Tips for Restaurants To Improve Operations

Jim Sullivan wrote an excellent article in Nation’s Restaurant News on the steps restaurants need to take to improve their operations, especially in today’s economy. We’d like to feature a few of them here.
  1. Today, commit to hiring noticeably better people. Don’t just hire–assemble a cast.
  2. Don’t train “in general”, train “in specific”. Ask yourself, “who (or what) is my training target today?”
  3. Prune underperformers, that you should have let go, from your staff.
  4. Re-evaluate how you interact with customers.
  5. Conduct a purchasing audit. Assess every vendor’s service, quality and resources.
  6. Recharge your business plan, especially your holiday plan.
  7. Teach your team the basics of Food Costs 101.
  8. If quick service time has anything to do with what you do, work on improving it.
  9. Start a plan today to sell more gift certificates/cards before the holidays. Why wait?
  10. Assess your entire team of hourlies today. Assign a yellow light to the ones doing the job, a green light to the ones doing more than the job, and a red light to the ones doing less than the job.
  11. Using the above outcome, decide whether you will “groom ’em” or “broom ’em”. Send a message to low performers.
  12. Walk in stupid today. What is your restaurant teaching you?
  13. Write thank you notes to three customers today.
  14. Improve one facet of service today. As author Chris Peck says, “If the only thing to purchase at a restaurant were food, it would be called a grocery store.”

If you enjoyed this article, there are plenty more in Nation’s Restaurant News magazine. This is one of the magazines we have on our list of “must haves” for anyone opening a restaurant or already in the business. To find out more, go to

About The University of Scranton SBDC

The University of Scranton SBDC provides no cost small business consulting services that are tailored to fit the needs of small business clients of Bradford, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne & Wyoming Counties. The center offers confidential individualized assistance designed to identify and address the problems of small business owners as well as individuals interested in establishing a business. The program is jointly funded by the US Small Business Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and The University of Scranton.
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