In every restaurant, you can see the same dilemma the employees face whenever they perform their tasks each day. Too much supply can spoil, but too little can affect the kinds of dishes the chefs can make for diners. The latter situation leads to problems with customers, which affects how the restaurant fares in the public eye. Remember, a less than smoothly managed restaurant loses the potential to earn.
Smooth management requires good organization and time management skills from a restaurant manager. An effective way to keep your work in line uses restaurant forms. Each process in restaurant operations uses a restaurant form to record information and to guide each employee’s actions in the process.
Consider these possible scenarios in restaurant management:
- Each day, the staff does inventory management to control the number of supplies, dates for delivery and inventory costs. Ordering too many of an ingredient will soon spoil it, especially when it is rarely used in dishes. However, purchasing too few will also put the restaurant menu in jeopardy, especially when certain dishes are a hit with customers.
- The kitchen team members prepare the ingredients, taking note of the prep time allowed for certain ingredients. Over-prepping the food can produce inconsistent flavors that affect how the dish will taste to restaurant patrons. On one hand, lacking an ingredient or two can also affect the overall quality of a recipe.
- Support staffs, such as janitors, dishwashers, and electricians, make sure the lights and kitchen appliances are functioning. They also make sure the place is always clean before the restaurant opens and when it closes.
In every scenario, we see the need for restaurant checklists and inventory schedules for employees to record and track information. In the first scenario, inventory checking at the end of the day controls costs when the manager tracks the number of supplies in the pantry. Once the numbers reached the critical point, the manager knows in advance the number of items to purchase from the supplier, and when to purchase them. This also helps accountants to manage the money spent for each month.
In the second scenario, employees need to use kitchen prep sheets and order forms to keep track of information, such as the type and amount of ingredients needed and prep instructions, the menu items ordered by customers, and personal preferences of some diners, i.e. no tomatoes, no cheese.
In the third scenario, although most restaurants do not hire separate staff for janitorial and electrical services, the importance of using restaurant forms to keep track of cleaning schedules, laundry days (for curtains and table clothes), and machine maintenance should be given time and attention.
These scenarios are just examples of how a manager can use restaurant forms to help organize restaurant operations. A well-organized business saves time and effort, which leads to less food and labor costs expended.