3 Key Steps to Operational Excellence in the Restaurant

When you consider how much time you spend correcting or minimizing the repercussions of mistakes made in your restaurant, finding a way to guarantee that processes can be run correctly 100% of the time is appealing indeed. Just think what it would do for your business in terms of profitability, reduced cost and hassle, repeat business and customer delight if your patrons could expect to get the same high quality product or service every single time they visit.

The value of operational excellence, or providing the product or service right every time, cannot be underestimated. Same-store sales increase over businesses whose operational excellence is merely average. Even better, increases in operational excellence can often be achieved with little or no capital or ongoing investment, which makes striving for it a no-brainer. Here are three key steps you can employ in your restaurant to achieve the best standard of operational excellence possible.

Design for Quality in Your Restaurant Processes from the Start

The first and most important factor in improving operational excellence is to ensure that the products and services you create delight your customers. This may seem obvious, but all too often businesses start tweaking their procedures for efficiency without taking the time to ensure that those processes first meet customer requirements. Without ensuring that what you are offering is above and beyond a customer’s expectation, you risk too many “me-too” products which do nothing to set your brand apart from the crowd and appeal to your customer base. Once you’re sure you know how to delight your customers, designing quality into your processes is the next step.

The most significant difference between ordinary restaurants and high performers is that quality is designed into their processes from the get-go. These restaurants strive for implementing processes that create 100% success, every single time. For example, if you design a recipe and its instructions for excellence, the final product should always have the same great taste, regardless of who is in the back of the house.

Strive for the Perfect Process in Your Restaurant’s Procedures

Once you’ve designed your process for excellence, it’s time to run pilot tests and refine the procedures based on the results of that data. Test the procedure against multiple equipment configurations, a full range of employees’ and customers’ demands, to ensure that the process is as close to perfect as possible. Once you’ve got a process that can be replicated perfectly every time, document the steps in detail and develop your training materials.

Replicate and Refine the Restaurant Processes that Near Perfection

If your data shows that the process can be operated properly 100% of the time and is an improvement over an existing process, it’s time to mandate implementation throughout your organization. Standardization in the quality of products and services you offer is a critical factor to the overall success of your business. Effectiveness is always ahead of efficiency. Is it truly possible to make your processes so flawless that they can produce perfect products and services every time? Maybe not. But, if you focus on quality; carefully design your procedures so that they can be replicated as perfectly as possible, and have a goal of achieving outstanding operational excellence, you will get as close to perfect as possible.

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8 Responses to “3 Key Steps to Operational Excellence in the Restaurant”

  1. lyndaybaker Says:

    Reblogged this on lyndaybaker and commented:
    Great read.

  2. patricknelissen Says:

    Great article! I am going to share this as more people need to read this.

  3. patricknelissen Says:

    Reblogged this on Patrick @tabluu .com.

  4. lyndaybaker Says:

    Hi Jim,

    I reblog on linkedin, and thought you might be interested to know that I got (you got) a “like” on your blog from the Director of Operations at Darden Restaurants, Anat Lederman.

    Best regards,

    Lynda Baker

  5. Kelly Bailey Says:

    Please add my email address to your distribution list to ensure that I receive future information.
    Thank you.

  6. Caryl Anne Says:

    I agree 100% that the right operational process must be put in place, along with the right elements and objectives in order to execute a proper business strategy. If they all link together, your business will show operational excellence. Thanks for sharing!

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