Sunday, November 25, 2012

Restaurant Consulting NYC | The Role of the Restaurant Manager | 4Q Consulting, LLC

The Role of the Restaurant Manager
4 Basic Areas of Focus

You’ve decided to hire a Restaurant Manager.  As the owner, you will want to define the manager’s focus while they run the day to day operations of your business.  Whether you groom an internal candidate or hire an experienced manager to run your business profitably, you will need to provide them with a roadmap of your expectations of their responsibilities.

The following four tips suggest the global basics for any restaurant manager to help your business run effectively and more profitably:

1. Manage Costs
Managing costs is a critical function in the restaurant. The largest controllable costs include labor, food & beverage and waste. A good manager will need to know how to staff at the level of service you want, work with the kitchen to maintain costs and oversee standards and procedures to minimize waste, while maintaining the budget.  Managers need to be able to record and explain all costs.

2. Manage Quality
Managers are your eyes and ears when you are not in the restaurant.  You rely on them to uphold your product quality standards.  Managers should know and maintain food preparation procedures, food storage standards and presentation quality at all times.  They must be able to train the staff to uphold these standards and correct mistakes in real-time.

3. Manage Service
Managers play an important role in providing superior guest service.  Proper oversight of the flow and function between front-of-house and back-of-house and how this impacts the guest experience.  Managers must be properly trained to handle any situation that comes up in course of service and must guide the team through these situations.

4. Manage Team
Managers are role models for the rest of the staff.  They are your point person for maintaining your company culture. Managers should treat all staff members fairly, consistently, positively and respectfully.  They must set the example for acceptable behavior, without exception.

Managers are the walking embodiment of your employee handbook; you are paying your restaurant manager to ensure that your restaurant runs efficiently and profitably.  By clearly communicating job expectations and objectives, the owner can be certain that the manager understands their role.

Don’t know where to begin?  Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place so your manager can help you be as profitable as possible?  4Q Consulting, LLC can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs.  Call us today for a free business consultation!

All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

4Q Consulting, LLC | Restaurant Consulting NYC | Does your restaurant compile a monthly P&L Statement?

Does your restaurant compile a monthly P&L Statement?

If it doesn’t, it should.  Here’s why:

A profit and loss statement, or P&L, is a basic income statement that serves as a financial report card for your business. It is an important tool in measuring cash flow and controlling costs. The more frequent and more detailed the statement, the more accurate picture of your business you will have.

Here are 4 important measures that a monthly P&L Statement exposes:

1. Cash Flow – by recording and categorizing sales on a monthly basis, you can quickly identify trends in customer demands or the result of a marketing campaign.  Knowing the week over week sales permits you to spot areas that require attention to build or to prevent potential issues from becoming problems.

2. Inventory Control – a weekly cost reading of inventory bought and/or held of all items sold, consumed or used allows you to react to rising costs by adjusting menu offerings and portioning. It also permits adjusting purchasing practices in relation to your cash flow and business volume. The restaurant must purchase enough products to serve customers without running out and without having too much left over going bad on the shelves.

3. Cost Control – detailed tracking of fixed and variable costs, such as payroll, operating expenses and occupancy costs can highlight wasted resources. Labor cost is often one of the largest expenses, but is also one of the most easily controlled (how many workers do you need on a Tuesday night while maintaining high-level customer service?). Tracking efficient use of all resources minimizes unnecessary expense.

4. Profit Margins – the most important piece of your P&L will be the end results.  What is actually left over from your sales, once all your expenses are deducted from them?  You’re in business to make a profit and if you are not in any given week, you need to consider making changes to your business.

Knowing this information in nearly real time allows you the best opportunity to effectively manage your business for profit. A weekly review allows you to be more nimble and flexible in making business decisions in a timely manner and know their impact on the bottom line.

Every business will vary based on product offerings. Don’t know where to begin? 4Q Consulting, LLC can create customized tracking systems for your business.  Give us a call today for a free consultation.

All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

4Q Consulting, LLC | Restaurant Consulting NYC | 4 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs an Employee Handbook

4 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs an Employee Handbook

The employee handbook is one of the most important documents for your business. It establishes the policies and procedures employees must follow in your restaurant, catering business or food service establishment. As we have discussed in previous blogs, having specific procedures in place reduces waste, the possibility of fines and other unnecessary costs. There are tremendous long-term savings and potential for increased profits that can be realized by having clearly defined policies and procedures that are enforced, are adhered to, and become part of the culture of your business.

Here are 4 reasons why every restaurant needs an employee handbook:

1. Communicate Employee Expectations and Job Functions
Restaurant employees do better work when they fully understand their job requirements and specific procedures. A good employee handbook clearly defines job functions, behaviors and work expectation policies for each job role.  Consider translating this document into other languages to improve communications with staff. From an operational efficiency standpoint, the goal is to have every employee doing the same task consistently, which in turn can reduce waste and cut costs.

2. Improve Operational Efficiencies
A detailed handbook can be your most effective training tool, as it spells out how your establishment functions (policies) and how employees are expected to perform their duties (procedures).  You may consider creating procedure-specific manuals for different job functions. A higher level of detail can translate into increased operational efficiency, reduced training time, better continuity, less employee turnover and better customer service. The more specific you are, the better off you will be in the long run.

3. Create a Culture of Accountability
We have discussed creating a culture of accountability in previous blogs; written policies and procedures can facilitate this. With written policies, you can consistently hold employees responsible for their actions, both good and bad. Should you need to take disciplinary action, the employee handbook gives you clear, defined policies on which you are basing your actions.

4. Protect the Business
Having a well written manual in place can protect your business from potential labor disputes and costly legal fees, which can destroy your business.  It should outline unacceptable employee behaviors and related disciplinary policies.  It is important to know your local employment and labor laws to be sure that you are not setting policies that violate them.

There are many issues to consider when writing an employee handbook. Always consult with an employment lawyer or restaurant human resource professional before finalizing and publishing your handbook, as this often becomes a legal document. You will need to update the handbook periodically to reflect changes in your business as well as regulations and applicable employment laws.

Don’t know where to begin?  Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place so your staff can help you be as profitable as possible?  4Q Consulting can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs. 
Call us today for a free business consultation!

All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.