successful and happy restaurant owner.
Above all other items on our restaurant owner task list, you should make your employee training and retention the top priority. After all, if you don't have an awesome staff, you won't have a business for very long. Your employees are your eyes and ears and your front-line soldiers in the war on failure. They'll be your hands, an extension of you and your vision for your restaurant, so treat them as such. They are not your pawns, and you don't own them. They should be viewed as human beings, and not tools to get you where you want to be. That said, they also need to know you're in charge and you have everything under control. There is a balance that every restaurant owner must find, and that is the balance between employee autonomy and their willingness to follow directions.
To get to that magical place of balance and workplace harmony, you need to communicate with your staff. Get to know them, ask what they love about the job and what could be better. Ask what shifts they'd prefer and if they have any suggestions on ways to make the jobs smoother and more efficient. Once you're done gathering your data, use it. As a restaurant owner, it is your duty and privilege to provide for your employees so that they may provide for you. It's symbiotic, so be an active partner in that symbiosis.
Get your restaurant outfitted with digital apps that can help streamline daily task lists, employee time clocks, shift scheduling, and internal communication. These time-saving apps keep everyone on the same page and cut costs in a variety of ways. Labor costs are reduced when your scheduling app handles everything, including avoiding labor law fines. Task lists keep employees engaged and on target, providing a sense of accomplishment and accountability. Communication apps allow for ongoing training and retention. It all equals happy employees that know they matter. Happy employees are loyal, work harder and smarter, are more productive, and improve your bottom line.
To stay on top of your game, you'll need some way to track the fluctuating trends of the food industry. If you're behind, customers will quickly lose interest, so you need a way to track and predict trends. Data mining, social media, and watching the market through instant reports is a great way to start. Compare what you find with the past to see the ebb and flow of trends, making trend prediction even more accurate. Apps of all kinds can help with this item on your task list, so choose the ones that make the most sense for your situation. As a restaurant owner, you know what information will suit your needs best, so find apps that can provide it. The key is that your apps are able to compile the data and present reports in an instant. If you want to wait for results, you've already lost money.
Nobody likes inventory duties. Traditional methods were time-consuming and tedious. Employees were bored or stressed, and there were always mistakes somewhere. Solve the tedium by switching to real-time inventory monitoring. When a menu item is ordered, and the chefs begin preparing the inventory app updates. If you run low on something, you get an immediate alert so you can order on the spot. Inventory apps can also track spoilage and help stop thieves. Make this a double-punch of success by adding a mobile POS solution that links with your inventory app and the employee task list to really get a handle on your reports from every angle.
Everyone knows they should wash their hands and never cross-contaminate in the kitchen. But there are so many other food safety laws that need to be followed, it's inevitable that some will be forgotten. That kind of forgetfulness can be disastrous to a restaurant owner and the establishment's reputation. Avoid those food safety fines by using a food safety app that can monitor temperatures, send reminders to check foods, and provide alerts for critical issues before they become costly ones. Once again, have the food safety app link with the others listed above, and you've got full control, your employees have all the tools they need to be productive, and you can finally breathe easy.
Every restaurant owner has their own unique needs, so we can't suggest specific apps. That said, it's pretty easy to find the apps you need when you know what issues you're trying to solve or prevent. Also look for free trials, no contracts, and great tech support, and you'll be well on your way to being a very successful restaurant owner. If you'd like to read more about productivity apps and how to select them, check out this article on mobile POS systems.