How to Improve Restaurant Operations and Performance: The Insider’s Guide

If you’ve ever spent some time in the service industry, you know just how important running a smooth operation is. Whether staring down a full house or dealing with curbside pickup, competing delivery services, or managing outdoor seating, the last thing you want is a set of unclear expectations and outdated policies. Don’t let your restaurant turn into a cautionary example. Learning how to improve restaurant operations and performance is your first stop on the road to a world-class dining experience.

Whether this means streamlining your hiring process, bringing some new tech into the fold, or taking the time to reorganize some of your clunkier processes, talech is here to help you iron out some of the kinks in your tablecloths and refine your diners’ experience.

Start Smarter. Work Better.

Starting a restaurant comes with a lot of unexpected costs. You probably prepared in your initial planning for food costs, renovating the space, buying plates, etc (make sure you remember plates!). But there are other restaurant start-up costs that could sneak up on you, including:

  • Financial management software
  • POS hardware
  • Automation for ordering communication between the front and the back of the house
  • Staffing costs

Ideally, a modern POS system can consolidate many of these costs by bringing multiple systems into one streamlined functionality.

male waiter carrying drink order

Smarter Hiring and Staffing

Breakdowns in staff management mean breakdowns in restaurant productivity. The service and hospitality industry is notorious for high rates of staff turnover, low morale, and disgruntled employees. That’s not just an irritation; breakdowns in staff management mean breakdowns in restaurant productivity. Improving restaurant operations starts with staffing.

Sometimes, a sterling resume doesn’t always add up to a sterling employee. This is why it’s important to look for potential, teachability, and motivation during the interview process. That doesn’t mean to ignore the resume completely, however. Experience is important. But so are your instincts.

Once you have your team in place, ask yourself: Am I still using pen and paper to create schedules, forms, and applications? It might be time to ditch those in favor of a digital system. There are three key elements that can easily be addressed by modernizing your hiring and staff management processes, each of which builds on the other.

The three elements of improved staffing technology are:

Streamlined roles: When roles are properly defined, employees face less confusion and feel more comfortable in their jobs.

Cloud-based timekeeping: Ditching the clock or the sign-in sheet helps make sure everyone is fairly compensated for the time they work and that your payroll stays under control.

Concise reporting tools: Get a clearer picture of labor costs vs. everything else.

This makes it simple for you to advance how you handle your staff in stages so you’re not constantly rolling out overwhelming policy updates.

POS solutions and restaurant software management suites present you with a variety of cost-saving options. It makes it simpler to streamline your hiring and staffing processes, saving you time and preventing staff frustration. You can easily identify your busiest seasons and times of the day to reduce the likelihood of seating delays or idle workers. This helps you keep your labor costs in that sweet spot, around 20-35% of your total expenses.

Suddenly, updating your processes seems like a win-win, doesn’t it?

restaurant mobile order

Go Mobile and Keep Everything Moving

You know that the four walls of your restaurant aren’t the bookends of your story. In fact, your restaurant might not even have walls at all, just wheels. More and more people order online, pick it up curbside, or just run in and grab food. That means you have to have the technology in place to balance the flood of incoming orders with the needs of the people sitting in your restaurant.

A mobile point of sales system supports drive-thrus, drive-ups, food trucks, popup stands, farmers markets, and anywhere else you sell your food.

Refining Performance Through Training and Technology

Even before the pandemic, restaurant employee turnover hovered around 70% at times. There are a lot of reasons for that. Massive lunch rushes cause a lot of pressure. Dissatisfied customers take it out on the floor. People are in a high-pressure environment, and not everyone enjoys working in such a situation.

A lot of this comes down to training. Preparing people for the tough times is always a good start. Making sure they are familiar with all the processes helps as well. There will always be tough times, but the best thing you can do to refine performance is to reduce the tough times as much as possible. You can start that with the right technology.

A modern POS system can make sure that orders are correct, that the kitchen is running smoothly, and that there is constant communication between the kitchen and the front of house. It can reduce crunches in terms of seating, lowering wait times and lowering temperatures. Technology used correctly helps reduce stress by limiting the occasion of stressful events.

Your training also needs to get right to the point while being helpful and encouraging. Start with the common ground first—accuracy and speed—before moving into the specialized tasks that separate the kitchen and the bar from the floor and the hostess. This all works to turn your restaurant into a well-oiled machine that, with time, may even seem like it’s running itself.

And don’t forget: training isn’t a one-time thing. You should have processes in place for continual staff growth and employee improvement. As long as employees feel they are learning and developing new skills, this will boost your employee retention, help provide higher standards of customer experience, and in turn encourage repeat business, hopefully ultimately providing a bump to your bottom line!

Tightening Inventory Helps Improve Restaurant Operations

How you handle inventory and supply management has a lasting impact on the health of your restaurant. This important task, while not glamorous, is one that absolutely needs to be updated and streamlined. Many restaurants still rely on the paper-and-clipboard method of tracking ingredients and supplies, ordering when they get low and discarding those with expired date stamps. This can take a bite out of your profit margin. Improved inventory management equals improved restaurant operations.

female restaurant worker checking inventory

Today’s innovative inventory management software allows your inventory specialist to more effectively and accurately match what you are ordering to your customer’s demands. Additional benefits include:

Increased visibility into how much your vendors are charging you as well, making it easier to review costs and potential savings.

Ability to negotiate better pricing through bulk or subscription-based ordering.

Reporting and analytics for a deeper look into taste changes from season to season, or by holiday, so you can stay ahead of the game in getting the best price for the best quality.

Plus, depending on your setup, many inventory management systems have automated low stock alerts and even the potential for automated ordering when you’re low on products. Instead of spending hours each week in the stockroom counting products, you can reinvest that time into growing your business.

Seating and Eating: Improve the Diner Experience

You could have the best food, the coolest atmosphere, and the best location, but still struggle if diners don’t have a positive experience. Things like waiting too long to be seated (and being clustered at the door), waiting too long for their meal, or not getting what they ordered means a bad time. And that means bad reviews, no matter how much you did right.

These are manageable problems with the right POS system. These are restaurant management systems that modernize and streamline your reservation system, ensure communication between the kitchen and the front of house, and get orders right.

Don’t let shoddy systems hurt your reputation. The best technology means people are no longer clustering inside your restaurant. They’re standing outside talking to each other about their perfect night.

seating arrangement

Improve Restaurant Operations by Planning Ahead

Creating an enjoyable, warm dining experience for your customers is only successful when each aspect of your operation is firing on all cylinders. Developing a workflow that encourages higher staff production and crafting an inviting customer experience is key to achieving success.

Planning how each shift should be run—from the time a server clocks in to when your kitchen porter dries the last dish of the night—shouldn’t be a headache. Plus, once you get ahead of your shift planning, you’re able to run each meal service more smoothly and effectively. No more mid-shift crises! Or at least, no more crises that you aren’t equipped to handle.

Blending technical know-how into restaurant operations is a cornerstone of what talech brings to the table. Innovative POS solutions, especially when integrated with next-gen KDS (kitchen display systems), make you a trendsetting operations master. Micromanagement becomes a thing of the past, giving you the time to walk the floor and shake your customers’ hands, further making them feel at ease as if they were dining with an old friend.

Your POS can help you plan ahead in more ways than you might think. When you combine all of the previous steps on how to improve restaurant operations, you’re essentially creating yourself a mini roadmap of how each shift should be run. From there, you’re able to be more flexible during meal service.

A POS Partner for Peak Restaurant Operations Performance

talech can help you provide your diners with a positive experience and a richer atmosphere. Creating a precise operational strategy that contains a highly technical POS backbone leaves you in the position to take the lead in your industry. Improvements in customer retention are every restaurateur’s goal but are only possible with a highly effective, customer-friendly staff at the ready. Improvements in your processes mean increased staff retention, giving your customers the same friendly faces that have memorized their meal choices. This makes a talech POS solution for your restaurant a low-risk, high-reward win for you.

Sign up for a free demo to experience how talech’s feature-rich approach to point of sale can modernize your eatery and streamline operations so you can do what you do best: getting your customers fed.

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