We’re giving you the scoop on seven restaurant management tips that will help you streamline operations. After all, restaurant managers have a lot on their plates. Their role is a hybrid between business and hospitality.
On the hospitality side, managers are responsible for ensuring guests have a stellar dining experience. That includes liaising between the front of the house (FOH) and the kitchen to make sure both service and food are executed flawlessly.
On the business side, a manager’s duties affect the wellbeing and longevity of the restaurant. That includes responsibilities like managing accounting and finances, hiring, and complying with safety regulations.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting labor shortage, managers are in high demand, but short supply. It’s more important now than ever for restaurant managers to work smarter, not harder, to maximize what they can get done.
As promised, here are seven restaurant management tips to help you streamline operations:
- Hire strategically
- Embrace technology
- Use guest data as your secret weapon
- Automate feedback
- Manage your reputation
- Make every guest feel like a VIP
Restaurant management tip #1: Hire strategically
Talent retention has always been a struggle for the food service industry. Before the pandemic, the annual turnover rate for restaurant employees was 73 percent. The labor shortage has exacerbated this problem.
Hiring the right people is critical to successful restaurant management. After all, a manager is only as good as their employees.
Instead of hiring reactively, hire proactively. Be on the lookout for standout talent even when you’re not short staffed, so that when you’re in a pinch, you can easily find the right person for the floor or the kitchen – without starting from scratch.
Pro tip: Don’t just look for relevant experience. Also look for employees whose values match yours, as this can help create a great long term fit.
Restaurant management tip #2: Delegate
When you take your time hiring, you can build a team of employees you trust to get the job done right the first time. When you’re confident that your team members can work with little supervision, you’ll feel more comfortable delegating tasks.
Delegating successfully is critical to streamlining restaurant operations. When your assistant manager takes initiative and does their job well, for example, you can be less hands-on on day-to-day tasks and more time doing things that only you are qualified to do, like accounting.
Hire wisely so that you can fully trust your employees with their work, and delegate to them.
Restaurant management tip #3: Embrace technology
Technology has revolutionized how so many industries work, including food service. There are solutions that can do everything from saving data about customers’ preferences to automatically assign guests to tables that maximize revenue.
The possibilities are virtually endless, and can seem overwhelming. At a bare minimum, start with customer relationship management (CRM) and point-of-sale (POS) systems. Then, look for other tools that simplify operations and unlock new opportunities for business growth.
Restaurant management tip #4: Use guest data as your secret weapon
When you embrace technology in your restaurant, you’ll have access to data that can help you better serve guests while streamlining operations.
For example, if a guest notes that it’s their birthday in their reservation, their guest profile in your CRM will alert their server that they’re celebrating a special occasion. Thanks to that notification, your employees will be able to delight the guest with a free dessert – without a reminder from the guest or from you.
Guest data empowers your employees to provide personalized touches at scale, with little to no involvement from you.
Restaurant management tip #5: Automate feedback
Restaurant managers are expected to work both behind the scenes and in front of customers. While conducting satisfaction checks during service is customary for managers, it doesn’t necessarily give you a candid look at guest feedback. After all, guests may be too shy to voice their true opinions to you.
Direct feedback collection in the form of post-meal email surveys can give you insight into guests’ honest opinions. With a platform like SevenRooms, diners automatically receive a survey after each dine-in or takeout meal.
Instead of constantly being pinged whenever a new response comes in, you’ll receive a daily digest of summarized sentiments to your inbox. If you want more details, you can view individual responses in your SevenRooms dashboard.
The best part is, the platform automatically replies to survey responses based on the rating the guest gave, to buy you time before you follow up in a more personal way.
What’s more, surveys are linked to guests’ profiles in your CRM, so your employees can know what to do the next time that customer dines in or places an order online.
Restaurant management tip #6: Manage your reputation with ease
Some guests prefer to make their opinions publicly known and therefore post reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. It’s your job to keep up with these reviews, and respond whenever possible. While reputation management is usually time-consuming, technology can simplify the process.
SevenRooms aggregates guest feedback from review sites into one convenient dashboard, and sends you a daily email digest with the latest reviews. You can quickly see which reviews you need to respond to to put out fires before it’s too late and recover guests whose experiences didn’t live up to your standards.
Just like with direct feedback surveys, public reviews are linked to guest profiles in your CRM, so your staff can make guests who left raving reviews feel special, and offer less-enthused returning guests olive branches – all without you having to lift a finger.
Restaurant management tip #7: Make every guest feel like a VIP
What if we told you it was possible to make guests feel like VIPs as soon as they walk through the door, without you having to identify them and scramble to notify your team?
With SevenRooms, your team members can get an alert on their Apple Watches or smart devices when an important guest checks in. That way, your host and servers will automatically know to give the guest special treatment, even if you’re off site or in the kitchen when they walk in.
Implement these restaurant management best practices to delight guests and streamline operations
With a labor shortage running rampant, it’s more important than ever for managers to work smarter, not harder. While cloning yourself to get more done in less time isn’t currently an option, there are several restaurant management best practices that come close in effectiveness.
Making wise hiring decisions so that you can fully trust your team and delegate tasks to them is critical. And, technology – and the guest data you extract from it – can automate many things you once had to do yourself, from alerting servers of VIPs and guests celebrating special occasions, to gathering and responding to feedback.
See why SevenRooms is the ultimate manager’s sidekick. Request a demo today.