Business Plan – Part 2

» Main Topics of your Restaurant Business Plan

After you have established your ideas, discovered your WHY, and identified your objectives, you should be able to put your gut thoughts and beliefs into words and onto paper.

Business Plan

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Executive Summary

Vision, Mission, Values, Concept, Costs, ROI

Your business idea, your intention, turnover and profit prospects, finance requirements, risks, what you did up to now, today’s situation.

In any business strategy, the executive summary is the first bit. It introduces and sums up your whole concept. The major parts of what will be covered throughout the business strategy should be introduced in this section. It should grab the reader’s interest and persuade them to continue reading.

Company Overview

Description, Elements, Ownership, Business Structure

Description of the operation, your products and services, why the market needs exactly your business, business life cycle, legal protection, technology, guests, capacities, suppliers, production facilities.

Begin explaining the high-level features of the prospective business in this part. The firm overview describes the ownership structure, location, and business idea. Create a vision for the guests experience. Describe the company. Determine your restaurant’s service style, appearance, layout, theme, and all other distinguishing features.


Market Area, Spending Behaviour, Demographics

Market analysis, capacity, potential, strategy, targeted customer groups, trends, entrance barriers, growth of market

The restaurant sector is a very competitive one, so establishing your specialty is critical. What will set your operation apart? You should have a good concept of who your restaurant will appeal to and who you hope will return. Describe your target market and how it compares in terms of diner demographics, traits, and behaviours to the restaurant industry as a whole.


Concepts, Items, Prices, Promotions, Growth

Competitors, their position in the market, their strength and weakness, products, characteristics, competition advantages, strategy of the competitor(s), co-operations, appearance in the market

One of the most difficult hurdles facing the restaurant sector is fierce competition. Competition, on the other hand, might be beneficial to your restaurant business by bringing in new consumers.

Marketing Plan

Website, Social Media, Google, Email, Events, Sponsorship, Frequency, Content, PR

Your segment in the market, selling arguments (quality, design, price), your target markets (geographic, demographic, etc.), customer groups

The food and beverage industry is becoming increasingly competitive. As a result, marketing is an important part of drafting a restaurant business plan. Prior to beginning, you should have a clear idea of your market approach. Make a marketing budget for both online and offline campaigns. A percentage of every coin you earn should go into marketing.


Items, Design, Prices, Calculation, Specials, Food, Beverages

Menu sample, design, CI, items, content, structure, wording, calculations, engineering – matrix of products (question marks, stars, etc.)

Because the menu is the most visible representation of a restaurant’s brand, it should be more than just a list of things. Include your logo and create a mock-up menu design. It goes without saying that it is the heart of your restaurant strategy. Business owners typically agree that if you provide outstanding cuisine, your restaurant shall be able to endure the competition. As a result, the restaurant business plan must include what you want to offer.

Team, Staff, HR

Kitchen, Service, Bar, Stewarding, Office, Administration, Consultants And Management

HR, recruitment, OrgChart, job profiles, job descriptions, SOPs, policies, training, workflow, CVs, references

You will need an overview of how many workers and what jobs you will have to employ to run your restaurant, from waiters, chefs, to management to partners. Pay special attention to your management team’s makeup and structure. These are the people who will determine whether you succeed or fail. Partners and investors will want to see that you have  carefully considered how your restaurant will operate and who will execute your strategy.

Location, Production

Area, infrastructure, neighbourhood

Technology, capacities, suppliers, production facilities, logistic, size, cost, advantages and disadvantages of locations, the investment needed to maintain and to increase the capacity

Most prospective restaurant owners do not have a precise site in mind when they write and present their business plans, so concentrate on the broad region or city where you want to locate the restaurant and why you choose it. Include items like the local economy’s growth, big citywide events, and neighbouring infrastructural projects. Compare the current market conditions to the market you want to reach.


Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats

A SWOT Analysis should be included in your Restaurant Business Plan since it will assist you in identifying internal and external elements that will affect the restaurant’s future. It not only warns you about what may go wrong and your vulnerabilities, but it also offers you a complete breakdown of your strengths and possibilities so you can make better use of them.

Financial Analysis

P&L, Revenue Projection, Investments, Prime Cost, Operational Cost, Budget

One of the last sections of a business strategy is usually the financial analysis. Investors demand a summary of how you plan to spend their money in the first year, as well as a comparison of estimated expenditures and income. You should make sure to incorporate a few key items in this area.

What could/should (but not limited to) be included into the business plan:

  • Investment Strategy
  • Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement Proposed
  • Analysis of Break-Even
  • Cash Flow Forecast
  • Where the money comes from (capital)
  • Where Does Your Money Go? (expenses)
  • Capital investments and costs
  • Expenses of Operations
  • Cost Projection
  • Projection of Revenue
  • Per capita income
  • Budgets
  • ….
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Business Plan – Part 1

» Create a Successful Strategy

Define your own ideas. Therefore, put the three questions “WHY, HOW, WHAT?” In the foreground. Most of us think and communicate incorrectly because we do not know our actual motives. Only the WHY gives meaning and purpose to the whole. And that is crucial for your success.

Business Plan

The COMMON STRATEGY is for most companies to communicate from the outside in. They start with “What” they want – everyone will give you the same answer – I want to make money. But that is the wrong approach.
Because the next step would be “How” and you do not know what to do in order to make money and you end up having no idea “Why” you are doing what you do. And that is a conflict in itself.

¦ What is the purpose of your business, what is your vision and what is your motivation?

Source: Simon Sinek “Find your Why” Golden Circle
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The key to success, A SUCCESSFUL STRATEGY is to start from the inside out: Start with the vision and end up with the product.

Only when you know “WHY” you are doing what you do, you will succeed. When you know the purpose of your business and you have a vision and believe in what you do you will be able to enthusiastically convey that belief to both – your employees and your guests and inspire them.

It is called the Golden Circle. This little idea distinguishes those with the capacity to inspire from everyone else.

¦ Every single organisation on the planet knows WHAT they do
¦ Some know HOW they do it
¦ But very few people or companies can clearly state WHY they do it

What is your purpose, what is your cause, what is your belief – WHY does your company exist – and WHY should anyone care about your business and eat your food?

Telling people what we do and that you are better than others and expect some sort of behaviour – and everybody will come to your restaurant – is not good enough. Think, act and communicate from the inside out – start with WHY.

Do not define yourself by WHAT you do – define yourself by WHY you do it and what you do simply serves the tangible proof of what you believe. That is called AUTHENTICITY. You will end up becoming a symbol of your values and beliefs. And that is the key to success.

After you have established your ideas, discovered your WHY, and identify your objectives, you should be able to put your gut thoughts and beliefs into words and onto paper.

Making a restaurant business plan is an important part of starting a new company. You can spend years developing your concept, menu, and beliefs, as well as how you will manage and treat your employees, as well as customer service and how it will be when the business is up and running.

However, you will not be able to open your dream restaurant without a business plan. A business plan is a well-structured document that explains your lofty goals and whole vision for what you want to accomplish. It describes in detail how the new company will take shape and function once the doors open.

You will have a million thoughts racing through your mind, and you will need to organise them.

And what is exactly the purpose of a Business Plan?

It will prove the feasibility of your concept to business owners, stakeholders, potential investors and leaders with an organized plan for how you will make your vision for your new restaurant a reality and provide them with a clear and engaging answer to the question: “Why does the world need this restaurant?”

Before they invest in your dream, they need to buy into your vision.

The business plan shows them and yourself that you have thought through every expense and every possible scenario. It provides a complete description of your plan — and why and how it will succeed.

A business plan provides business owners, stakeholders, investors, and leaders with an organised plan for bringing your vision for your new restaurant to life.

As you expand your business, make certain that nothing is overlooked. When you are deep in the weeds of construction, licencing, staffing, and other operational stressors, your business plan will serve as a road map and keep you on track.

Going forward without one can make navigating the tumultuous world of restaurant opening much more difficult.


Do not miss the next Newsletter with these subjects

Business Plan – Part 2

¦ Description of the following subjects

  • Summary – Mission, values, concept, cost overview, core values, business idea, your intention, your WHY, turnover and profit prospects, finance requirements with the schedule, risks, what you did up to now, today’s situation
  • Company – Description of the operation, products and services. Why the market needs exactly your restaurant, bar, café. Customers, technologies, capacities, suppliers, kitchen, production facilities
  • Market area – Review of the market, your market strategy, rating of market
  • Competition – Competitors and their menus, items and their market strategy
  • Marketing – Your strategy, advertisement, PR, prior to the opening and long term plans
  • Menu – Menu sample, items, calculations, design, menu engineering, recipes
  • Employees – HR, recruiting, positions, training, SOPs, OrgChart, administration, management and consulting
  • Location – Area, size, constructions, cost, neighbourhood, infrastructure
  • SWOT Analysis – Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat
  • Finances – P&L, revenue projection, investments, prime cost, operational cost, budget
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Menu Engineering

MENU ITEM – Engineering

How to control your food- and beverage cost in depth – item by item?

When you know how much of each item has been sold in a given time frame, and how much profit is driven by each menu item, you can identify the popularity and profitability.

Menu Item Engineering

That is where a Menu Engineering Spreadsheet comes in handy. Prepared with a few – not very complicated formulas – and after your database input it will categorize your items and indicate to which of the following categories each menu item belong:

      • Star
      • Question Mark
      • Horses
      • Dog

That will give you various useful information about the items you have sold.

Sample of an Menu Engineering Spreadsheet

  • Menu Item Name – can also be “PLU – Price Look Up” or “POS – Point of Sales”
  • Popularity % – This is a percentage of the quantity sold in relation to the total quantity
  • Profit Category  – The profit of the item compared with the total average profit of the category – “LOW” or “HIGH” meaning above or below average
  • Popularity Category – The popularity of the item compared with the popularity of all sold items of the category – low or high meaning above or below average
  • Menu Item Class – is the classification
  • Cost

This data can also be used to display the items in a menu engineering matrix.

The axis from the left to the right will be the item’s popularity. And the axis from top – down will be the item’s profitability. It will look something like this:

Click here for Sample Coordinates Menu Item Engineering

On that matrix, you see whether your menu is trending toward Stars, Dogs, Horses, or Question Mark.

But what do these categories even mean? Each one is broken down below.


Your Stars are the dishes that are the most popular and profitable for you. The ingredients for these dishes are quite inexpensive and your guests like them and order them a lot. Leave those items as they are, do not change anything and promote them in any way you can. Those are your steady bestsellers. Make sure they are extremely visible on your menu. (Read more about menu, design, …)

Your menu should feature your Stars prominently. Place them in the menu’s centre or top-right corner. To draw attention to it, try using varied text sizes or graphic callouts.


The items that are very profitable yet difficult to market are referred to as challenges. Find out why they are not selling well – they could definitely be described more elegantly and placed in a more prominent position on the menu.

It’s also possible that the selling price is somewhat too high; see if lowering the selling price increases the popularity of that product and leads to a better overall outcome.

Your challenges are raw diamonds with a lot of potential.


Horses are popular, but their ingredients are on the pricey side. How can they become more profitable? Change the ingredients or try a new recipe to make a more profitable version of the dish.

Take a look at the size of the portions. If your guests do not finish the dish, consider reducing the size of the portion. Horses are popular meals, therefore it is worth the effort to improve them rather than removing them off the menu because they are not profitable.


Dogs are the items on your menu that are both expensive to prepare and unpopular with your guests. They are taking up space on your menu that could be used for more profitable goods. You can either skip your Dogs or hide them on your menu to de-emphasize them.

You might also consider renaming the item before getting rid of it completely. Because you may not always be able to simply cancel some products.
The menu items that do not contribute to earnings or profitability are dogs.


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Restaurant Pre-Opening english

It is a quite substantial task to open a restaurant and you should not underestimate that challange, even thought you have planned everything beforehand and all the paperwork is done and dusted.

Because now you have to bring it all off the ground and up running!

Restaurant Pre Opening

Orientation & Planning

¦ Make a Time Table and set deadlines

  • Meet with key personnal be fully familiar with your concept and expectations
  • Get a copy of Business Plan, Opening date, Concept, Theme, Menu, Service, Manning Guide, Budget, KPIs

The Business Plan contains already:

Market Analysis:
Geographic location of market, Size of potential market, Customers habits, Entertainment, Financial characteristics of market

Successful competitive analysis:
Décor, Size, Theme, Menu (obtain menus), Pricing structure, Hours of operation, Market segments, SWOT

Operations philosophies:
Area description, Seating capacity, Concepts, Type of standard of service, Types of entertainment, Menu planning

  • Have a set of drawings of all areas of operations. Restaurant, Kitchen, …
  • Obtain equipment & supply listing and establish a system for monitoring equipment delivery and installation under supervision of the key personnel
  • Get familiar with designated facilities and waste management (local rules)
  • Survey Professional and Food Organizations and assess value of membership
  • Investigate if Import licenses will be needed and what needs to be done to acquire those
  • Get familiar with local laws, regulations and, if applicable, union agreements
  • Get familiar with Operating Equipment, purchases, uniforms and check for completeness, verify and list delivery dates
  • Establish Reservation system
  • Become familiar with all laws and regulations governing serving of alcoholic beverages
  • Review restaurant layout to determine seating, elevations, service stations and number of works stations
  • Review Standards of Service
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Activities during Pre-Opening
  • Design and order all necessary forms of folios
  • Develop all F&B collaterals, printing and stationery
  • All menus for all areas of your operation (restaurant, bars, MICE, wedding packages …)
  • Business cards for outlets, Executive Chef, Restaurant Manager, etc
  • Internal communication and ordering documents: store requisition, inventory, log book and reservation book, buffet tags, reserved signs, promotion templates, guests checks, table tents (In house promotion)
  • Assess the need for pre-opening assistance (external consultant)
  • Final calculation of potential Food & Beverage Cost
  • Verify F&B costs and menu pricing results and verify with budget
  • Establish market list and store par stocks for F&B according to the offers
  • Ensure and secure all operating equipment and supplies (SOE)
  • Plan alternatives options in case of equipment malfunction or if supplies do not arrive on time
  • Review and approve development of bottle pars for beverage storeroom and storage area
  • Approve initial beverage order to be placed to supplier 3-4 weeks ahead and/or delivery on demand
  • Ensure that all storage areas are complete, clean, labeled and locked
  • Verify that kitchen is complete, clean and ready to go
  • Schedule uniform issue / fitting
  • Supervise distribution and control of operating supplies
  • Co-ordinate menu presentation of all items for review and testing with Head Chef
  • Ensure bars are stocked according to established pars and check equipment
  • Ensure cleaning of the entire Food and Beverage operation
  • Provide information for programming POS machines (tills)
  • Set up Staff Schedules and a Staff Scheduling System according to operation needs and opening and closing hours
  • Setup of restaurant, back of house according to kitchen plans and restaurant design (storage and parstock)

¦ Furthermore, do not forget about the following:


Initiate your Marketing Plan and Promotions, review and establish detailed grand opening budget, Create all your in- house programs, activities, …

Policies & Procedures

Finalize control procedures and systems with Controller, give guidelines for and ensure the develop of procedures for departments, review Policies & Procedures (SOPs, HACCP, Cash Handling, …), …


Establish job descriptions and requirements with HR, follow manning guide, participate in screening applications, interview candidates and select team, secure all employees have necessary certificates and health approvals and work permit, plan performance review according to probation period, …


Establish training plans, Hygiene, Suggestive Selling, Responsible liquor handling, Menu Knowledge, Wines, Cocktail & Spirits, Fire and safety,First Aid, Till System, …

¦ On a personal note – believe me, the time before the opening can become rather stressful. You better be prepared!


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Restaurant KPIs – english

Key Performance Indicators for Restaurants

The best way to measure the performance of a gastronomic business is to look at the KPI’s according to USAR –

USAR stands for “Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants”

A restaurant income statement, using USAR, shows sales and cost of sales related to food and beverage and any other expenses related to the functioning of the restaurant.

Restaurant KPIs

Let me explain how you compile such a statement.

List the total Revenue (Sales) before expenses always on the top line and that is called the TOPLINE REVENUE = TTL Sales before expenses.

Different Operations may report revenue in different ways. It can be divided by just food and beverages. Other ways of reporting revenues would be

  • Meat, fish, wine, beer, non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, …
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, …
  • Starter, main, dessert, …
  • By outlet e.g. restaurant, bar, café, roomservice, take away, …
  • Per outlet and category – outlet/food, outlet/beverages, …

It is entirely up to the management or to you AS LONG AS IT IS CONSISTENT – which ever approach you want to use is fine. And as long as revenue is listed first and you have a sub total for topline revenue.

+ Top Line Revenue

Then we will always have Prime Costs under the USAR format

– Prime Costs – which are Total Costs of Sales + Total Labour Expenses
– Controllable Expenses

= Controllable Income

– Non Controllable Expenses

= Operation Income

– Non Operation Expenses

= Income before Tax


All the sales divided in the way that you have decided, listed by categories.


the amount paid for goods and F&B products used to create revenue. In order to sell food and beverages you need to purchase food and beverages, and that is one of your biggest costs.

These are called Prime Costs

The reason why it is called prime cost is because they represent a very big portions of your expenses that you have to take away from those revenues.

In additon, you have control over these costs. And what I mean by these – if you take control of your F&B Costs you can watch for

  • any kind of inefficiency
  • make sure there is not too much waste
  • make sure your plates, the size of the portions you serve are consistent

You will have to manage these costs because they have a huge impact on your results.

MENU ITEM – Engineering

How to control your beverage cost in depth – item by item?

When you know how much of each item has been sold in a given time frame, and how much profit is driven by each menu item, you can identify the popularity and profitability.

That is where a Menu Engineering Spreadsheet comes in handy. Prepared with a few – not very complicated formulas – and after your database input it will categorize your items and indicate to which of the following categories each menu item belong:

      • Star
      • Question Mark
      • Horses
      • Dog

Register for my Newsletter in order to learn more about MENU ITEM Engineering in one of my next Newsletters.


These are also Prime Costs.

Again – The reason why it is called prime cost is because they represent a very big portions of your expenses that you have to take away from those revenues. And you also have to have control over these – same as the Cost of Sale.

Total labour cost includes

Staff, management, benefits, insurance, pension scheme, salaries, wages, service charges, contracted labour and bonuses

And if you take control of your Labour Cost – you can look out for:

  • If it is not too busy you can cut some staff and save money on your part time staff or contracted labour cost
  • So you have control over this cost and it is in your best interest to keep an eye on these costs.

You always want to make sure to watch your Prime Cost

You will have to manage these costs because they have a huge impact on your results.


Controllable Expenses – Other costs that can be controlled by the business and what your Managers have control over.

  • Entertainment – Once you book someone you paying a specific price. But you can decide how much you want to spend for Entertainment.
  • Marketing – Or how much money you want to spend on Marketing.
  • Utilities – Depents on how much you using whether you shut down everthing during the night. That way you can control a bit more.
  • Administration and General – You can control by organising and time management.
  • Repairs and Maintenance – Control that as much as possible. Staff training for equipment handling, write manuals for machinery.

On the Controllable Income Line it would give you a subtotal of your Controllable Income. (Revenue – Prime Cost – Controllable Expenses)

Up to here there you have some control over the costs and expenses. So make sure you control this to the best of your ability and as efficiently as possible to make sure that you make the most controllable income as you possible can.

Non-Controllable Expenses – These are expenses that do not fluctuate with the amount of sales.

There are fixed expenses, that means no matter whether you sell zero or a million, it does not matter, you will always have to pay for your occupancy cost. They will stay the same and you will have no control over these expenses:

  • Rent, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, insurance on building and contents, depreciation, and amortization expenses
  • Irregular costs that do not correspond with sales deviations

Here is a review of our KPI’s – your Key Performance Indicators

  • Always Revenue first
  • Minus your Cost of Sales
  • Minus your Payroll and Benefits – your Labour Costs which are together called your Prime Costs
  • You then take away your Controllable Expenses to find out your Controllable Income
  • And then from your Controllable Income deduct your Non Controllable Expenses – things you have no control over to find out your Operating Income
  • Minus your Non-Operating Expenses like your rent – anything you do not need to operate but – you still have to account for it
  • That way you will find your Income before Income Tax

This will be your Profit or Loss at that point.


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News (english) 21/07 – SOP Management

» Restaurant Management SOPs

» Manage your business with Restaurant SOPs

Here you will find the last part of the template for the first steps in creating your SOPs. Everything revolves around the management and organization of your company.

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PhiloDex Consult - Management SOPs - Walter Sperger
Manag your business with organisation and proper planning

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Part 4 – Management SOP


How do you find the right calibres? Do you use agencies? Where do you post vacancies? Do you prefer email or phone calls to schedule interviews? Go through the hiring process that you want your managers to follow.
[Start Here]

¦ Work closely with your HR and Training department

Hiring procedure

Do you have a questionaire in place? Do you start with a phone interview or go straight to personal interviews? Do you have a HR office where you interview candidates? How do you make the candidates feel welcome?
[Start Here]

Introduction day

What is the first day of work for new hires? Is there a training process? Who will the new employee accompany on the first day of work? Do you ask an employee to look after the new staff member or do you simply assign them with a task? If there is a formal training day, how do you conduct it?
[Start Here]

Rota, working hours

Describe how the planning works in your restaurant, which planning software you use, how shifts are assigned, who is responsible for creating the weekly roster and where the rota can be viewed.
[Start Here]

Shift meetings

Who conduct them? What are the subjects, what do you discuss in them? Does it overlap with other duties? How do you make the most of your employees time?
[Start Here]


Who runs payroll? What systems do you use? How do you make sure people always get paid on time?
[Start Here]

¦ Create a Bonus System
¦ Think about Performance Related Payments


Create competencies, behaviours so to speak, that are underlying characteristics necessary for and individual to perform to an acceptable standard in their role. Organise discussions between the manager and the staff member where together they review past performance against previously agreed criteria stated in the competency pack in order to jointly plan future improvement.
[Start Here]

¦ Create Competencies

Till, voiding checks

Who is allowed to post, void, splitt and chash up checks? What steps need to be taken in your POS to comp or void a check? There should be training sessions for the handling of the till system.
[Start Here]

¦ Refer to you Till Training Program


How do you deal with suspected theft or robbery?
[Start Here]

Do not forget to consider and implement these possible extensions of your SOPs.

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News (english) 21/06 – SOP Kitchen

» Restaurant SOPs Kitchen

» More clues for creating Restaurant SOPs

Here you will find the continuation of a template for the first steps in creating your SOPs. Here we deal with the agendas for the kitchen.

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Part 3 – BoH SOP Kitchen

Basic Information

Here you can insert general information about your kitchen or departments (for larger kitchens) of your company. Type of kitchen, preparation, storage, stewarding  …
[Start Here]

¦ Refer to your Stations in the kitchen
¦ You can include your Kitchen Plan

KüchenplanOpening, Closing and Cleaning duties

Attach your opening, closing and cleaning checklist. Write down your procedures for cleaning for all areas of the kitchens, storerooms and supporting areas.
[Start Here]

Receiving Deliveries

Describe who is responsible for checking and signing deliveries. Who is responsible for correct storage. How goods are to be taken over. What to do if a delivery arrives during a rush, as well as what gets stored where.
[Start Here]

¦ Refer to your HACCP System


When talking about storage, include basic diagrams of how to organize your refrigeration units, freezers, and dry storage units. Notes on food hygiene, temperatures, cleanliness, FIFO (HACCP).
[Start Here]

Food Handling in kitchens

Clearify which cutting boards should be used for what type of food, which cleaner should be used to sanitize surfaces, and explain that you want your chefs to wash their hands every time after handling raw meat or seafood. Outline how you want your cooks to thaw raw meat or seafood. Outline the recommended amount of time for different frozen foods, and safe temperatures for foods to stand at. Is there a specific sink they should use to defrost? A procedure for cleaning an area after defrosting something in it? (just to mention very few procedures)
[Start Here]

¦ Refer to your Culinary Standards. (Amendment to your SOPs)
including Manual Handling, Pulling, Pushing, Knife Skills, …

¦ Train your staff according to your HACCP Concept

HACCP Training

Kitchen Workflow, Recipes

List all duties and steps of the workflow for the prepartion of all items in your kitchen for each outlet and menu.

¦ Set up Recipe Cards

Recipe Card

Allergy Procedure

Explain the allergens. Every restaurant deals with allergies differently. You should therefore describe exactly how an area must be cleaned before dishes for allergy sufferers can be prepared. Explain the use of clean tools before beginning preparations and what other precautions to take for allergy sufferers.
[Start Here]


Add or remove topics or sections as needed.


To be continued …


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News (english) 21/05 – SOP Service

» Restaurant SOPs Service

» More clues for creating Restaurant SOPs

Here you will find the continuation of a template for the first steps in creating your SOPs. Here we deal with the agendas for the service. The procedures will certainly have to be adapted according to the type of  the operation. (Restaurant, Cafe, Bar, …)

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Part 2 – FoH SOP Service

Basic Information

Here you can insert general information about your restaurant or a specific branch (if you run several businesses) of your company. Type of business, service and kitchen structure, number of seats, opening hours, …
[Start here]

¦ Refer to your  Table and Station Plans
¦ You may or may not include Menus here

Table Plan

Opening, Closing and Cleaning duties

Attach your opening, closing and cleaning checklist. Write down your procedures for cleaning for all areas of the restaurant and surrounding areas.
[Start Here]

¦ Do not forget to include your Mise en Place guidelines

Workflow Service

List all duties and steps of the workflow for the service in your operation for each outlet and position.

¦ Set your Service Standards

Workflow Service

Reservations, Queuing

Establish your reservation policy, who is responsible for manning the phone and all online reservation systems, what to do if a reservation is missing, and what to do if the entries are incorrect. Give out a queue procedure and designate a waiting area? Do you send guests to the bar? Do you have a call up system?
[Start Here]

Family friendly policy

What is your approach misbehaving and disturbing children? What are your instructions for waiters? How do you deal with stressed parents?
[Start Here]

E. g. use Children’s Menus

Kids Menu

Disabled customer service

Provide a menu with larger font? Inform your staff about areas of the restaurant that’s quieter and better for people with hearing impairment?

[Example] It is estimated that there are roughly 1 in 10 of the population are disabled people. Our company is positive about disabled customers and is concerned to ensure that disabled customers are not prevented from enjoying the high standards of service available to all customers. It is your duty to be sensitive to the requirements of disabled customers and to consider in every situation how you can assist their needs. Always ask your customer to tell you the best way to help.

Consider the following:

  • Alternative access routes for mobility impaired customers
  • The capacity for providing assistance for hearing or sight impaired customers
  • Allocating one member of staff to assist customers who have difficulties in understanding


Explain how your staff should advise guests with allergies. Have all employees been trained on allergens? Make sure you have a list of allergens, and where can I find them on the menu. Do you have recipe cards or lists available to your employees?
[Start Here]


Impolite guests

How do you think your employees shall deal with extremly impolite guests? What are the different levels of rudeness that are permitted before escorting someone out of the door?
[Start Here]


This is a sensitive subject. Explain in detail how your service staff or bartender should prevent a drunk guest from being served with alcoholic beverages. How to deal with a loud guest or with a guest who behaves inappropriately. When and how should such a guest be expelled from the house. Explain that you support the decision of a service employee or bartender when a guest has to be kicked out.
[Start Here]

¦ Refer to your Customer Complaint Procedure

Dealing with a Guest Emergency

Explain what to do if a guest is having a medical emergency. Where is the first aid kit, who does the emergency call, is there a path for ambulance workers to walk through — make sure all of this is crystal-clear.
[Start Here]

Add or remove topics or sections as needed.


Read more about sops for the kitchen in the next newsletter


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News (english) 21/04 – SOP Template

» Standard Operating Procedures

» Clues for creating Restaurant SOPs

Start with a cover page. Insert your company logo as well as your name, address, phone number, and email address. Then, continue to the SOPs.
Here you will find a template for the first steps in creating your SOPs.

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Start your writing in a regular text application. Simply begin writing.

Index of contents

This are samples for possibly required sections of your SOP’s. (but not limited to …) Add or remove topics or sections as needed.


Company Overview

Start with an outline of the history of the company and make a positive impression with a “Welcome” and your “Vison” and a “Mission Statement”.
[Start Here]

All employees should be informed about the exact address, phone number, Internet homepage and e-mail contact address. The address and phone number of the corporate headquarter should as well be indicated here. Some companies also announce the details of the managing director and top managers. Consider how embarrassing could it be for an employee if a guest is asking for the name of his managing director and he must say: “I don’t know it”.

Company Details are important
Address, Telephone, Internet, Email and so on . . .

  • List all addresses from the headquarter and branches
  • List all important internal and external telephone numbers
  • Sick line, Offices, Kitchens, Supplier, etc
  • Company structure, Org Chart

¦¦ Also refer to your Position Profiles and to your Job Descriptions

SOP Summary

Explaine the purpose of SOPs — basically they document workflows that serve as a written reference and are available when needed. Explain that SOPs are not a set of rules and that you are always open to suggestions on how to improve them, change them or what the team thinks is right. There are General SOPs, FOH SOPs, BOH SOPs, and Management SOPs.
[Start Here]

Part 1 – General SOP

These are the SOPs that apply to every employee, regardless of position and department.

[Example] You will find the hours of work and the restaurant opening hours in the appropriate attachment to your outlet. Opening and closing times may vary in accordance with operational requirements.

If you need a certain day off ask in advance in writing. All requests will be done on a first come basis. Remember nothing can be promised. However we will do our best to meet to all requests depending on business demands.

The breaks vary from day to day, depending on the times of starting, daily duties, level of business, and amount of staff available. You are requested not to visit other outlets during your breaks. The staff restaurant is located on the on the ground floor. Smoking and non-smoking rest areas are situated next to it.

The management determines the staff’s breaks in order to organise the day as well as possible for everybody. For this reason, when asked by your manager, you must hand over your tasks immediately, and go to the staff restaurant or rest areas. Your manager and your colleagues expect you to take 30 minutes break for either lunch or dinner.

Working Hours

[Example] The 40 hour week applies to all areas of kitchen, service and administration.

In practice, the following working time models are often used:

  • Early shift …
  • Day shift …
  • Late shift …
  • Events …
  • Breaks …

¦¦ Please refer to the duty rota for the exact working hours.

Rota, Schedule

[Example] Your supervisor (kitchen, service) draws up the duty roster 1 week in advance, which is posted in the work area, accessible to everyone. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor.

Any vacations or other absences you require must be reported to your superior on time (at least 2-3 days before the rota is drawn up) so that this can be included in the rota and approved.

Please report any unforeseen events and the resulting inability to work to your line manager immediately.

Time recording

[Example] The time is recorded by an electronic time recording system, for which a code is required. In any case, at the beginning of your respective working hours, you must report to the respective supervisor in work clothes.


[Example] Only as directed by the superior

  • Payment …
  • Rules …

Holidays, Vacation

Explain your guidelines for paid and unpaid vacation days

[Example] Normally the holiday year runs from 1st of January to 31st of December every year and entitles permanent members of staff to specific amount of holidays. All holidays must be booked in advance together with your manager. If you require holidays a form has to be filled out and be signed by your line manager before authorised.

Sick Leave

Explain your sick leave policy and the process by which you can get someone to cover shifts.

[Example] In case of sickness you are required to call work one hour before the time you are due to start, letting us know that you are unable to attend and why. A doctor’s certificate is required for illness for more than 3 working days. You have to call back before closing the same day to let your line manager know if you will be coming the following day in order for us to plan ahead and avoid staff shortage.

Absence, No-Show

Post your guidelines for excused and unexcused no-shows. What are the consequences? Disciplinary actions, verbal or written warnings? Dismissal? What is an excuse or a special circumstance? Establish your guidelines so that they are clear to all employees from the start.

[Start Here] You must inform your line manager of your absence and then provide feedback on why the absence occurred. 

Employee Disputes

Explain your policies on employee disputes, from small disputes in the heat of duty to major clashes. Make sure that your employees know that respect and empathy are crucial character traits in your team.
[Start Here]


List in detail what to do if a staff member is injured on the job in terms of treating the injury, call first aider or ambulance, reporting procedure.
[Start Here]

Harassment or Discrimination

Precisely state your harassment and discrimination policies. Explain the different types of harassment and your guidelines for dealing with each. Make it clear and insist on a zero tolerance policy against harassment and discrimination. It will not be tolerated.
[Start Here]

Work clothing / equipment

[Example] At the beginning of your employment the company provides you with sufficient work clothing so that you can change it regularly if necessary (kitchen: chef’s jackets and trousers; service: shirts, aprons, ties).

Changing rooms

[Example] Changing rooms (with showers and toilets) and locker for personal items are available to all employees. The changing rooms are cleaned daily, so please make sure that you leave it as neatly as you found it. The next colleague would also like to find a clean cloakroom!

Safekeeping of personal belongings

[Example] At the beginning of your employment you will be assigned a personal locker.

  • These are located …..
  • If you lose the key, you must …
  • Make sure your locker stays clean!
  • In your own interest, please do not keep any valuables …


[Example] It is not permitted to use food and / or drinks from the kitchen, bar or warehouse for personal use (e.g. lunch, snack, …).

  • The distribution of food …
  • Cash handling …

Staff meals

[Example] Each employee receives 1 non-alcoholic drink per day. Our staff meal ….


To be continued …


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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 …

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