Achieving consistency in food service quality delivery requires detailed protocols. However, the foundation for establishing these protocols is having well-thought-out restaurant standards. Restaurant standards are the basis for every activity in a food company, and they significantly influence a dining place’s growth and reputation.
In this article, we discuss the potential benefits of having high-quality restaurant standards. We also outline how food service businesses can upgrade their existing operational guidelines and list eight checklists that can have maximum impact on customer satisfaction scores.
What are Restaurant Service Standards?
Restaurant standards are a blueprint that defines what your guests can expect when they visit your eatery. In other words, these brand standards are a core part of the business identity of a food service business and a necessity for promoting customer loyalty. Without clearly stated corporate ideals, establishments may struggle to build a reputation and retain their customers. Hence, top brands in the food and hospitality sector use checklists and other tools to guarantee that these standards are maintained across all their branches.
Examples of Restaurant Standards
Restaurant service standards address several issues, including customer safety, staff hygiene, ambiance, and food preservation. Adopting a bespoke approach to each of these areas of service can be enough to tip the scales in your favor and give you an edge in the restaurant industry. If you are unsure where to focus when outlining your brand standards, here are some areas you should consider.
Customer Service Standards
Customer service standards primarily focus on employee behavior while interacting with guests. Apart from the delicious meals and stunning decor, another significant determinant of restaurant ratings is how staff interact with guests. Your eatery must have guiding principles on how to treat visitors and maximum response times. To examine the state of your customer service, you can use a restaurant mystery shopper checklist.
General Safety Standards
Safety is a non-negotiable requirement for any restaurant. In 2021, the United States recorded over 1.3 million fire incidents, with cooking being the leading cause of these fires. General safety standards guarantee that your staff and visitors are protected from any avoidable accidents due to fire, electricity, or other means. Furthermore, they also address intervention measures in the event of an unpreventable mishap.
Food Storage and Preservation Standards
Food storage and preservation standards help you save resources by eliminating wastage. They are also valuable for ensuring that all meals prepared by your kitchen staff taste fresh. Restaurants that don’t have brand standards or quality control measures to guarantee adequate storage of food items are at risk of losing revenue to their competitors.
Environmental Hygiene Standards
A well-kempt, germ-free environment will ensure the well-being of the visitors to your food service business. However, this is only achievable with distinct environmental hygiene standards. These protocols direct a restaurant’s standard operating procedures for sanitation of the dining area and other surrounding spaces. With this type of restaurant standard, employees know the minimum acceptable requirement for cleanliness in an establishment and are expected to comply with this expectation.
Decor and Furnishing Standards
Top restaurants know their ambiance and aesthetics cannot be left to chance. Hence, decor and furnishing standards guide their activities across all branches. Decor and furnishing standards define how your indoor and outdoor surroundings look. It typically covers even minute details such as the kind of furniture, paintings, curtains, and other often overlooked aspects of an eatery’s design.
How to Improve your Restaurant Standards and Reputation?
Although having brand standards is excellent, restaurateurs must also vet the quality of these standards to ensure they yield the best customer retention and profitability results. For food service businesses that maintain poor evaluation metrics despite having brand standards, you can follow these steps to improve your existing operational blueprint.
Engage with Customers to Receive Feedback
Your customers are the most reliable source of feedback. Understanding what guests expect to see when they visit your restaurant can help you discover the necessary changes to upgrade your service quality. Rather than work based on assumptions, you can tailor your standard operating procedures to your visitor’s needs and improve your ratings.
Implement Top-rated External Brand Standards as Applicable to your Brand
Several third-party organizations can help you identify the current industry best practices. Reputable bodies, such as Forbes, ISO, and LQA, have brand standards that are proven to enhance the quality of service in food service businesses. You can use checklists, such as the Forbes Standards: Hotel Dining Checklist and the ISO 22000 Food Safety Checklist, to guarantee that your visitors enjoy the best experience.
Train Staff Frequently
Staff training is a compulsory requirement for any thriving business, including restaurants. New and existing employees must be equipped to adequately manage guests and carry out their responsibilities as stated in your restaurant’s standard operating procedures. After you have spotted aspects of your service to improve, you can create a training manual to prepare staff to execute your refined operational guidelines. For example, you can download and modify this Server Staff Training Checklist to begin implementing your revised food service standards.
Conduct Routine Performance Evaluations and Assessments
Routine assessments help to ensure that employees always put in their best. It also improves workplace efficiency by helping you identify and reward high-performing departments. Similarly, performance evaluations can enable you to pinpoint staff or departments delivering below-par service and implement intervention measures.
Leverage technology to enforce consistent Restaurant Standards
Exceptional restaurant service standards are one of the vital tools for success in the food service industry. Fortunately, technology simplifies the process of creating and implementing an operational blueprint for your eatery. With the GoAudits inspection app, several businesses have maintained consistent standards, improved their staff performance, and grown their profit margins exponentially.
Leon Conditors is one of the many companies that have seen the massive impacts of technology on business growth. The food service company increased its inspection scores by at least 20%, from 70% to 90 – 100%. You, too, can reap the rewards of adopting a more innovative approach to your restaurant standards. Download the GoAudits inspection app and book a demo today.
Top 8 Free Restaurant Checklist Templates
Restaurant checklist templates are valuable for implementing brand standards across multiple departments and branches. Instead of following the cumbersome process of creating standard operating procedures from scratch, you can download and modify any of these restaurant checklists for free.
This detailed checklist covers all aspects of hygiene and safety. It addresses staff cleanliness, environmental sanitation, waste management practices, pest control measures, and food storage methods. With the Food Safety Hygiene Checklist, your restaurant can establish and maintain the best standards in terms of tidiness.
This checklist is similar to the Food Safety Hygiene Checklist. However, it is more streamlined for addressing employees in any role demanding food handling. It ensures that these staff don’t have any wounds or health complications and that they always wear the necessary protective covering.
Food service businesses must have standards defining their standard operating procedures for each new workday. This checklist helps to guarantee quality assurance and ensure that your restaurant standards are strictly followed when opening the eatery.
This checklist contains 27 questions and can be followed to ensure that all the required procedures are obeyed before the close of each workday. It guarantees that all items used have been properly kept and sanitized and that proper inventory was taken.
Employee appearance is a vital part of customer service standards, and the Staff Dress Code Inspection Checklist enables restaurants to enforce their standards for dressing. Restaurateurs can download and edit this checklist based on their acceptable clothing standards.
You must keep accurate records of food items received from suppliers. This practice helps to identify retailers that no longer meet your required standards for food product delivery. This checklist contains 11 unique queries and can be used for multiple suppliers.
This checklist allows restaurant owners to implement and comply with Forbes restaurant standards. Underperforming businesses can use this checklist to modify their operational blueprint according to widely accepted contemporary standards used by leading eateries.
Leading Quality Assurance (LQA) is one of the most highly regarded third-party organizations known for defining top-tier brand standards. You can incorporate this checklist to comply with their requirements and grow your reputation as a leading destination for exceptional dining service.