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How to Standardize Your Daily Operations at All of Your Restaurant Locations

How to Standardize Your Daily Operations at All of Your Restaurant Locations

Picture of Nikol Moen

Nikol Moen

Standardizing operations across team members and locations can help deliver a top-notch guest experience every time — no matter who’s on shift. Learn these best practices for restaurant operational excellence and watch customer loyalty and satisfaction grow.

Picture this: you walk into your favorite restaurant chain, craving that mouthwatering dish you’ve been dreaming about all day. But as soon as you walk in, you notice that something doesn’t feel quite right. The service is sluggish, the dish tastes different, and you can’t help but feel a tad disappointed. 

Have you ever had a dining experience like this? When operations aren’t running smoothly, the customer can feel it, taste it, and experience it. As a restaurant operator, you’re constantly searching for the the most efficient way to deliver a top-notch customer experience every time, no matter who’s on shift. The best way to do that? Standardize your daily operations. 

Let’s dive into the secrets of standardizing daily operations at every restaurant location, so that your guests’ dining experience is consistently delightful, no matter which spot they visit.

1. Develop (and share) Standard Operating Procedures

One of the first and most fundamental steps in developing consistency at a restaurant: your standard operating procedures (SOPs). These are the backbone of any well-oiled restaurant machine. Think of them as your recipe for success, outlining every aspect of your operation — from food preparation to customer service protocols. By establishing clear SOPs for each task, you’re laying the groundwork for uniformity across all locations.

If you already have a SOP, you may want to refresh it annually or even biannually. With the speed of technology these days, your restaurant may have adopted new technologies and processes that need to be documented within your SOP. 

After establishing and updating your SOP, make sure they’re in a readily-available place where staff can reference them. These days, you can use restaurant operations software to digitally store your SOP in an app that every staff member has readily available on their mobile device. They can simply open their restaurant operations app and search within a library of training and operations documents to find the most updated version of your restaurant’s SOP. Easy as pie.

2. Leverage technology to stay organized

Next, let’s talk tech. In today’s fast-paced world, keeping track of everything manually is a recipe for chaos (and management headaches). That’s where having the right operations technologies in place can save the day. 

From intuitive point-of-sale systems and robust inventory management software to people operations platforms, there’s a plethora of tech solutions designed to streamline your operations and keep you organized. Here’s a short list of technologies that you can pick and choose from to help systemize your operations: 

  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems: Modern POS systems do much more than just handle transactions. They can track sales, manage inventory, analyze customer data, and even facilitate online ordering and delivery integration.
  • Inventory management software: Say goodbye to the days of manual inventory counts and excel spreadsheets. Inventory management software automates the tracking of ingredients and supplies, helps with ordering and replenishment, and minimizes waste by identifying usage patterns.
  • Employee checklist software: Tracking operations can be tricky with paper checklists. A digital operations platform can track daily operations, ensuring that employees are completing tasks that need to be completed daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Employee scheduling platform: Managing staff schedules can be a headache, but not with the right software. These tools allow managers to create schedules, track employee hours, and handle shift changes with ease.
  • Online reservation systems: These systems make it easy for customers to book tables online and allow restaurant staff to manage reservations efficiently. Some systems also include features for optimizing table layouts and seating arrangements.
  • Mobile ordering and payment apps: In an increasingly digital world, offering mobile ordering and payment options can enhance the customer experience and increase efficiency. These apps allow customers to order and pay from their smartphones, reducing wait times and minimizing contact.
  • Employee operations and training systems: Investing in employee training is essential for maintaining consistency across locations. Learning management systems can ensure that everyone is up-to-speed on company policies and operating procedures.

As you embrace the power of technology, watch your efficiency levels soar.

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3. Invest in your most important asset: your staff

Even with the fanciest gadgets and technologies at your disposal, your staff remains your greatest asset. That’s why implementing comprehensive training and onboarding processes is crucial to standardizing operations at every location. From mastering the art of customer engagement to nailing down the perfect plating technique, investing in your team’s skills ensures that every aspect of your operation is executed with precision and care.

One major mistake restaurant operators make when it comes to training staff: missing ongoing learning opportunities. Training is never a one-and-done task. After new hire onboarding is complete, you’ll want to provide continuous learning opportunities to keep team members’ skills sharp. A restaurant LMS can help you develop an automated training program that extends beyond the first 30 days of a new hire’s job.

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4. Constantly monitor, track, and evaluate operations

Just like training isn’t a one-and-done deal, neither is consistency. There’s no such thing as achieving Ultimate Consistency at your restaurant — it’s an ongoing journey. That’s why it’s essential to continuously monitor and evaluate your systems. Keep a close eye on performance metrics, solicit feedback from both customers and staff, and be proactive in addressing any hiccups that may arise. Remember, adaptability is the key to staying ahead of the curve.

5. Ensure consistency across locations with audits

Last but certainly not least: let’s talk audits. While restaurant audits may make your staff nervous, it’s important to emphasize to team members they should think of audits as a compass, guiding the team towards operational excellence. Managers can use audits as a coaching opportunity to correct behavior and systems that are not operationally excellent. A little accountability goes a long way in providing the best possible customer experience.

And there you have it! With a dash of technology, a sprinkle of training, and a whole lot of dedication, standardizing daily operations at every restaurant location is well within your grasp. As you begin to implement these strategies, remember that ExpandShare is here to help. Whether you need help implementing digital checklists to improve restaurant operations or you need a restaurant learning management system to train employees, we’re here to serve. 

As you embark on this culinary adventure with confidence, know that each improvement you implement is a testament to your commitment to excellence. Cheers to consistency, and bon appétit!

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