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Business & kitchen management

Business & kitchen management
Every food business is different and your approach to making your kitchen and front of house team work together to create a great customer experience will be unique to your business and key to its success.

This section highlights some of the things our industry experts feel could help to make food businesses run well.

Front of house team

As well as your menu and the quality of the food you offer, the success of your food business will be in the hands of each and every member of your service team as they interact with your customers.

- Ensure your team treat customers the way they would like to be treated

- Quick daily briefings will ensure the team is focused

- The service culture of your food business is the way things run when you’re
not around

- Make sure the team knows the menu and ingredients and any specials or out of

- Ensure the team greets customers, smiles and most importantly says goodbye
and thanks them for their custom

Dish presentation & portion size

- Customers often order with their eyes – agree the presentation of each dish to ensure everything that leaves the kitchen is appealing and consistent.

- Encourage your chef to ensure that portion sizes are consistent; this will keep customers happy and protect your food margin.

Menus & pricing

When pricing your menu here are some things to consider:

- The price customers in your catchment are prepared to pay

- Different prices for different menus e.g. bar snacks and main menu

- Your local competitors’ prices

- Two or three course fixed price menus for ‘promotion seekers’

- Know your cash and percentage margin by dish

- Consider working back from menu price to understand the cost price you need to achieve

Speed of service

Service speed can vary depending on the time of day and how busy your kitchen is. Encourage your team to ask if customers are in a hurry or having a more relaxed meal. In general starters should be delivered to table within 10 to 15 minutes.

- If the kitchen has a build up of orders – keep customers informed

- Agree timings for dishes, highlight on the menu if some take longer

- At busy times encourage the team to recommend quick and easy to prepare

- Use a mix of cooking methods so that equipment isn’t overloaded and delays avoided

- Complement scratch cooking with time-saving prepped or part prepped products

- Agree priority of orders to ensure tables get served in turn

Handling complaints

- Research shows that complaints dealt with effectively can make customers more loyal.

- Encourage the team to check that everything is OK shortly after service

- Empower your team to make instant decisions about food complaints

- If a customer has left most of the dish ask them if everything was OK

- Remove the ‘offending’ dish from the table as soon as the customer complains

- Consider the lifetime value of the customer, it’s not about the cost of replacing the dish it’s more about if they never eat in your hotel again … and they tell their friends