Restaurant operations action planning

Hands in your hair, where to start?

Normally during planning, it is advantageous and strategically important to know where you are at before you can plan to go somewhere new. So a meaningful point of departure will be for you to do a complete S.W.O.T. Analysis of your business before you make decisions that might not suit your actual needs. Do introspection and ask your colleagues and employees for input. You can take this a step further and also ask your clientele well-thought-through questions to assist you in the collection of your data.

List your:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

During this exercise, you have to be brutally honest with yourself, not acknowledging certain weaknesses or threats can cause serious downfall and poor planning. Once you have compiled the lists for the S.W.O.T. you have real data and information that you can act upon. 

When deciding on your action plan you have to put serious thought into who will be the responsible person to deal with the appointed responsibilities. You have to be convinced that the right people are appointed for the chosen tasks. To turn thoughts into a plan you have to allocate a task or the desired outcome with a measure for success you have to assign the person responsible and a date and time by when the task has to be completed. 

If there is a budget required to get a certain task done this budget has to be determined and agreed upon. Now you are ready to draft your action plan in columns and you may populate the grid. Make appointments with the staff who are implicated by the action plan and discuss the goals that have been set in conjunction with the budget that has been determined for the task. Agree on the outcome and the time that has been allocated.

If you feel overwhelmed with many facets of your business that needs attention, don’t despair. Take a step back and a deep breath of fresh air. Decide on what are the five most important areas that you would like to focus on. List them and decide on the way forward. Now you take the next five and deal with them a week later and step by step you break your big challenge down into manageable chunks. The old story of eating an elephant mouthful for a mouthful. 

Now you will have more control, all the facets of your business that need attention are documented and you have prioritized tasks and allocated these to the responsible employees. You will feel in control and sleep much better knowing that you are making a difference and improving your restaurant.

The second part of your well-being comes into play now. You go through the same process however you do it on your competitors, make it your work to know them better than they know themselves, and analyze their businesses. Build yourself a prioritized action plan on how you are going to challenge your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Now you are in a good position to consider your marketing strategy due to the thorough investigation of your competitors and your operational action plan for self-improvement. Take an in depth look at all data that you can collect regarding sales statistics, your client’s demographics, request data from third-party service providers. 

Please remember you can spend all the money on marketing and training however if your operations do not back this up thoroughly by means of quality, quantity, hygiene, and safety you can just as well burn your hard-earned money.

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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