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The Essential Role of a Restaurant Operations Manual in a Successful Business

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Running a restaurant on your own is no easy task. It requires various skillsets and appropriate training to equip the team with the tools to handle the situations they may face. Streamline your restaurant’s operations with a comprehensive Restaurant Operations Manual.

What Is A Restaurant Operations Manual?

A restaurant operations manual is a comprehensive collection of guidelines, checklists and duties that cover all restaurant operations – from food preparation to customer service, to the purchasing of raw supplies, accounting, reporting and even cleaning. It encompasses all information that every employee needs to know that are essential to the success of your business.

restaurant operations manual - Getting started

The Manual Should Cover the Following:

  • What tasks must be performed?
  • How are these tasks to be performed?
  • Who is responsible for these tasks?

It essentially acts as a reference guide that employees can quickly check if they need to know something.

An Operations Manual is Essential

  • It Reduces The Learning Time Of The Employees – No matter how experienced your new staff is, the operations of every restaurant are unique. A comprehensive, well-written and a well-researched restaurant operations manual will be easy to read and refer to, thereby helping staff to understand what is expected of them and how they should go about with their duties. An operations manual should be seen as a solution book for the many challenges that your employees may be faced with in the restaurant.
  • Delegating Tasks Becomes Easier – A well-written restaurant operations manual will include an organogram of the business, with a brief description and contact details of each staff member on board.
  • Develop and Retain Good Quality Employees – Written procedures will contribute to a better experience for the staff and develop employees into all-rounders. In the event that a key staff member is unavailable to come to work, the Operations Manual can acts a reference for the duties of the particular employee, in order for the roles to be assumed by another employee. This is an essential tool for a business that cannot just come to a grinding halt unexpectedly.
  • Attract and Retain Customers by Providing Consistency in Food and Service – Maintaining standards will ensure consistency in food preparation and presentation, as well as customer service. These factors all contribute to an improved customer experience, factors that have an immense impact on the success of a restaurant business.

Some Guidelines for Preparing an Effective Operations Manual

restaurant operations manual - How to
  • Set aside the necessary time to compile the required information. This will directly impact on the quality of the produced document.
  • Use Checklists: Start with a checklist – They are a beneficial tool when having to complete tasks in a particular order. It is always a good idea once an employee has gone through the checklist to have them sign it
  • Write and Explain the Processes: Written procedures will also help keep good quality employees.
  • Some Fundamental processes to include are:
    1) Kitchen procedures (including food safety)
    2) Dining room procedures
    3) Reservation handling
    4) Cleaning guidelines
  • Create Easy-To-Read, How-To Guides: The processes must be easy to decipher so that the employees can understand and implement it efficiently.
  • Review and Update the Manual Regularly: Treat the Operating Manual is a living document that should be kept up to date and reviewed every quarter. A digital will be easier to update and distribute to your employees.