How Savvy Restaurant Operators Maximize and Measure Operations Execution

By Pete Schott

The role of the operations leader has changed in a big way. Since a century ago when restaurants like A&W first started operating multiple locations as a chain under the same brand, the ability to manage dozens or thousands of stores as one united operation has been tricky to say the least. 

The difference today is that brands face more cost pressure than ever on both sides of their business – demand for cheaper prices from customers, and more expensive labor, sourcing, and business costs; and risks associated with poor execution have skyrocketed – if a patron has a terrible incident or customers get sick from what they ate, the world knows instantly through social media and news outlets, which can not only cost a fortune but damage to the brand as a whole can be devastating. 

This presents an opportunity for ops leaders, and they are stepping up. VP’s and directors of operations, district and area managers, and other ops leaders are increasingly directing their attention and investments to the success of their teams – the people in the field and in every store who work hard every day – by deploying innovative strategies, processes, and tools to make their employees more productive and setting them up to do quality work every day. These are the Savvy Restaurant Operators.

A results-oriented approach to operations execution

It’s common for an operations leaders to have been in the industry for a long time, if not with the same business moving up the ladder for decades. They know how to get their hands dirty and what it takes to run an effective restaurant while overseeing many others. The savviest operators look at every job, duty, task–the critical if not unsung work like audits, cleanups, and more that make restaurants successful–and wonder how each one, big or little, and be done better or faster.

In the Savvy Restaurant Operator’s Guide, we categorize the key areas of work that are critical to an operator’s success, and breakdown how to make measurable impacts on the execution of work and successful strategies for doing it, including:

  • Increasing efficiency: for each role and process in your operation we breakdown which metrics to strategize against for improvement, and explore what the results could mean for you in terms of cost savings and increased productivity.
  • Improving quality: receiving a better inspection score sounds nice, but by improving your team’s ability to complete all of the work that goes into it there are even bigger implications – a better health inspection score is also going to translate to better reviews, happier employees, and other areas that will ultimately impact revenue. We go deep on many other quality tactics and metrics.
  • Gaining visibility: Ultimately, operations leaders aim to understand what’s happening (or not happening) in all of their stores as much as possible: by improving the ability to capture data and understand the details of work being done, ops leaders not only build more confidence into the status of their operation but have tools to intelligently identify and address the most important issues.

For a closer look at all of the strategies and metrics that ops leaders use today to elevate team execution in every store, download the Savvy Restaurant Operator’s Guide.

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