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Operating a restaurant is no easy task. Not only do you need to sell amazing food that will transform customers into loyal enthusiasts, but you’ll also need a competent team to ensure smooth operations. Your team’s abilities will determine how well your restaurant operates and if you can hit your restaurant’s goals.  

On the surface, ensuring your restaurant's operations run smoothly sounds nearly impossible. This is because, as you know, running a restaurant can be super complicated. 

However, executing a few small tasks can put you on the right path to solid operations.

In this article, we’ll reveal three simple tactics that will improve your restaurant’s operations.  

Tactic 1: Hold Regular Pre-shift Staff Meetings

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that you hold daily, hour-long meetings that amount to snoozefests. What we are saying is that before each shift, you should have a quick, five-minute meeting between the kitchen and floor staff (servers).  

Pre-shift meetings are crucial to your restaurant’s operations. Pre-shift staff meetings can help in the following ways: 

  • Lead chefs can introduce and explain the features and ingredients that make the nightly dish unique. This information is crucial for answering questions that customers may have. 
  • You can let your floor team know about new wines, beers, or other special beverages that have just arrived. If any of these pair specifically well with menu items, inform your servers so they can let customers know. 
  • If you use a booking app, you might be able to guess how busy you’ll be each night by the number of bookings made. Inform your staff that you’re expecting a super busy night so they can prepare for the hustle and bustle. 
  • Pre-shift meetings are also an ideal place to address “housekeeping” issues. You can remind your team of important day-to-day jobs, like who needs to vacuum the floor and who gets the unenviable bathroom-cleaning task.  

Pre-shift meetings are an excellent way to make sure everyone is on the same page before the action starts. In very little time, pre-shift meetings address important issues and ensure your team is prepared for the night. 

Tactic 2: Create Your Own App 

Ditch the old-fashioned way of passing out menus, waiting for the server to return, ordering, entering the order into a computer, and delivering food. Create your very own restaurant app with an app builder like Adalo and make big cuts to ordering time. 

Don’t you need programming skills and technical knowledge to create your own app? Not with Adalo. Adalo leverages no-code technology and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows you to build your own app with ease

Choose from Adalo’s template library and create a color scheme that mirrors your restaurant’s brand. Upload your menu to your app, and build out any other features you want. Publish your app in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or your restaurant’s website so your customers can find and download your app to their phones or tablets. 

Take All Orders from Your App 

When customers place orders, your team will receive them so they can start preparing meals. If your customers need to ask your server a question, they can call their server with the push of a button. Letting your customers order directly from your own app can free up time for your serving staff and should lead to smoother operations.  

After customers finish their meal, they’ll be able to pay for it right at their table. Adalo is integrated with major payment systems like Square, Stripe, and PayPal, making cashless payments a breeze. Using cashless payments will reduce wait times, adding to solid restaurant operations. 

Create Your Own Online Booking System 

Another tool you can build with Adalo is an online booking system. Instead of calling in to book, customers can reserve tables in advance using your app. Your customers will enjoy the simplicity of booking through an app, and your staff will love ditching the physical calendar. 

Don’t forget to link your booking app to your Google Business Profile. Having a Google Business Profile literally puts you on Google Maps, a tool that many customers use to find and book restaurants. If you don’t have a Google Business Profile, you need to have a rethink. 

Follow these steps to create a Google Business Profile and link your booking app to it:

  1. On Google Business, go to “Manage Now” and select “Add Your Business.”
  1. Fill out info like your restaurant’s hours, web address, and phone number.
  1. Schedule Google to give your restaurant a call or send an email to verify your physical address. When Google confirms, voila! You’re now on Google Maps. 
  1. In your Adalo account, click on the “Share” button, which will copy a link to your app.
  1. In your Google Business Account, go to the “Booking” section.
  1. Select the “Add a Link” button and paste the link to your Adalo app. Don’t forget to save your changes.

Once you set this up, your customers will now be able to book a table from Google Maps. Having your booking app available on Google Maps will give your booking app more visibility and simplify getting a table. Everyone will love booking a table straight from Google Maps! 

Tactic 3: Make Your Restaurant The Best Place to Work

Keeping your employees happy is critical for improving your restaurant’s operations. While you can’t control their habits off the clock, you can create a nurturing and welcoming environment that your employees love. Here are a few ways you can do this: 

  • Promote work-life balance by careful scheduling. Even though restaurant work can get insanely busy, try to avoid scheduling double shifts. You might have some employees who want to work double shifts, so prioritize them when you need to fill scheduling gaps. 

    Doing this will ensure that everyone on your team works the hours they want, which will lead to better job execution and less burnout.  
  • Conduct quarterly one-on-ones with your team. Doing so every quarter gives you enough time to learn about employees’ attitudes, work ethic, and professional goals. 

    Having these meetings will give employees a chance to receive your feedback about where they need to improve and vent concerns about the job. One-on-ones will also make each team member feel more valued, which can make them take more pride in their work.   
  • Once a year, celebrate your restaurant’s anniversary by taking your team out to dinner. Don’t do this on everyone’s day off– do this on your time, so shut down your restaurant for an evening. 

If you can, pay your employees for their time. Treating your team to an anniversary dinner will make your team members feel appreciated.

Making each team member feel valued will inspire them to work hard. It will also help ensure you keep them on board. Keeping good employees is key to optimizing your restaurant’s operations. 

They’ll most likely bring a great attitude to work every day and serve as valuable mentors when you expand and need to onboard new hires, contributing to your restaurant’s success. 

Conclusion: Keep Your Operations in Mind

Remember that consistency is king. Pre-shift meetings and one-on-ones are vital to your restaurant’s success, so don’t ever let these slide. Promote your app and ensure that every customer in your restaurant is using it. This will keep your restaurant running like a well-oiled machine. 

Always listen to any concerns that your employees voice. Letting your team know that they deserve your attention shows that you value them. Team members who feel valued will stick around. You’ll need a happy team for your restaurant to succeed.