There is no right way to run a restaurant business. Great restaurateurs and chefs have lots of different methods they use to master the craft of restaurant management. However, there are certain techniques that seem to be ubiquitous among the best and the brightest. Not all of these are immediately apparent to the casual observer. But for people who have made a life in the restaurant world, it’s easy to see who is doing it right and who is vulnerable to a lot of the problems that poorly run restaurants suffer.
It often comes down to the details. One example is the communication system between front of house and the kitchen. This is how orders get from customer to kitchen and back again. The system shouldn’t be conspicuous, and it should operate flawlessly. It can involve written notes, electronic POS, credit cards, cash, and a lot of verbal communication. The iPad POS for NYC restaurants is the new industry standard for that part of the world. These innovative and intuitive POS systems are starting to trickle down to all points in the restaurant world, and customers are loving it. This is an example of a hidden essential that good restaurants have in place.
Another hidden essential is good treatment of employees. It’s sad to say, but most people who work in restaurants aren’t particularly well paid or respectfully treated. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to pay the very minimum legal amount (or, when they’re feeling sneaky, less). Many restaurant workers work incredibly long hours. These conditions conspire to make people tired and unhappy. Unhappy workers don’t put their hearts into the food they make or the service they provide to your customers. Paying employees well and treating them better than the industry standard may sound like something you can’t afford, but in reality, you can’t afford not to. Doing otherwise has a corrosive effect on your organization.
Another hidden essential is empowerment, inspiration, and longevity. These are different ideas, but in the restaurant world they tend to embody themselves in a few essential personnel. Have you ever been to a restaurant that declined in quality simply because a single cook left? Lots of foodies have. If you have a restaurant that you want to last, you’ve got to cultivate lasting employment relationships with talented people. Not only do you want them to stay in your fold, you’ll also want to help them achieve new heights in their own careers, helping them to expand their skills and discover new ways to make great food.
When a person walks into your restaurant, they see the sights and smell the smells. They might hear some of what’s going on in the kitchen, or make judgments on your choice of decor. But at the end of the day, the things that will impress them most are the food and the service. Both of these characteristics are driven by hidden essentials, often invisible to the casual customer. Get these essentials right, and the food and service will take care of themselves.