Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tips For Controlling Employee Theft

In any industry, employee theft represents a loss of revenue for the owner. In instances there is has been allowed to run unchecked, stealing from the restaurant owner can cause loss of the business. Especially in the area of liquor, losses can quickly add up. However, it should be noted that there is a difference between carelessness with restaurant supplies and deliberate theft. Without creating an air of suspicion unnecessarily, implementing these tips for controlling employee theft improves financial profitability.

It is important for you to take time to think about a stated policy on the topic of theft. Define for your people whether eating a meal on a shift is allowed or not. Can employees take food home? What about tip money? Define the policy and make sure that each employee receives a copy. Presenting it in a matter-of-fact way will reduce the negative impact if this policy is something new in your organization.

You will need to be sure that you are able to determine whether or not thefts of money or food is occurring. There are software applications and tools that will red flag unusually high or skewed figures. These figures should be reviewed daily, as part of the routine for staying abreast of the financial management of your business. If you do not know how to set up a fiscal tracking system, find a professional who can recommend such a monitoring application.

Be certain that you have proof before confronting an employee who is stealing. However you should gather information and act on it promptly. The longer theft goes on, the more prevalent it is likely to become. If you have one employee only who is stealing and getting away with it, other employees often know about the problem even if you haven't figured it out yet. You will be better respected as an owner if the larcenous employee is disciplined or terminated according to your stated policy.

Security cameras are a good mechanism for proving theft. These cameras don't have to be a hidden camera, because they also serve as a deterrent to certain types of thievery. In fact, a statement of their use can be part of the policy that each employee receives.

Preventing or controlling employee theft is an important part of protecting your financial investment. State the policy, monitor expenses, use visual deterrents and act promptly when discipline is required. Maintaining a positive and affirmative work environment with fair practices toward all employees will improve morale and help to limit dishonest actions.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Basics Of Conducting A Legal Restaurant Interview

In a world that increasingly has rules and regulations which govern the interaction between individuals, both in society and in employee/employer environments, it is important to conduct restaurant employment interviews in a way that will provide useful information about a prospective employee. It is also crucial that the interview complies with legal requirements at state and federal levels.

For the person conducting the interview, every question should meet those two standards. Is it legal? Does it provide job-related information about the ability of the prospective employee to do the job. The interviewer should not assume that spur of the moment questions will meet those standards. Each person interviewed should be asked the same series of questions. If possible, you should review the questions in advance with a legal representative or human resources individual. Don't go off script, it can create problems.

Certain types of questions, such as those about nationality, race, sexual preferences, marital status, religion or gender are not legal. You should never ask how old an employee is or whether they have children. This has no bearing on job performance, from a legal standpoint. You cannot ask questions about race or nationality, since that doesn't affect the ability to do a specific job. You may not ask about political preferences or social status questions.

Keep in mind that there are often ways of getting the information that you want without putting yourself in legal gray areas. Choose questions that encourage prospective employees to provide the information that you want voluntarily. For example, instead of asking how old a person is, you can question him to be sure that he is over age 18. You can't ask whether a person is married, but you can ask if they have worked or earned a degree under another name.

The other standard that is important in the questions that are developed for the interview process is that you want to be able to judge whether the person can perform the specific duties of the position. For those people who must lift heavy weights, for example, your pre-interview process should make such requirements known. In some instances, adjustments to a workplace may be required to comply with the disabilities laws.

Asking the person to describe how their experience in the past has equipped them to fill the requirements of the position is a good way to learn about their ability to bring talents to the job. When interviewing, keep two principles in mind. The first is to ask questions that are allowed by law. The second standard is to ask questions that focus on experience and ability to perform the job.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Choosing A Restaurant Signature Dish

A restaurant signature dish should be something that is special for your region, cuisine, or interests. There are many ways to pick an entree or a meal that comes to represent the facility itself in your customers' minds. It can be based on economy, or taste, or various other factors. These ideas may help you to define what would serve as a dish that will keep your clients coming back.

One obvious way of picking or designing a special dish is to link it to the region of the country in which the restaurant is located. There are certain regions that are known for their ability to prepare specific foods. For example, the Pacific Northwest is known for its wild salmon. In Texas, barbecue dishes are popular. On the Gulf Coast, Creole flavors might be the dish of choice.

Another way of creating a popular dish is to think about your typical customer. If your restaurant serves mainly couples who want to sit and relax for a leisurely dinner date, the main dish probably should be more elaborate than what you would select if your typical dining crowd is teenagers dropping by after school.

It is important to realize that a house specialty should be one that has readily available ingredients. One that is overly elaborate or requires hard-to-find components may be a poor choice. Diners who make the effort to come for a special dish that has been praised in one venue or another will feel cheated if you can't provide the meal on demand.

Another factor to consider when designing this item or meal is that it must have consistence. If several people are doing the cooking, decorating or plating it must look and taste the same each time it is served. Strict guidelines for its preparation must be available to avoid a disappointment when your diners can't depend on a well-loved flavor or texture from one time to the next.

If you take all these factors into consideration, you will be more likely to produce a restaurant signature dish that will reflect the type of dining establishment that customers return to again and again. Your specialty of the house might be related to the region of the country or to the typical diner. If the restaurant features an ethnic menu, this should help you determine the right dish. Be sure that your choice always taste the same way each time, and that you can be fairly assured of having the necessary ingredients on hand.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How To Retain Your Restaurant Employees

When you want to save on operational expenses, one area of expense that can be effectively reduced is the cost of recruiting and training employees. You may not realize how expensive it can be to find a replacement employee. In addition to the cost of placing a recruitment ad, spending time reviewing resumes, interviewing prospective employees and outfitting the person in necessary uniforms and name tags, you must take time to set up financial records and payroll records.

Once the person is on the job, there is time that must be set aside for orientation and training. These tasks could be done by the manager or owner. Alternatively, another employee must take time to explain processes and procedures. This tends to reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of the employee who is doing the training. Some restaurants provide an employee manual to help in the training.

All of these training and orientation measures cost money which is often never recouped in later efficiencies. You would be far better off to put in place measures that retain trained and experienced employees wherever possible. You might make the pay level somewhat higher than other similar employers in the area. You could put training money into courses that allow employees to move up within your organization.

The retention of restaurant employees doesn't necessarily have to cost a log of money. Recognize good job performance with perks such as a parking place with a sign to honor the "Employee of the Month". When a person is praised for accomplishments on the job, it is a boost to the morale of everyone. Encourage praise cards from customers and share them with the employees.

Employee safety and health should always be of primary concern. In a restaurant, it is easy for food spills to make slip-and-fall accidents too common. Awareness of one's surroundings will help protect you from losing an employee to an accident that could have been prevented. Make sure that each employee has food handling certification and that proper lifting techniques are known and applied.

You can retain your employees by identifying common issues that can arise in a dining establishment and ensuring that the worker knows what is expected in each instance. These events could include things like choking, and allergic reactions to food items. When you own or operate an establishment that recognizes the importance of your staff in ensuring the success of the business, you will be encouraged to make sure employees are valued for their contributions.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What You Should Know About Leasing

You may be reviewing whether or not to purchase restaurant furniture and fixtures or to lease them. This is a decision that can mean the difference between a profitable bottom line or one that is less so. Before making the choice between buying or leasing, here are some suggestions to review, so you have a better understanding of the topic

Review the lease contract with care. You shouldn't assume that anything is included in the contract unless you have seen it. Better yet, have your business attorney and your tax accounting review the contract. In most instances, negotiation to get the exact terms you need is beneficial. The lease should be set up in a way that your bookkeeper and your attorney each approve.

There are advantages of choosing leasing over purchasing the equipment and fixtures you need. For example, the cost of monthly payments tends to be less than the cost of purchasing using a payment plan. When you have limited financial resources, your cash flow is improved when you lease rather than pay your nest egg out for purchased fixtures.

When you use leased equipment, you can probably arrange a clause so that you always have the latest model or style in your facility. You will also want to ensure that maintenance for mechanical or electronic equipment is included within the terms of the contract. This feature is an advantage you get when you lease rather than buy. However, you will need to ensure that the contract speaks to the topic.

Leasing the restaurant equipment you need does have a disadvantage or two. You ordinarily don't own the equipment. If should go out of business before the lease term is completed, chances are that you will have to pay a penalty, which could be substantial. Because the equipment is not owned, it may have have tax implications. For example you may lose the tax benefit of depreciation, depending upon how your accounting system is designed.

When you are deciding between purchased and leased equipment, you will want to consider price, both for the original purchase, the monthly payment amounts and the tax-adjusted amount if that apply. It's important to be sure that your lease agreement is clear, easy to read, and doesn't contain any unpleasant surprises. Using leased equipment may allow you to keep the latest model or style in your facility. You will also have the option of including the maintenance in the cost of the lease.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Designing The Ideal Restaurant Opening Checklist

Before you decide to open your dream restaurant, it is vital to design a restaurant opening checklist in order to get the best business up and running. The checklist ensures that you budget is carefully spent on the activities that are most required to effectively boost your restaurant's reputation.

An ideal restaurant opening checklist is the key to the successful start-up of a restaurant. With clear and organized business ideas listed in the checklist, there is less room for error and the possibility you will start a profitable business. First of all, your checklist should include employee training. All your restaurant employees must be fully aware of their respective jobs and responsibilities at all times. Also, before you open your restaurant to the public, you need to choose the food suppliers and develop a firm understanding with them on price. The restaurant opening checklist will ensure that you have all your "i"s dotted in the correct place.

A checklist designed for a new restaurant also includes maintenance services and an advertising plan. Whether your restaurant is loaded with high-tech equipment or offers a simple coffee shop, effective preservation is highly recommended. From cleaning of windows to repairing of equipment, your checklist must include all the necessary maintenance services that your restaurant requires. Advertising, similarly, is extremely significant for any business start-up. A restaurant opening checklist contains the advertising plans that are essential to enrich the status of your restaurant throughout the city.

A restaurant opening checklist is hugely important for starting a new restaurant. The checklist will ensure that you get the best site location for a reasonable price and perform all the business setup tasks that are essential for a successful start-up. With a perfect restaurant checklist at hand, it can become extraordinarily easy to open a restaurant with a low budget.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Restaurant Inventory

Is not restaurant inventory the most daunting task on the planet?  I dread the end of month where all the liquor, food,small wear,beer and everything else in the restaurant needs to be counted.  There I am coffee in hand, a coffee I should probably not be drinking as it is my seventh or eighth of the day and I am ready to enter the deep freezer pen and clipboard in hand. Ready to freeze my hands and ears to count case after case of frozen product.  Can you image my dismay finding multiple boxes open, empty boxes, and product that should not even be on the freezer.  Ahhh the life of a restaurant manager!

I remember a time when smart phones 1st came onto the market and I owned one hoping to be able to save myself a few golden moments of data entry after counting so many items but I always found that my old trusty clipboard an pen was best.  Always hunting down the months invoices to adjust my pricing on my restaurant inventory forms.

I so wish they had iPads when I started on the restaurant industry.  How easy it could be to access all your restaurant forms on the fly and adjust pricing as each invoice came in.  Never mind the ability to have your excel inventory sheets almost the same size of tradition paper an pen inventory forms.

Heres a great trick to play on a fellow employee next time inventory gets you down.  You know the plastic swords behind the bar they use for olives, onions and soon for cocktails.  Next time your working on bar inventory find an easy target and ask them for help with your inventory and get them to found something easy 1st like the katsup at the server station.  When they come back and give you the inventory total ask them to help again and ask them to count the bar swords of an open box.  Now remember you CANNOT smile at all when asking or you will give yourself away.

Have fun!