Restaurant management rules to win the customer game
Although restaurant management can prove to be a double-edged sword, the following tips can help you satisfy customers, and make a profit, hopefully.
The restaurant manager as a link
A restaurant business is basically an organization, the main role of which is to successfully serve the needs of three particular groups of people who are associated with it, i.e. its guests, owners, and staff.
First of all, a restaurant manager should seek to understand the requirements posed by each group and attempt to find the "golden mean", that is, a solution that is mutually accepted and also beneficial to all the parties involved.
In the discussion that takes place below, you can get some ideas about how this can be achieved.
1) Setting priorities in time management
Strong time management skills are essential in running successfully a restaurant. Guests want to be served at the right time, and food cannot wait to be taken to tables until it is cold, when it should be served hot, and vice versa.
Organizing and keeping a tight schedule of priorities on a daily and per-shift basis is the first step to being always ready in terms of buying raw materials, processing and preparing them for the menu dishes, and maintaining a clean, tidy, orderly, and functional dining area.
When a restaurant manager fails to perform, i.e. by making regular errors in calculating the time needed to start and complete a task in the kitchen, this can prove to be critical for the restaurant’s survival and success, since it results in customer complaints, and loss of sales and profits, thus putting the whole business at risk and giving the owners a very good reason to replace the manager.
2) A flexible response to “extraordinary”, "unexpected" or “unforeseen” circumstances
Experience is a major asset for a restaurant manager, and it can be gained through a combination of formal culinary training, long-term hands-on practice, and asking and listening to advice from more experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled restaurant managers and other catering professionals.
So, in case of "weird" orders, wishes, and requests from customers, highly-organized restaurant managers with the right level of experience will always know the right answer beforehand and act accordingly.
Being successful in that will lead to a tremendous boost, in terms of professional reputation and recognition, as well as to an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers. After all, people want to do business with someone who knows what he or she is doing and is capable to perform and get results under any level of pressure and difficulty; that is people want to deal with winners, and winning has a lot to do with experience and the ability to respond to any situation successfully.
3) Instill this mentality of preparedness in your staff
The importance of restaurant staff training cannot be overemphasized.
When you notice that there are problems (even small ones) in the smooth process of serving food to customers, then you should be able to recognize that this is a sure sign of the lack of knowledge, training, and skills in specific areas.
It is never too late to re-train your staff, and even yourself as a manager, in order for everyone to be able to perform their duties better, and improve customer service. The goals of further training should be made clear to your staff, as well as what is attempted to achieve through training. This will be an honest and thus more effective approach.
In the end of the day, this is what customers want, i.e. a direct, fast, professional, and honest approach. The marriage of those values can only be built on long-term training, professional commitment and passion, and adherence and discipline to specific restaurant and customer management and service unwritten rules.
Following the example of famous and successful restaurant managers and owners, like Chef Gordon Ramsay, money in the restaurant business can be earned with hard work, long-hours of effort, and also a deep understanding and knowledge of all aspects of restaurant management. On the other hand, money can be lost very easily, if these specific rules are not applied religiously, and bankruptcy might wait round the corner.
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