7 Systems That Help You Stick to Restaurant Best Practices

By: David Scott Peters

4 Minute Read

Jun 06, 2018

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restaurant best practices

True restaurant professionals realize they were blessed with the gift to create lasting memories in their guests’ lives, making it their purpose to offer true hospitality.

But when you feel overwhelmed by the many ongoing challenges involved in running a restaurant, it’s easy to lose sight of this.

That's why all restaurant professionals – even the very best – need to stick to a set of systems to follow restaurant best practices.So, how do you stay focused on your why and not let the challenges of running a restaurant beat you down? 

Let’s take a look at how to best follow restaurant best practices so you can stress less and focus on your ability to make lasting memories in your guests’ lives.

What Is A System?

A restaurant system is a process – a way of doing anything and everything in your restaurant – to guide you towards following best practices.

And what is best practice? It's creating a system or process for everything you do in your restaurant. These systems allow others to run the restaurant how you want without you having to be there. This way, you can work on your business, rather than in it.

Systems must be two things: 

  1. They must be trainable.
  2. They must meet the needs and expectations of the restaurant owner or manager.

When everyone is trained your way, following your systems, you no longer lose years of experience and knowledge when a seasoned person leaves your business. This uniformity also ensures you hold people accountable. When someone moves on — whether it be for good or bad reasons — there is another person who moves up easily because they have been trained your way.

This is huge, and one of the biggest reasons why some chain restaurants are able to maintain thousands of locations around the world that have zero owners in them. They have a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in their restaurants: their way.

Setting Your Systems For Following Best Practices

Adhering to systems in the name of following best practices will only work if you have two things in place:

1. You hold your restaurant to high standards.

You consistently score A grades in Restaurant 101: our hot food is hot, cold food is cold, you have a clean and safe environment for guests and team members, great service, and great food and beverage choices. 

As restaurateurs, this is what we were called to do, and only by doing it with excellence can we ensure we follow best practices in our restaurants.

2. You have a company culture where details matter.

Cash controls and checklists: These are the foundation of all your systems.

Cash controls ensure every penny makes it into the till and then into your bank account. 

Checklists ensure your restaurant is kept incredibly clean and ready for each shift to operate.

Without cash controls and checklists, you’re not going to get your chef to count your inventory accurately, your cooks to follow recipes and portion controls, or your front-of-house staff to care about your guests’ experiences.

When you consistently follow proper cash handling procedures and your management team ensures all of your checklists are followed to the T every shift, you will have created a culture in your restaurant where details matter.

Only then are you ready to put systems in place for everything you do in your restaurant, allowing you to working on your business, rather than in it.

What Systems Should You Create to Follow Best Practices?

Here’s a sampling of the systems you need in place:

restaurant best practices

I know this list looks overwhelming, that’s because it is

The crazy part? That’s only a partial list of systems to help you follow best practices.

By systemizing your business, you can be comfortable that your day-to-day operations are always being done your way by everyone and anyone on staff. 

When you have systems in place and managers executing those systems your way, there will still be challenges; people will always make mistakes. With the organization and clearly outlined processes these systems provide, your team will be able to get back on track immediately when they stumble.

Management, front-of-house staff, and back of house staff will each know what their job is, how to do it, how well you want it done, and by when. This enables you to hold each of them accountable against their outlined responsibilities. 

Having effective systems in place will free up your schedule to focus on what’s important: your ‘why’, including growing your business, showing your passion, and leading your team to success. 

Learn more about restaurant best practices in Toast's 2019 Restaurant Success Report.

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