Running a restaurant is never short of challenging. Whether it’s your first taste of management or you’re an experienced restaurateur, complications are inevitable. Experience can be a blessing and a curse; it gives you the know-how to achieve your vision of success but you can also become set in your ways. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by restaurant managers. Are you guilty of any of them?

Neglecting staff training

From food safety to customer service, the demands on your staff are significant. Without proper training, issues may damage your business reputation and you could potentially face more serious consequences. As an owner, it’s in your best interest to optimise staff training as well as to periodically evaluate whether you have the appropriate level of restaurant insurance to cope if things do go wrong.

Developing your staff’s soft skills and operational knowledge can benefit your business performance from end to end. As such, outline a training schedule and ensure that it’s followed by existing and new staff alike. You might even find it useful to refresh your own knowledge.

Ineffective inventory management

To continue serving your most popular dishes, you need to ensure you have adequate supplies at all times. Inventory management is important to minimise food waste, improve your purchasing patterns and boost your bottom line. However, poor practices can lead to a worse customer experience and greater losses.

If you want to improve your methods, look first at your inventory management system. Does it give you the tools you need to manage your supply levels and identify demand patterns? If not, it may be worth upgrading to a more comprehensive sales and inventory tracking system. These can give you greater analysis capabilities and help you to manage your operation more effectively.

Ignoring customer feedback

Your customers are the most important aspect of your business. Without them and their feedback, you won’t have the chance to improve your offering – and win more of them. Welcoming customer feedback through physical and digital channels is one thing, though; implementing it is another.

If people feel like their comments aren’t being listened to, they’ll stop coming back and enjoying your services. Poor reviews are also bad for PR and people can find them all online these days. Make an effort to respond to negative comments as much as you do to positive ones to show customers that you’re looking to improve.

Mismanagement of staff scheduling

Customers want to be served in an appropriate and timely manner. Poor rota scheduling can leave your restaurant lacking staff to cover the floor or being overwhelmed with too many. Navigating high and low seasons can be even more challenging, particularly when it comes to estimating demand and allocating shifts in advance.

Effective forecasting and planning are crucial to ensure that you have the right amount of staff. Flexibility is also key, so speak to staff about the need for versatility and potentially being available for additional shifts at short notice.