What Is Visual Management? And How can you Practice it in your Restaurant?

July 4, 2019


Visualization has been a trend in managing restaurants. It helps you as a manager to see the big picture, concentrate on goals and overcome obstacles.

People can recognize 70% – 95% of information through visual form, and the human eye can receive visual pictures models 65.000 times faster than written ones. Accordingly, we will simplify this concept for you to show you what is Visual Management, and how can you practice it in your restaurant.


Visual management is an important tool in Lean Management. It is about making everything obvious for all the staff, in a way that they can know exactly what to do throughout their entire shift, they can know their next steps, and they can know their progress in work. Applying visual management at your restaurant will help you to accomplish the following benefits:

  • Saving your time by stating necessary procedures in a visual form instead of keeping saying them to your staff.
  • Spreading trust among your team in what they are doing resulting in speeding up work processes.
  • Operating business much more smoothly, efficiently and sustainably and improving performance by providing real-time information on workplace condition.

Visual management affects nine areas in your restaurant, which are stated in the following figure:



Visual management in taking and preparing orders:

You can use visual management in taking the order, helping your client and your employee to identify the exact order. On one hand, you might attach your menu with a picture of every meal that clearly illustrates how big the meal is, how it will look like when prepared, and what the ingredients are. On the other hand, you may consider using a colored piece of tinfoil where every color indicating specific ingredients. Place these pieces on plates so that the next server down the assembly line can know exactly what to put in the plate. This procedure will have the following results:

  • Fast and efficient service by giving time to the cashier to do more add-value practices instead of answering question resulting in increasing sales.
  • High-quality service.
  • Customer can make a quick decision.
  • Satisfied and happier customer.


Visual management board:

It gives insights about work items that need to be done by the team and allow you to monitor all activities and create a sense of responsibility among the staff. It consists of three basic elements, which are:

  1. Workflow: understand your business well, and then divide the board into columns that clarify the work stages.
  2. Work items: which might be service requests, features, orders, custom rules, backlogs, to-do, and others.
  3. The Pull system: your staff must finish a task then move to the next one.

To design this board effectively, you should make sure that it has the following characteristics:

  • Simple and colored with a different color for every work item.
  • Particularly targeted.
  • Updated on an ongoing basis.
  • Filled only with the necessary information.
  • Striking enough to attract all the staff.
  • Positioned in a remarkable place to be easily seen by everyone.