Restaurant Operations | 4 mins read

Understanding Restaurant Operations and How to Improve

understanding restaurant operations and how to improve
Dakota Sheetz

By Dakota Sheetz

Insight Into Restaurant Operations

A considerable part of the restaurant industry and internal restaurant operations is food service. However, if you don't have suitable staff procedures, ordering processes, and strategies to make your business run like a well-oiled machine, you can soon be in hot water. That's why understanding the entire picture long term is necessary.
Whether you're new to the restaurant industry, a new restaurant manager, or you want to improve your operations, read on. Here's what you need to know.

Restaurant Operations, What's It All About?

restaurant operations whats it all about 1599230278 3376

Everyday restaurant operations are a complex beast. They aren't one single thing, but rather a chain of processes intermingled to ensure that the highest levels of customer service and food safety are met for your patrons. If you have even one bad link in the chain, the whole chain can fall apart. Let's take a look at what's really involved in daily restaurant operations.

  1. Inventory Purchasing- Inventory purchasing isn't as easy as just buying food from the grocery store to create meals on your menu. There is a lot of planning involved.

    You must have enough ingredients to serve every one of your menu items, but not so much as to allow for significant wastage. It can be a balancing act while also requiring advanced systems to assist with the ordering process, managing food costs, and ensuring that you aren't drastically impacting your bottom line profitability.

  2. Food Preparation Practices- If there's one thing that can make or break the customer reviews for any restaurant business, it's the best practices followed for food safety and food preparation. These can involve specific timeframes for cooking to ensure customers aren't waiting too long.

    They can also include processes for preparing some ingredients in advance and catering for allergies and special requests. The more in-depth these practices are, the more streamlined your operations are, the better your customer experience and the happier your customers can be.

  3. Restaurant Service- It's important to know that you will never be able to please every customer that walks through your door. Still, a huge part of successful restaurant operations is making sure you can satisfy the majority.

    Some of the most common complaints about restaurant service are slow service and inattention from servers. You can prevent many of these issues by having policies in place by which your team abides. These policies can act as a management system between the front house and the back house to ensure that overall customer service is at it's highest standard.

  4. Hygiene- One in six Americans are struck down by foodborne illnesses every year. You can avoid being a restaurant business that contributes to those figures by following strict hygiene protocols in your restaurant.

    Make sure everyone understands the concept of clean, separate, cook, and chill. These processes are simple, yet 48 million Americans are proof that every year, some eateries aren't following them.

How to Improve Restaurant Operations

how to improve restaurant operations 1599230278 9221

The sheer volume of daily tasks in your restaurant can make you feel overwhelmed. While there might be a lot to do, the technology and processes exist to ensure it's not more than you can handle. While you might not see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can improve your restaurant operations.
Get Employee Feedback
Before you invest in multiple systems to improve issues you think you're having, talk to your team. Find out what they find difficult about current procedures. Get their buy-in about changes you could make to improve daily operations.
Work On Your Restaurant, Not Just In It
It's easy to get caught up in daily operations that take up all of your time. But as a restaurant owner, it's paramount to set aside time to work on your restaurant, not just in it. Alongside making sure your team and customers are happy, it's crucial to analyze and plan for your future.
Establish concrete processes in place for purchasing, pricing, productivity, cash flow, and inventory. Then, work on your marketing, social media, relationships, and culture. Sure, getting the food out is essential, but so too are the cogs in your machine to make sure it's done to a high standard.
Simplify Your Menu
You may be surprised at just how detrimental an extensive menu can be to your restaurant operations. The larger the menu, the more food you have to buy. The more food you have to buy, the higher the risk for wastage, and the larger your food bill. You can even find that customers prefer a smaller, well-executed menu.
The positive net effect is that staff can be confident in the dishes, and customers reap the rewards of a delicious meal that you've had plenty of opportunities to perfect.


Being in the hospitality industry can be challenging at times. In saying that, we now have the technology and processes to make sure our restaurants can operate at their best. Getting to that point can take time, but the results can show that it's entirely worth the work.

  • Understand that your business consists of many links in a chain. One damaged link can bring your entire operation to its knees.
  • Everything within your business is process-based. Nail the processes, and the seamless daily operations will follow.
  • Talk to your team find out what they need from you.
  • Don't forget to not only work in your restaurant but on it. Always look to the future and how you can make improvements.