The final target for Lean practices in restaurants is to help managers and staffs in the food industry to improve their performance of all restaurant’s operations after ensuring that the right improvement is made for the right causes without sacrificing quality or safety. Lean practices cannot be purchased or installed in a restaurant. These practices depend on the way in which the work is done and require changing behaviors and attitudes of the manager and his staff. In order to own a sustainable and profitable restaurant, you can apply lean practices to all areas of your restaurant. In this article, we will show you the challenges that might face a restaurant manager and how would you benefit from applying lean practices.
Identifying Customers’ Needs:
Before starting any improvements to overcome challenges, you need to clearly understand your customers’ needs, which might be:
- The best available value for the price paid.
- Comfortable friendly atmosphere.
- Special food items.
It is important to know that a beautiful environment or good waiters are not enough to overcome the bad effects of poor quality meals or long waiting times.
What are the challenges that might face a restaurant’s manager?
Managers, first, have to recognize quality standards for each order served. Then, they need to monitor, measure and evaluate to make sure that standards are met. They must train their employees to follow standard working procedures.
The stated quality standards must be merged into the production process by applying standard recipe cards, purchase choices, and proper tools, machines, and equipment to ensure freshness and consistency of every dish’s flavor, texture, and look.
Along with ensuring quality standards at the reasonable prices, managers have to make sure of the speed and consistency of the provided service. Any challenges in the term of the provided service can be overcome by implementing and developing standard procedures through employees’ training on these standards and planning properly for materials, equipment and headcount to prepare orders at the right time while minimizing waste, inventory, and payrolls.
To keep up with market’s developments and changes restauranteurs shall consider updating the menu periodically at the right frequency to catch up with the latest trends and maximizing revenues at the same time.
An important step of the restaurant’s operations management is to track sales and production to determine the generated revenue of each menu item.
Reducing Food Waste:
Managers always try to keep food waste as low as possible by balancing inventory usage and storing food and beverage properly.
The most challenging aspect of managing a restaurant is to recruit, train, schedule, and retain qualified experienced employees.
Health and safety standards shall always be maintained to ensure the customer’s satisfaction.
What are the benefits of applying lean principles?
Improving performance results in releasing extra production capacity which leads to a very positive effect on profitability, especially if the fixed costs can be maintained at their previous level.
Utilizing extra production in a restaurant is to use it as an opportunity to start up new products or get into new markets and broaden the sales base of your restaurant.
Applying lean principles will result in lower costs which will increase your sales as the prices are lower and more suitable for customers and the fixed costs of the business are diluted.
While lowering costs, produced quality and provided service have to be very high for the entire time. Moreover, lapses will be eliminated to avoid issues with quality and service levels that may hurt the business deeply, as sales decline and the customers look elsewhere for dining.
The better you control your restaurant’s operations, the more revenues you will get and less waste, resulting in higher profit margins for the business. There will be less waste because the employees know that their performance is monitored and they are motivated to get it right the first time. Whereas you will get more revenues as the ordering process is now better organized. Less waste from the storage areas in the restaurant because they are tidier and only contain what needs to be there. Finally, you will deliver your customer the best order on time.
Improved operations in the restaurant mean that changes can be made more quickly and this will make your restaurant quicker to react to orders from your customers; this, in turn, will increase the reputation of your restaurant and ultimately bring more business your way. deliver at very short notice when the competitor factory has a problem. A quicker response should only come from having flexible operations that can be switched on, but not sacrificing quality.
Better working environment:
Using Lean principles will make your restaurant a better place to work. Staff will be more in control of the process of meeting very high performance in taking, preparing, and serving orders and are able to do so consistently. All procedures will be more organized, easier, and less frustrating, and you will run a tidier and safer working place.
A restaurant that has implemented Lean principles looks at the cost and the revenue of each operation in the business. If the cost is larger than the revenue that the restaurant gets out of it, then a change is needed to modify the operations in order to improve and fix the situation.