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Top Tips to Standardize Your SOP Standard Operating Procedure

top tips to standardize your SOP standard operating procedure
Daphne Blake

By Daphne Blake

What is your current SOP - Standard Operating Procedure? How Could It Be Smoother?

Restaurant management comes with all sorts of headaches daily. You can’t be around when every decision is made, so how do they get done without you? A simple solution can be to standardize your restaurant’s protocols and regulations - a SOP, standard operating procedure.

Avoid Confusion - Have Clear and Precise Protocols

Having clear directions for staff members, by including photos and maybe even videos, can help to avoid mistakes and help shifts run more smoothly every day. For example, if your employees know how certain tasks should be completed, they will complete the tasks quickly and efficiently with little supervision made by the management team. So, a digital platform is a fantastic way to have your SOP, or Standard Operating Procedure, readily available to your staff members, at any given time, and to ensure management spends time working on more important tasks. A few more points on why task manager apps are necessary are made here.

Zip Checklist is a digital platform that can be accessed from anywhere by management members or your staff. A standard operating procedure can be uploaded and checked from any smartphone or tablet, as well as any computer. Having clear directions for each aspect of your restaurant’s day-to-day operations is the key to a successful restaurant. Everything should be standardized, and your staff should be trained on each aspect of their job from day one. Points found in your standard operating procedure can include.

1. How tables are set
2. How restrooms are cleaned
3. How wine is to be opened or stored
4. How the ovens or grills are cleaned
5. How to interact with customers

Add Photos for Extra Clarity


Adding photos or even videos to your procedures can clarify any confusion from the day-to-day tasks required to run a restaurant smoothly. Just describing how a table should be set in long, wordy paragraphs can be boring for staff to read and time-consuming for management to write. If you have ten pages worth of directions for various aspects of your restaurant, you risk losing your staff’s attention. Perhaps your team becomes confused, causing them to ignore the important details within the directions and effectively risking the success of your restaurant in the long run.

However, by adding photos and even videos you can clarify detailed directions quickly. In fact, Zip Checklist offers an effortless way to add these pictures and videos. You can swiftly and easily upload your content onto the platform, and your staff can quickly and easily access them through their smartphones or tablets. This feature will ensure that every member of your team is on the same page to avoid any potential mistakes that could be made.

Having photos and videos can also allow employees to reference the standard operating procedure on the fly quickly. This reference point can prevent staff from making mistakes as small as setting the table incorrectly, to something as large as storing food at the wrong temperature and potentially making a customer sick.

Change is Good - Make Updates on the Fly

Updating your standards frequently, to continually improve the ebb and flow or your business, is very important for overall success. There is no way to know if any plan is going to work perfectly until you try it. Finding out that something doesn’t work the way you thought it would is not necessarily the best news, but the good news is that the way things are done can always be changed with just a few adjustments. Being able to update your policies and procedures quickly, is just as important as the updates themselves to save time and maximize your restaurant’s resources.

You will also need to be able to notify your staff quickly, and Zip Checklist is a great option for that. Each time you update your standards, your employees will be updated and notified as well. They will have instant access to any changes you make. Gone are the days when you have to update each employee with a separate email individually, or text, or pre-opening meeting. With this feature, you will have better communication with your staff, effectively saving time and avoiding any confusion.

Special Events - How to Keep them Running Smoothly

Knowing exactly what is happening on any given day at a restaurant is an arduous task for any manager or administrative staff member. Knowing how to handle a special event is even more important. Having a fully trained and prepared staff is incredibly important, and having one employee who isn’t fully prepared for a special event can be very detrimental. Your team is only as strong as its weakest member, so make sure your staff is up-to-date on each detail of your special events, which can include, but is not limited to.

1. What are the parameters of the event?
2. What is the operation of the event?
3. i.e. Are there passed hors D'oeurves or a seated dinner?
4. What is the clientele?
5. What are the bar parameters?
6. Is it an open bar or a cash bar?

Preparation is Key


When preparing for a special event, whether it is a wedding reception, a business luncheon, or a cocktail event, it is imperative that from start to finish each staff member knows how the event will run and what to expect from any scenario. From the hostess greeting the guests to the back of house food preparation staff.

Zip Checklist can help with those needs. Since Zip Checklist is a digital platform, several different ‘checklists’ and ‘to-do’ lists can be made at once and even assigned to various staff members. Once the checklists are created, your employees will know instantly about any changes or additions to his or her duties for the event. This will ensure that everything will be completed effectively before a special event and will avoid any mistakes in part of the staff.

Standardizing your operations is the only way for consistency to be evident in your restaurant and for your employees to avoid any misunderstandings, they may have about his or her responsibilities. Having a platform that encourages this consistency saves both management and staff valuable time and energy and ensures the continued success of your restaurant.

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