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Become More Effective With Your Restaurant Operation Checklist

effective restaurant operation checklist
Daphne Blake

By Daphne Blake

Restaurant Operation Checklist

Restaurant operations is a complicated and fast-paced career, but with modern technology, it can be made much more effective and efficient! Don’t let quality slip by relying on the use of checklists, use Zips Restaurant Operation Checklist.

Any effective restaurant has a series of checklists it uses daily, weekly, and monthly with employees to ensure consistent quality standards. However, the traditional paper checklists create clutter, require personal check-ins with your staff to gauge progress, and are restricted to on-site management. With Zip Checklist's restaurant operation checklist, your employees’ lists are kept in the cloud and are accessible from any device. The system allows managers to overview their employees’ progress on- and off-site, add notes to tasks, mark certain tasks as a priority, and even move tasks to a less-busy employee if needed.

The Anatomy of Your Checklist

The most consistent restaurants can and have simplified themselves to a series of restaurant operation checklists. From daily cleaning, weekly marketing campaigns, or monthly performance reviews, the most efficient businesses define the full processes of their production and mark every role necessary to quality production. From the lists of roles, develop job descriptions and recurring checklists to cover the responsibilities of each position. Make these checklists detailed enough so that providing the list to any qualified employee, would enable them to complete the job without excessive outside assistance. At the end of this process, you will notice that some employees cover multiple roles (e.g. your second-in-command might be the vendor manager, opening manager, and head of HR), which is necessary for any mid- or even large scale- restaurants. Each employee will receive the checklists for any and all of the roles they cover.

Taking a Step Back

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At the end of this process, the restaurant should be able to operate without you, specifically, overseeing it. Reduce what makes your restaurant unique to a single restaurant operation checklist, and you will have a reproducible method for success with new management in your existing locations or a new location. This process also lets you hunt down small inefficiencies in your restaurant’s operation that, when fixed, can add up to big improvements in employee productivity and customer service. An investment in this type of analysis will pay off with consistent quality that brings customers back and protects your restaurant from disorganized, luck-dependent management that could result in haphazard quality.

The best part is that after defining your business through restaurant operation checklists, the Zip Checklist app can take those daily, weekly, and monthly checklists and deliver them automatically to employees on any app. This cuts down on the day-to-day effort required in management, allowing you to focus on more of the important responsibilities, like monitoring employee effectiveness and handling crises whenever they arise at any site. Employees will be glad to gain day-to-day consistency and escape bothersome micromanaging, while you reap the benefits of a largely automated system that keeps your restaurants running with quality performance. And, if a problem becomes apparent in the series of checklists, you can easily correct it and improve all future operating at all sites.

Don’t Miss a Step With Outreach

Part of effective restaurant operation is consistent marketing that ensures a steady stream of new customers, relevance in your location, and retention of old customers. The latter can be achieved through a database of customers’ contact information for marketing campaigns. This can be collected any number of ways through the restaurant but is typically achieved through conditional coupons, a VIP club, or yearly free treats on their birthdays. To gain new customers, put your restaurant’s name and information where it is needed, but not expected. Examples of such places to maximize coupon campaign effectiveness are in packets landlords give to new tenants or in trusted, highly-visited nearby businesses. Knowing your local community is imperative to operating outstanding marketing ventures.

Do You Have Everything You Need?

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Inventory is a timely thing to keep track of, especially if your analog paper system is vulnerable to being lost, becoming illegible, or being damaged in a hectic kitchen environment. With the Zip Checklist app, you can keep your inventory in the cloud and allow everyone access to view what is in stock and what needs to be reordered. This ensures any staff responsible for ordering new inventory can do so quickly and efficiently with accurate knowledge of how much they need to order. Not only does this save time, but it also protects you from understocking – wasting ordering and shipping costs – or overstocking – wasting funds on unneeded inventory. A quick To Do List for inventory can be found here.

Learning From your Mistakes

Successful restaurant operation also means correcting procedures after mistakes have been made, or with the latest information. With the tracking feature of the Zips restaurant operation checklist, you can look back on previous inventories and improve your checklists and vendor orders to reflect a data-based inventory schedule. If, before improved inventory and orders or due to an error, you are overstocked on one or several items, set a task for your chefs to include them in the specials for the day. You can even set a daily task for them to check with your inventory manager on overstocked items.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Even with the most efficient behind-the-scenes operation, front line staff will determine the level of quality for the customers’ experiences. To keep valuable, effective customer-facing staff, you need to provide them a great working environment by supporting them and removing any obstacles. Doing this will reduce employee turnover, an important metric for the success of a restaurant, as well as providing the more practical benefit of letting return customers form relationships with staff members and keep them coming back.

If a staff member is not providing quality customer service, it is better to fire them sooner rather than later or, better yet, stop yourself from hiring them in the first place. Invaluable, exceptional employees do not appreciate working aside those that are not, so weed out ineligible candidates during the hiring process. A simple trick during the interview is to ask them to give an example of one or more times they have felt gratified by providing service or caring for someone. Someone worth hiring will answer quickly, and with passion, whereas if they flounder, you can focus on other candidates.

Team Players Count

Quality staff members will also have to respect you to be satisfied with their job. You can earn their respect by demonstrating your own hard work, treating them as equals, respecting their feedback and input, addressing their problems quickly and reasonably, and, most importantly, remaining positive. You can also avoid them feeling like you’re breathing down their neck through the Zip Checklist app. They will have the autonomy to work on their assigned tasks in an order a way they deem fit while you can closely watch their performance to address any problems or give praise when merited to boost morale and performance.

There are lots of difficulties in a restaurants operation, but with Zip Checklist, you can keep your restaurant running smoothly and efficiently, on- or off-site. When working on ways to improve your business, consider the importance of checklist-based organization and a system that works for anyone who received the task.

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