Top 5 Management Functions for a Better Restaurant’s Operations

October 24, 2019


In today’s fast-changing international business environment, most restaurants cannot survive unless they are effectively managed. Management has been defined as a dynamic social process involving the responsibility for effective and economical planning and regulation of your restaurant’s operations in achieving certain purposes. In addition, management is the process that improves the human, material and financial resources of your restaurant to fulfill its goals effectively.

Furthermore, management includes various activities such as planning, marketing, decision-making, purchasing, organization, leadership, motivation, and control of your restaurant’s human, financial, material, and information resources to reach its goals effectively and efficiently.

In this article, we discuss the top 5 primary management functions for a better restaurant’s operations, where they go hand in hand with the Principles of management. These functions are:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Directing
  4. Staffing
  5. Controlling

1. Planning:

According to KOONTZ, “Planning is deciding in advance – what to do, when to do & how to do. It bridges the gap from where we are & where we want to be”.

A plan is a predetermined course of action that enables you to practice problem-solving & decision-making processes and determine the courses of action to achieve desired goals. Thus, planning is an intellectual exercise to think about tools and ways to accomplish future goals and utilize properly human & non-human resources to avoid confusion, uncertainties, risks, wastages, etc. Planning is a systematic activity that involves looking ahead of time, anticipating difficulties and suggesting solutions to overcome these difficulties. Planning is continuous and never-ending and it is the most essential management function since other functions depend on plans.

Planning has certain characteristics such as forecasting, goals, decision-making, flexibility, and data. Planning is not an exclusive task for senior executives; it applies equally to lower-level management. Planning elements are objectives, policies, rules, procedures, programs, schedules, budget and forecasting.

Why is it important to make sound plans?

  • Improving and increasing management capabilities.
  • Facing the uncertainties of the future.
  • Adapting and adjusting to changing environments.
  • Avoiding hasty decisions.
  • Reducing the overall cost.
  • Improving the motivation and morale of your employees.
  • Ensuring unity through action and effective control


How to plan?

Gain the knowledge and collect data:

Understand your restaurant’s objectives and identify the available resources your restaurant has. You have to gain knowledge of how the sales industry works and what different methods can effectively increase your restaurant sales and maximize your restaurant’s table turnover.

Be proactive, forecast, and look into the future:

You need to understand your short-term and long-term goals the restaurant aims to achieve. Moreover, consider making predictions about future conditions to achieve these goals. When planning, you should take into account any small differences such as changes in customer behavior because of the downturn in the economy and changes in the environment that affect food costs.

Identify your goals:

Once you understand the organizational goal, available resources, and future expectations for achieving the goals, you need to identify the specific processes and detailed objectives needed to achieve a larger goal. You might want to create a marketing plan to increase sales, which requires your employees responsible for marketing to do market research and come up with attractive ideas. The more detailed goals and processes you can define, the better the plan.

Build flexible structures:

Things might not always go according to plan, thus your plan must be flexible. For instance, your finance team may have to reduce the costs of your sales team, and you should be aware of the impact this may have on your new marketing campaign.


2. Organizing:

According to Henry Fayol, “To organize a business is to provide it with everything useful or its functioning i.e. raw material, tools, capital and personnel’s”. It is the process of combining physical, financial and human resources and enhancing their productive relationship to achieve organizational goals. When you organize your restaurant’s operations, you have to:

  • Identify your activities.
  • Classify and group these activities.
  • Assign the tasks to your staff.
  • Delegate the authority and create the responsibility levels.
  • Coordinate authority and responsibility relationships.

Management directs, coordinates and controls business through organizing. Nevertheless, it should be noted that a good organizational structure by itself does not ensure the success of your restaurant. However, the best performance in all other areas of management is ineffective and frustrating without the right organizational structure. Efficient organizing guarantees to avoid misunderstandings, confusions, disloyalty, and lethargy.


How to organize:

Making a list of all the activities and classify them:

Identify the different roles, processes, and activities needed to fulfill the objectives. Point out the roles of the staff members and the different tasks and the specific processes each employee would perform.

Assign the tasks for employees and provide resources:

Assign specific duties to the most qualified employees and provide resources for the operations.

Coordinate and Delegate authority and responsibility:

You, as a manager, should not possess all the authority and the power of making a decision. Alternatively, try delegating authority and coordinating it to match the overall functionality of your restaurant and the structure of the objectives.


3. Staffing:

According to Kootz & O’Donell, “Managerial function of staffing involves manning the organization structure through the proper and effective selection, appraisal & development of personnel to fill the roles designed un the structure”. The main purpose of staffing is to hire the right man for the right job. In addition, Staffing has gained more prominence in recent years because of the advancement of technology, increased workload, complexity of human behavior, etc.

How to staff?

Workforce Planning:

Estimate the number of employees you need, find out the right employees, and hire the perfect employees.

Effective recruitment, selection and placement.

Proper Training & Development:

Consider creating training programs, as you need to ensure that your employees possess the top skills in the restaurant industry.


Employee remuneration is essential in attracting the right talent without compromising the organization’s funds. If you do not offer a competitive reward package, applicants will go to your competitors.

Performance evaluation and Promotions:

Consider providing your employees with feedback about their performance. Feedback can play an important role in motivating and improving employees. A way to reward and motivate your restaurant staff is to offer enough opportunities for role transfers and promotions in order to ensure that the talented employees you’ve attracted wouldn’t leave elsewhere.


4. Directing:

This management function actuates organizational methods to operate efficiently to accomplish organizational goals. Directing is the engine that gets people to start working as it deals directly with influence, guidance, supervision, and motivation to achieve organizational goals. It ensures that employees are able to perform their tasks effectively and guarantees increasing productivity.

How to direct?


You, as a manager, have to oversee, watch, monitor, and direct the performance of your employees. You shall also support and guide them employees when things are not going as planned. Moreover, consider applying evaluation reports and conduct meetings with your staff to discuss how the work in your restaurant is going on. You may also support them by providing training materials to help them improve their performance.


It is about inspiring, stimulating or encouraging your employees to enhance their performance. Provide them with positive and negative feedback. In addition, consider offering them positive, negative, monetary, non-monetary incentives.


leadership skills are something a good manager should keep in mind. You have to influence and inspire your employees and establish a great role model. Let them feel that you are an essential part of the process of achieving the objectives.


Directing depends on effective communication. As a manager, you have to create a workplace that allows different communication channels from passing information to exchanging opinions. Make sure that these different channels of communication are not only between you and your staff but also between the staff and different management levels.


5. Controlling:

According to Theo Haimann, “Controlling is the process of checking whether or not proper progress is being made towards the objectives and goals and acting if necessary, to correct any deviation”. You need to measure and correct your employees’ performance and activities to ensure that your restaurant’s predetermined objectives and plans are accomplished.

How to control?

Identify a standard  performance:

Start with identifying the standards of performance you are aiming for. These standards should be defined taking into account organizational objectives and plan you set to build a set of measurements that tell you you’re on the right track.

Measure the actual performance:

You have to monitor the actual performance according to the standards and measurements you established. You can rely on performance reviews, actual quantifiable data, and information you collected from the start.

Compare the actual performance with the set standards:

After receiving performance reviews,  compare it with the set standards. By comparing them, you can identify the problem areas or point out working models that are actually working more efficiently.

Make corrections:

With the data you’ve collected and the performance reviews you have in mind, you can take any essential corrective action to adjust your employees’ performance and optimize your restaurant’s operations.



Theoretically, it may be appropriate to separate the management functions; however, in practice, these functions are nested and indivisible. Each function blends with other functions and each function affects the performance of others.