News (english) 21/03 – Why SOPs?

Standard Operating Procedures

– When you start planning of getting a restaurant off the ground and running it, you will most certainly spent time designing outstanding menu items, coming up with ideas for a remarkable atmosphere for your restaurant environment, and thinking about how you want your service staff to spawn an unforgettable guest experience. You probably also learned a thing or two about budgeting, fittings, equipment and procurement, and how to spruce up your menu.

But it is possible that in the middle of the rush of the opening of a restaurant, you did not take the time to formulate and bring to paper how you want things to be done.

In case that event has not happen yet, take a couple of days and establish your SOPs, (Standard Operating Procedures). You will appreciate the steady uniformity within all fields of your business, from effective purchasing to uphold a higher guest satisfaction. And most importantly, it will require much less effort than ever to thoroughly train your staff.

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What are restaurant standard operating procedures?

Often referred to by the abbreviation SOP, a Standard Operating Procedure is exactly what it seems to be. A regulated, uniformed procedure for an individual task in a restaurant.

Your employees are executing SOPs on a daily basis, all the time. When your hostess greets guests, usher them to their reserved table and hand over the menu, they follow a policy that ensures every guest feels a warm welcome, and that shows off your particular character of hospitality.

Every time your chef grills a steak in the kitchen with green peppercorns in a gravy, enrich it with crème fraiche and a dash of French brandy, and bake a potato with sour cream as side dish – that is an SOP at work, too.

It is your restaurant’s specific way of how to prepare a pepper steak so it looks and tastes exactly as you want it to. SOPs help your restaurant run like a swiss watch.

It does not make any sense to take the effort to bring everything to paper as long as it gets dusty lying in a drawer. You must spread the word. SOP’s require both, a substantial documentation as well as great communication and they will have to be implemented and your staff trained accordingly. Rather than just train your employees and assume the everybody knows what and how to do. Miscommunications can happen any time especially in a high volume restaurant. Well-documented SOPs, will be the solid span of your training program.

With a well organized operation you buy yourself free time. If you have got detailed, significant, distinct systems in place, you have the freedom to do the work you always wanted to do before you started your own restaurant.
Be a host, small talk with guests, enjoy cooking at times, and bid your guests farewell after a memorable dinner.

Standard operating procedures are important because they allow you to summarize your intentions and standards for each and every element of your operation and determine every shift runs as flaw- and effortless as possible. Your employees will acknowledge the mutual communication, because the worst thing that can happen is to make many attempts to work out the correct procedure of how to do something in the middle of the busy dinner time on Saturday night.

What can SOPs do for your restaurant?

So many times I hear sentences like I want a particular task done in a particular way, but a lot of my staff members either do not do it that way or they do not know how to do it.

Here is the challenge: most of the time it comes from the lack of training and the fact the the SOPs are not put in practice or underused. If your standards and expectations have not been clearly stated, it is easy for things to go pear-shaped.

Create consistency

It is really useful to have SOP’s in place, even for simple tasks as the service of a Cappuccino. Next to the more complex procedure of the making of a Cappuccino it seems to be easy to serve it.

But how? It comes in a high glass with a long stemmed spoon! But there are still a lot of conciderations:

  • Serve it on a saucer
  • Serve it on a tray
  • Carry with your hand
  • Place it on a napkin
  • Place it with a saucer
  • Put the spoon next to the glass
  • In which direction would the spoon point
  • Put the spoon into the glass
  • Serve it with a straw

Whatever works best for your operation is entirely up to you. The only thing you have to do is to make sure that every employee is aware of the procedure you prefer — and assure that every method is written down. When your expectations are documented, there will be no mess, no misunderstanding, and you will immediately see more consistency throughout all areas of your operation.

Do not forget to involve your employees when writing SOPs!

Write it as a book or individual single page SOPs – assemble task by task and position by position. Either ways it is comfortable and reasonable to make it available on a digital system.

What else can SOPs do for you?
  • Reduce food and beverage cost
  • Decrease waste
  • Improve quality
  • Increase Guest satisfaction
  • Learning by doing
  • Easier problem solving
  • Free some time for you to manage your business
  • Lower staff cost
  • Simplify staff training

To be continued …

We are incredibly excited to share with you the good news:
Our F&B Consulting service is still here for you!
Contact me if you have any questions to that subject!
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Newsletter 2021/02 – EN – The Menu

The Menu

– There is a lot that goes into designing and to compile and to engineer a menu. First of all, you want it to be admirable and representable.

Another challenge is, due to the fact, that there are so many ways, occasions and types of businesses and contents – to find the best solution for a your specific operation.

  • Classic – High End Restaurant – Brewhouse – Café …
  • Stile – Format – Colours – Bords – Outside – Inside …
  • Logo – Font – Background – Graphics – Content – Pages …

One part is to cast a beautifully designed and colourful cover that reflects the purpose of your business – the more difficult part is to compile the content of your menu.

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Keep it simple and use the space efficiently

Menu SampleMenu Sample Menu Sample

Utilize how the human brain perceives the different elements of your menu. In other words, you might want to learn about menu psychology.

Kind of menu

It must be clearly understood what kind of menu is required:

  • Special event menu, Table d’hôte, A la carte
  • Coffee, Afternoon Tea, Cocktail, Burger
  • Children’s Menu, Wedding, Conference
  • Vegetarian, Vegan, Diet, Brain Food
  • Chefs Special, Daily Special, Bait of the Day, Business Lunch …
  • Kind of meal – breakfast, luncheon, tea, supper or for a special function.
Menus will vary for the kind of establishment and type of guests
  • Restaurant, Pub, Night Club, Brewhouse, Canteen, Café, Bar, Bistro …
  • Young people, heavy steel worker, pensioners, football players, students, business men, …

In each case of the above groups of people and/or establishments there are certain foods which would suit one group but not necessarily the other.

The season of the year

If menus have to be compiled a long time in advance of the actual date of production, the season of the year should be considered –

  • Weather, summer, winter
  • Seasonal Foods
  • Holidays, Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day
  • The capability of the service and the kitchen staff
  • Size and equipment of the restaurant and the kitchen

There is a lot you need to know about pricing! – Reading habits, currency signs, priming, …

The proposed charge per head is obviously an important factor to consider when selecting food for any menu.

A useful working rule with regards to the cost of food for a meal is to see that the food cost does not exceed 30% of the selling price.

  • List most expensive products first. Alternatively you can list the products with the highest margin at the top.
  • Offer your customers a deduction instead of an extra charge
  • Even or Uneven Numbers – Round Numbers or Decimal Points. Here are a few ways to think about displaying prices: € 12,00 / €12 / 12,00 / €11,99 / 12 / 11,95 / Twelve Euro. All these ways of writing out a price have different associations.
  • Lower your price to 11,99 because it seems lower, actually cheapens the perceived value your food.  An exception here would be Fast-Food or Family-Friendly restaurants. A burger can be € 5,99 but a Filet Wellington in a fine dining restaurant should be written out as € 27 but not € 26,99.
  • A menu without the currency signs and without any decimal points, would match with a simple, clear and clean menu. Relinquish currency signs (where eligible). Consider how symbols affect your menu price presentation.
The Paradox of Choice

The absurdity of decision making. A golden rule is that you should not have too many items on the menu. Statistically 80% of a restaurant sales come from 20% of its items.

Simplify matters!

Create more categories – Homemade Burgers, Noodles and Dumplings, Bait of the Day – and offer around seven options per food category, rather than have one category “Main Dishes” and list 25 items.


Think of the availability of ingrediences, frequency of deliveries, size of storage and cooling divices a.s.o.

Create a well balanced menu
  • Avoid the repetition of basic ingredients
  • No repetition of words within one menu.
  • Vary from dishes of a light nature to those of more substantial ones
  • Texture of the items
  • Be creative with garnishes and side dishes
  • The sensible use of colour will always help the eye-appeal of a dish
Food values
  • When a customer selects from an à la carte or table d’hôtel menu the composition of the meal is the customer’s own responsibility.
  • When a set meal is offered for a special party or banquet the menu is usually more than adequate to fulfil the nutritional needs.
  • Special attention should be paid, to the nutritional balance of meals for people engaged in light or heavy work.
  • Meals served to school children, in hospitals, hostels or homes of the aged, all need thought on nutritional balance.
Finally the Wording of your menu items
  • Trueness, correctness, understandable, clear, local wording, national, international
  • Ordering decisions are based on the wording of the description of the dishes – so you better be exact and intriguingly with your item descriptions
  • Do not promise anything the kitchen cannot stick to
  • Showing that the dishes are handcrafted and details of how a dish is prepared will be highly appreciated by your guest
  • Descriptive menu labels can increase sales by more than 25% – and they also result in higher customer satisfaction

And this also leads to more positive comments – under the premise that the item met the expectations.

When using international terms use it in its original form without translation – please do not try to translate foreign denomination.

Use the Full Power of Words
  • Correct spelling and grammar
  • Avoid a blending of languages (unless “Specials” that cannot or should not be translated or “technical terms” )
  • Presentation – CI, CD, visual specials, clean, low maintenance
  • Legal requirements: tax, allergens, nutrition, calories, weight
  • Prep time, size of portions, further services
  • Use words as “low, reduced, little, …” even if it is not related to the price
  • Eye movement patterns are a tricky science – Golden Triangle – the eye goes to the centre, then the top right, and then the top left.
We are incredibly excited to share with you the good news:
Our F&B Consulting service is still here for you!
Contact me if you have any questions to that subject!
Click here

Newsletter 2021/01 – EN

The day of the “POST-COVID” reopening will come!

We from PhiloDex know it has been a tough time for all F&B Businesses. The good news is that soon the crisis will come to an end and we can go back to business as usual.

Here’s a quick reminder:

Use the remaining time until the reopening to prepare for a successful continuation of your business and check some details.


Redesign and structrue your menu and boost your sales

Utilize how the human brain perceives the different elements of your menu. In other words, you might want to learn about menu psychology.


Define your SOP’s and reiterate staff trainings

It does not make any sense to take the effort to bring Standard Operating Procedures to paper as long as it gets dusty lying in a drawer. You must spread the word. Now is the time for it!


Update your SWOT Analysis to the new market situation

A SWOT analysis as an instrument of your strategic planning. The analysis provides the actual status of a company and its environment. And that has changed!


Implement COVID measurements and adopt HACCP

The points at which the hazards are assessed are known as Critical Control Points identify not only any possible hazards for food, but also stop the virus on your doorstep.


We are incredibly excited to share with you the good news:
Our F&B Consulting service is still here for you!
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