Restaurant Management Skill #4: Attention to Detail

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If you want your restaurant or café to reach its full potential, you need to sweat the small stuff. We’re not talking about micromanagement, but a healthy dose of obsession in restaurant management. It takes total situational awareness of your operation—when a place setting is missing on a table, the mirror in the bathroom is dirty, or a staff member seems preoccupied or down—to create a great business.

Managing details like these adds up to a great guest experience. It takes diligence and a constant scanning of the environment to ensure everything is how it should be. Of course you don’t want to take on everything—you want your staff to be empowered and accountable—but it takes setting the example and regularly communicating your expectations to assure quality and service don’t slide.

Your staff needs to know you’re paying attention and that you care about the product and vision they're putting forward. Here are some key ways to do it:

Clear Job Expectations

Provide written job descriptions, and talk through your expectations for attire, general demeanor, types of duties to be executed, speed and skill in completing tasks, etc.

Watch Cash Flow

Cash flow (the amount of cash coming into your business versus the amount of cash going out) should be monitored on at least a weekly and monthly basis—if not daily. If you don’t understand this basic concept of restaurant finance, you'll put yourself at great financial risk.

Track Sales

A daily business review report allows you to build a history of the business. It can help you analyze sales trends, payroll costs, customer counts, and to predict future sales.

A POS System Can Help—a Lot!

A good point-of-sale (POS) system is like having an extra employee—allowing you to instantly track sales, cash flow and food inventory. This can greatly simplify day-to-day restaurant management and help to trim food costs and payroll, as well as track the popularity of menu items.

The Bottom Line: Maintain Your Standards  

Standards are created to keep everyone on the same page for consistent results. Good leaders notice if best practices are not being followed, and they speak up immediately to get the team back on track.

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Check out more articles in this series:

Restaurant Management Skill #1: Adaptable Leadership

Restaurant Management Skill #2: Communication

Restaurant Management Skill #3: Accountability