If you get too caught up in the bureaucracy of running a restaurant, it’s easy to lose sight of the authenticity and quality of the food. As your business expands, you might find yourself cutting corners to make food faster so you can feed all of your guests in a timely manner. If this is your sole focus, at some point, you will cut too many corners and the food for which your business became known for will suffer, at which point your customers will often go somewhere else.
How do you avoid this? Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
Quality vs. Speed
Quality and speed do not generally go hand in hand. If you make fast food, it usually isn’t as good as the slower food you can get in a fine-dining establishment. First, don’t forget which type of business you’re focusing on. Customers understand the differences and expect them. Don’t lose track of it – if you’re doing fast food, make your food fast. If your food is high-quality, make it as fast as you can without sacrificing any of the quality.
When demand exceeds your output, it’s time to look into expansion. If you have a dish or two that are what your restaurant is known for, you may need to get some of your cooks to specialize in just that. Hire a new chef, if need be. Some businesses have used commissary kitchens, and while that doesn’t lend itself to all foods, it is something to think about. Increase staff, but don’t get your current staff working so hard and so quickly that they start cutting corners or making mistakes.
You also might need to pare down your menu to your specialties so your chefs don’t get pulled away from doing what they do best in order to make a dish that customers can get somewhere else, or that is only so-so when compared to your competitors. In fact, consider cutting out menu options that are overly complex and not top sellers in favor of newer options you can test that are less complex, which streamlines food production and allows you more efficient food preparation, thus saving time without dropping quality.
It should be no surprise to anyone at this point that the entire supply chain has been adversely affected with the worldwide pandemic. Finding a reliable supplier of almost anything is difficult, but it is increasingly harder to find reliable sources in the food industry. There are some instances in which you can’t afford to compromise. Even ensuring that you have something isn’t necessarily better than making concessions on quality. People will notice, and, even if they don’t say something, they’ll feel disappointed that their favorite dish isn’t quite up to par.
When making changes to anything in your restaurant strategy, do occasional checks to make sure you haven’t lost authenticity and quality. Taste test regularly. Also, keep your perspective – what type of restaurant are you running and why did you start it? The answers to those questions should be at the forefront of your mind with every decision you make.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the bureaucracy of your restaurant, consider adding a third party service to help you run things more smoothly. Reachify can help, too! Find out how here.