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a restaurant at night, representing the importance of restaurant operations manuals for success in the food industry
An essential tool for any restaurant owner looking to develop a successful business is the crafting of a restaurant operations manual.
In addition, the instructed process helps exceed and maintain operating procedures. A restaurant manual includes procedures that you and your staff should follow to keep your restaurant running efficiently. Also, it provides comprehensive information that consists of the most important guidelines for safety.

What is a Restaurant SOP and Why is it Important?

It’s imperative that a restaurant training manual benefits the business in a variety of ways. In addition, a restaurant SOP (standard operating procedure) outlines how to carry out operations correctly and consistently. These SOPs should be accessible at the place of work.

What Steps Are Included for an SOP Restaurant?

There are certain steps provided in effective restaurant operation manuals, which serve as a restaurant SOP. In most businesses, the  SOP of a restaurant will include the following:

  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Purpose
  • Procedures
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control
  • References

In general, as explained in a restaurant operations outline, restaurant SOPs will have written lists of rules, standards, and norms that indicate how to complete routine tasks. Efficient SOPs will ensure that all employees are aware of the safety standards to keep the working conditions clean, proper, and satisfactory to customers.
However, a restaurant operations manual is specific to the order of operations for that business. In other terms, it is a way to make sure workers stay on task and are aware of their responsibilities whether that’s front-of-house staff or back-of-house staff duties.

What Does A Restaurant Manual Entail?

A restaurant manual allows all workers to complete tasks consistently and successfully. In fact, there are strategies on how to write an operations manual given steps from a standard and a sample restaurant operations manual:

  • Restaurant concept
  • Human resources
  • Guest Service
  • Food preparation and sourcing
  • Food safety
  • Maintenance and cleaning of areas
  • Maintenance and cleaning of equipment
  • Employee and customer safety

From those basic aspects that go into crafting a restaurant operations manual doc, each section should cover the WHY, detailed procedures, and checklists. Furthermore, it should be clear that it is important to execute tasks a certain way in order for a restaurant to operate smoothly. All employees should comply with the content in each section. So, what does each section cover? Let’s look closer at what each section covers in detail.

Restaurant Concept:

The restaurant concept must have a mission or an idea of what the hospitality industry wants to accomplish. Moreover, a restaurant concept statement is a vision that helps create an end product. When making decisions on restaurant operations, it’ll be easier with the support of a restaurant concept.
In addition, describe the ways the concept will be reflected in every part of the restaurant- food, service, decor, and prices. All of those details added to the concept statement should be thought about and incorporated into the restaurant operations manual.

Human Resources:

Human resources are a vital function in the restaurant process. Moreover, it begins with the roles and responsibilities human resources is in charge of for a restaurant to operate.
The responsibilities and details of human resources in the restaurant operations manual should include:

  • Processing restaurant payroll and administering benefits
  • Ensuring local, state, and federal regulation compliance
  • Creating and communicating HR policies
  • Interviewing and hiring employees
  • Building a strong restaurant culture
  • Leadership training
  • Resolving employee conflicts

Depending on the size of the restaurant, the responsibilities and their distribution will vary. Larger chain restaurants have a bigger human resources department with separate positions for each responsibility, while on the other hand, small chain restaurants will have one person in human resources doing all of the tasks.

Guest Service:

A lot of the responsibilities guest service works to satisfy are courtesy and making sure customers are taken care of. Those details should be present when implementing the guest service section in the restaurant manual.
There are sequences that workers should be made aware of in the manual that reference these duties, including, but not limited to:

  • Handling reservations
  • Welcoming guests
  • Seating guests
  • Pouring water when guests are seated
  • Appropriate order-taking
  • Service of food and beverage orders
  • Clearance of plates
  • Cleaning table before dessert
  • take a desert order
  • Present Check
  • Guest feedback
  • Farewell

Guest service is essential if you want customers to come back, and all procedures should be addressed completely and comprehensively.

Food Preparation/Food Safety:

Furthermore, this section ensures that all customers are safe from foodborne illnesses and that customers are willing to come back to the restaurant again for more. Therefore, the food preparation and safety tips should refer to proper practices of preparing and storing food. All tips should be made clear in accordance with the food safety guidelines.
A shortened version of proper protocol may ask employees to follow these six steps:

  1. Wash hands often
  2. Sanitize surfaces
  3. Wash fruits and vegetables
  4.  Avoid cross-contamination
  5. Prepare and store foods at safe temperatures
  6. Pay attention to food recalls

Furthermore, reducing the spread of food-borne illnesses is a major plus for a successful restaurant. Make sure the restaurant operations manual covers these issues in food safety and preparation.

Maintenance/Cleaning of Areas and Equipment:

Good quality and well-functioning equipment is a must for a successful business to operate. Therefore, the safety and effectiveness of equipment in a workplace depends on the condition of the equipment and if it’s cost-effective. Keep a list of all possible options handy for when it is time to buy new equipment and make sure that research shows that the chosen equipment is ready to be used.
Furthermore, successful equipment and regularly and efficiently cleaning all areas of the restaurant reduce poor food quality, improve speed operations, and diminish possible fire hazards. Overall, keeping up with your equipment and cleaning all areas will increase equipment life and lead to a healthy work environment. Make sure that the restaurant training manual provides information on cleanliness and maintenance of equipment and restaurant areas.

Employee and Customer Safety:

In the last section of the training manual, the proper training must be taught and learned to avoid hazardous work conditions. There must be training procedures that follow safety instructions for all employees in case of a fire and common injuries. Implementing a fire safety procedure is beneficial for an operations manual so that every worker is aware of the emergency plans.
When accidents do happen, it is critical to always have a full emergency supplies kit accessible. Restaurant safety procedures for employees and guests keep everyone safe and informed.

What Does All of This Information Mean for Your Restaurant?

The first step in initializing a restaurant business is to ensure that restaurant standard operating procedures are in place. All of the details and information that the manual suggests is instructions on how every part of the business operates. Without the training manual, you are missing crucial procedures to keep your business afloat.
Although writing a training manual isn’t the most exciting thing for your business, it’s one of the most important factors in developing and maintaining a smoothly operated restaurant. Always take the time to learn what the restaurant SOPs are so that every employee is on board with their responsibilities.
Moreover, if you need assistance in writing a restaurant operations manual, seek out the professional writers of Essential Data Corporation who offer numerous services for documentation development and improvement. We attend to all of your business needs and are always willing to lend a hand so that your business runs efficiently.
We have a team of consultants ready to produce a complete line of documentation. Perhaps you may only need a single technical writer for a brief project. Either way Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or [email protected]