You’ve had time to dream big and really think about what you want to do. You should have summed it all up and gotten it all down on paper by now.
If you need to, refer back to the last post in this series before continuing on.
At this time, I’m comfortable with my initial plans for my concept. You’ll recall my concept is going to be fairly simple (I’m a big believer in keeping things simple, whether you have a lot of restaurant and management experience or not).
I’m going to be planning a sandwich, pizza, and beer theme so I’ll be talking about that a lot but keep in mind the principles are the same for any restaurant.
Let’s think about organization and service.
The good thing about my restaurant space is it already exists so I won’t have to worry about having the restaurant built from scratch. I’ll only have to worry about planning the layout and about those small cosmetics and redesign projects.
The next thing we’ll need to decide is exactly how food and drinks will be made and how they’ll be served.
Pizza and sandwiches require very little labor, which is a good thing.
I think I’m going to need at least two kitchen helpers, a bartender, and maybe a host/general help person. I’ve reached this conclusion based on the size of my kitchen space and how I’ll conduct service.
I’ll have a small kitchen and a walk-up counter that opens to a courtyard where orders will be placed. Customers will order their food and pick it up from the counter.
I’ll handle all manager duties.
The most important part of this type of restaurant will be to pay attention to the prep phase of the day.
In any restaurant, all components of the mineu are prepared ahead of time without cooking before the busy time of service. Sauces and dressings are made, vegetables chopped, meats cut to portions, plates cleaned and stacked, etc.
This ensures consistency and efficientcy. If you plan this part of the day well, you’ll find that any problems that pop up can be dealt with easily.
Your goal here is to make sure your employee responsibilities are clearly set and communicated daily.
So in my small and simple restaurant, organizing the kitchen flow and preparation is going to be important.
What type of restaurant have you been thinking of? Do you need any advice or have any questions on how to organize?
In my kitchen, I’ll use two people to actually put the sandwiches and pizzas together and then possibly one more to work the stone oven. If things take off and I find that I need more manpower, then A) YAY! and B) I’ll reassess my plan.
As I think about how I’ll execute service at my restaurant, I ask myself a few things constantly:
- What will I be serving?
- How long will it take to put the dish together and cook it?
- Where will the customer order their food from?
- Will I be delivering the food i.e. will I need a server?
All of these things contribute to the flow of service and the restaurant atmosphere. Even after the restaurant is open, you’ll want to constantly ask these of yourself to see if there is a way you can improve things.
Plan your organization, service, and management style at the same time.
Thinking about the organization and service of your restaurant will force you to begin to think about how you’ll manage things. Personally, I’ve adopted a management style where I work alongside my employees on a day to day basis. In the restaurant industry especially, this becomes something employees appreciate and respect.
I also make it a point to always say, “Yes,” if an employee asks me for help. Sometimes, I can’t help right away, so I’ll let them know that and then follow up with them as soon as possible. Usually, they are able to overcome their obstacle by themselves.
Once again, you should be writing down what you think the organization and flow of your restaurant will be and how you plan on managing it all.
Some other points:
You’ll notice I still haven’t gotten into the technical aspects of your restaurant plan or design. The reason is because I want you to have a crystal clear picture in your head of exactly what and how you are going to run your day to day service and business. Once that’s done, I’ll get into equipment and kitchen layouts. This will be a part of the business plan, too.
Please don’t start worrying about the word “Technical.” It’s not complicated if you follow the previous steps.
Another point is I’m going to have a lot of competition but I’m keeping that in the back of my head right now. As we all know no matter what city in the world you’re in, a sandwich or pizza shop is nearby. And chances are, they or the place next door serves alcohol. Most likely you’ll find a lot of competitors, too.
Don’t worry about your competition right now, though. The details of your plan and your creative ideas will set you aside from them by the time you’re ready to open.
Alright, take another week or so to finalize your organization, service, and management plan. I’ll check in with you in a few days to see how things are going.
I’m always interested in talking and can be contacted here with any questions.
Please like and share this with anyone you think will find my blog useful. Talk to you soon!