Standards of Success for Modern Restaurants

The standards that created success for restaurants in the past are not the same as those that will create success for restaurants now and in the future. As a restaurant owner, it’s important to review your current standards for success and update them according to the demands of the modern age. Here are a few areas to consider.

Competition Is No Longer Confined to Foodservice Segments

It used to be that you didn’t need to worry about what Joe Schmo was doing in his restaurant down the street, unless his business belonged to the same foodservice category as yours did. These days, competition for the dining dollar spans across all segments. Knowing that, it’s important to benchmark best practices and outstanding behavior across all segments as well, not just your own. Doing so puts your restaurant in a position of achieving the best practices and standards across the industry, giving your business a far more viable chance of attracting its share of the consumer dollar.

Today’s Restaurant Consumer Wants a Specific Type of Service

Every business since the beginning of time is (or should have been) based around providing quality service. The difference in the modern age is that the consumer has gone from expecting “service in general”to expecting “service in specific.”The modern customer wants speed, accuracy, cleanliness, hospitality and no complaint-generating experiences. In other words, they don’t ever want to have to ask for anything and want an easy experience with your restaurant that demonstrates your respect for their patronage and time-constraints. What this means in terms of setting standards for your restaurant is that you must put a premium on getting the order right as well as providing exemplary service that covers all of your customers’ specific needs. Asking for feedback and insight on what you could do better before there is a problem is another marker for success.

Much of Your Restaurant’s Success Lies in the Hands of Your Employees

It used to be that adequate staffing, supplemented with a little training, was enough to give a restaurant success. Turnover was expected and the focus was more on the business and less on the people who ran it. In today’s world, restaurant owner’s have begun to realize that it is far more cost-effective, and ultimately helpful to the overall success of the business, to choose your employees carefully, invest in their development and encourage their tenure.

Look for low-drama, high-value players who share your company’s values, have a penchant for service and an aversion to creating conflict. Once you’ve chosen the right people, invest in their development. You should have a program that successfully develops people at least one level above where you’re currently hiring. Teach them something new every day!

Last but not least, look for opportunities to create tenure rather than turnover. Examine your restaurant’s employment history and notice how long people typically stick around in their positions. If you can find out why they left, do so and if it has to do with the quality of experience they had with your restaurant, do everything in your power to fix it. Consider offering pay raises, bonuses or other incentives to keep people around about the time that they typically quit. For example, if your cooks usually quit within 36 months, what can you do to keep them around for at least 44?

The bottom line here is that in order to be successful as a restaurant business in the modern era, you can’t keep operating on outdated standards of success. The restaurants that make it now, and in the future, will be those that are able to anticipate what is coming and take measures to adapt ahead of the curve.

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