Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time Management in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant IndustryWhen I was initially planning on becoming a restaurant owner/manager of my 1st restaurant, I was told that I could expect to work a 70 hour week. At the time I was working as a GM for a restaurant and averaging 55 to 60 hours per week. Being young and single, I accepted these hours as part of the package. Shortly after I opened the restaurant, I was married and significant life style changes would have to be made. I then had to consider the fact that if I wanted to raise a family, my time would now have to be divided.
As is often the case, once we make something a priority, we can normally make it happen. I knew only one way to work at running a restaurant, and that was taking me long hours. Therefore, I hired a Time Management consultant who was currently working with Hewlett Packard middle and upper management personnel.
Below are the practices and some tips that he taught me that not only resulted in my having quality time to raise a family but made me a more efficient manager of my restaurant business:
1.) Most importantly of all, I learned to run the restaurant through operational systems. Systems designed for a consistent and repetitious performance of job procedures. Instead of having to personally direct every aspect of the operation, I now had systems that ran the restaurant. I ran the systems and the systems ran the staff. Clearly defined and proven operational systems are the key ingredient to successful restaurant franchises. Start up restaurants without the franchise type systems will pre-determine a 70 hour week for the GM or owner manager.
Restaurant Industry2.) Is it important or just urgent? How often in a day is the GM interrupted to answer a telephone call that could easily be returned at a designated time set by the GM? How many times does a salesman drop by to introduce themselves and their product, when they could easily be told to please call for an appointment? What may be urgent to someone does not necessarily make it important. Also, it can be important but not urgent, and can be handled later at the GM's time discretion. Therefore, the choice of the GM's time should be based on the decision that it is both urgent and important.
3.) Prioritizing time with a "to do list" is helpful as long as the prioritized activities are flexible. No matter how well a restaurant manager is organized, there will always be times when his or her immediate attention will be needed.
4.) Anticipating the next day's activities and trying to plan for them can save a great deal of wasted time. For example, it may be a good idea to plan paper work activities on the slowest day of a week rather than a busy weekend day.
5.) A good way to organize yourself to be more productive with your time, is for one week to monitor your activities by time spent on them and noting "wasted time".
Time management for a 1st time independent restaurant start up is typically more of a problem than it is for restaurant chains with proven franchise style operating systems. Management's time is more scripted by the proven franchise style operating systems described in proven restaurant concept operations manuals.
Tom Wilscam's book is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to see how a startup restaurant consultant can help in making their restaurant a success. The way he presents the information is interesting and easy to understand. The book is well organized, well edited and well developed. The cover is eye catching.
For more than 40 years, Wilscam has operated and helped others start restaurants. His experience has shown him the importance of having a proven concept, standardized operating procedures and the ability to help the new restaurant owner succeed.
Besides individual restaurants, Wilscam also helped launch the Einstein Bagel Company, Juan's Mexicali and other restaurants that have become franchises through the application of standardized procedures. For more information about W&W Restaurant Group and how Tom Wilscam can show you how a startup restaurant consultant can help your business succeed, visit his website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Facts About The Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Industry

One very important fact about the restaurant industry, is the fact that you absolutely need to keep consistent portion control. Ingredients are purchased in weight, count and volume. You will need to calculate the cost of all ingredients in a recipe. Total the costs and divide this by the food cost you want to charge for a menu item. This way you will have a price for your menu for this item.
In the restaurant industry, you will need to count all ingredients. As an example, a cheese burger with tomato, lettuce, and mustard on a wheat bun with a small bag of potato chips has a total cost of $2.10. If you want to get a 30% food cost for this item, you will need to divide $2.10 by 30 % (.30), which will give a menu price of $7.
Try to keep your food costs between 22 and 34%. If your food cost is 22%, it will mean you will be spending 22 cents of every dollar for food. This would leave you 88% of every dollar to cover labor and other expenses.
If you want to use the factoring method, you can multiply the cost of ingredients by three. This will only give you the cost of the menu item and not include other costs.
When you use gross margin pricing, the formula is profit minus the cost of goods sold divided by the net sales. For instance a gross profit margin of 33:1 means that for every sales dollar, you will have 33 cents to cover other expenses. This is the best for calculating a dish with a high ingredient cost in the restaurant industry.
The Prime Cost method works by adding the cost of labor and cost of food, then add a percentage for profit. This method is good in the restaurant industry for dishes that need a lot of preparation.
Restaurant IndustryCompetitive Pricing matches what other restaurants charge for the same product, with what you charge. Compare the prices by studying the menus, and price your product not much higher or lower than what others are charging.
The restaurant industry views combination pricing as a method that uses all methods- factoring, gross margin, prime costs, and competition. They try to balance prices of the competition with your costs and what you need to make.
ChefTec Software- will allow you to customize reports and print out inventory reports, recipes, make up ordering lists and analyze recipe and menu costs by portion.
PC-Food II- Is an inventory and marginal management system for use in all food service establishments. You can calculate and keep food costs down, and keep track of selling prices based on the margin you desire. You can generate displays and reports, export files. You can use already programmed recipes, or add your own recipes to the list and generate them whenever you want them. This and so much more is available on this software.
You will find plenty of restaurant software on the internet.
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on restaurant industry checkout his recommended websites