Monday, October 22, 2012

The Restaurant Menu

A well designed menu can make things a lot easier for the operator. It can help keep costs in line and even help distribute the workload in the kitchen. A menu can be designed to influence the amount a customer will spend and generate a check average needed to achieve daily sales projections based on seating, customer counts, and hours of operation. being able to "guide" a customer's selection will improve the accuracy of sales forecasts, purchases, preparation quantities, and even labor scheduling.

The product and worker flow will be driven largely by the menu-sales mix. A menu will dictate the skill levels of the employees in both the kitchen and the dining room. The information the menu provides will help management select specific equipment and the best way to arrange that equipment for efficiency of production.

Whether you are looking to improve the operation of an existing restaurant or planning a new restaurant, the menu design plays a critical role in your success.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Protecting Your Profits

Employee theft is such a major problem that it is a leading cause of restaurant failure. There are several reasons as to why the restaurant industry is susceptible to loss from employee theft.

They are:

There are several ways employees can combine house receipts with tips.

High employee turnover.

Access to cash.

Food and liquor are highly desirable items.

In order to combat the problem of the theft, you must learn to recognize the symptoms.

Some of those symptoms may be:

1. Become familiar with the warning signs of substance abuse. In most instances an employee will need the extra money to finance a habit. 

2. Refuses to take a vacation. Employees who refuse to go on vacation may be afraid that their substitute will discover their dishonesty. 

3. Condoning dishonesty in others. Employees who steal tend to have a different belief system when it comes to theft. Rather than believing theft is wrong, they may condone the acts of dishonest employees as, "It’s no big deal. It was only a few bucks." 

4. A change in behavior. Employees who suddenly exhibit an unexpected change in their behavior should be a warning sign to management. Watch for sudden mood swings, nervousness, hostility, and other emotional changes. 

5. Over protection of work records or files. Employees who are reluctant to give up custody of records or files may be keeping incriminating facts and documents close to them. 

6. Violating the work rules. Employees who rebel against company policies and procedures should be watched. 

Additionally, employee embezzlement can put you out of business. Employee theft is far worse than all the theft committed by your customers. You need to take the right steps to protect your cash. 

Note: I cannot tell you how many times a client of mine has refused to believe an (I thought they were so honest) employee would steal from them. Whether it's an issue of complete denial or a distaste for confrontation. 

Don't let yourself become a victim of theft. Unfortunately, it's a very distasteful part of being a business owner that must be dealt with.


Friday, October 12, 2012

High Food Costs?

There are hundreds of reasons why your food costs may not meet your cost standards.....reasons that encompass the entire range of business activities in both the front and back-of-the-house. One cannot automatically assume that the causes of high food costs are the fault of the kitchen and ignore what is taking place in the dining room. The problems driving high food costs could be in place even before the food is delivered to the restaurant. If any weakness exists within the entire cycle of ordering, receiving, storage, preparation, service, cash receipts, and accounts payable, your food costs might not be as low as it could be.

The first step in correcting a problem is to recognize that you have one. Once the problem is discovered, you can prevent it from happening again.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Operational Systems Create Consistency

Restaurant systems create consistency. A system makes it possible for your employees to repeat a performance that creates a consistent experience for your guests.

Consistency is the key to creating a great reputation and hosting repeat customers

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