10 secrets of restaurant management


Did you know that 60 percent of restaurants fail in their first year, while 80 percent face death without making it past their five years?

The two main reasons for failures are locations and poorly organized processes. When location is a fairly obvious and easily fixable issue, management issues are indeed too many headaches for restaurant owners and managers.

Is there a secret recipe for professional restaurant management?

By using the little-known or sometimes underestimated tricks below, you will have an excellent restaurant team that can lead your business to increased revenue and success.

Top 10 secrets to running a restaurant

Polish up customer service

In fact, poor service is the reason for around 83 percent of customers to swear off restaurants.

Here’s what you may need to do to improve customer service and polish to perfection:

  • Develop a strategy to prioritize a customer-centric approach
  • Drive engagement with incentive marketing and limited-time offers
  • Approach the holidays with more awareness
  • Personalize visitor experiences
  • Train service personnel and practice possible scenarios with “mystery diners”.
  • Provide a “wow” treatment

As for the latter the Starbucks barista, for example, learned sign language to better serve her deaf clients. Isn’t that a “wow” service?

Train your employees properly

If all you do is tell your employees to “always be nice to customers,” that’s not enough, to say the least. You may need to think about better ways to train your restaurant staff.

Plus, take advantage of the back-of-house training program to train your team and drive culinary innovation. When planning employee training, follow the Three Rs:

  • regularity—Provide opportunities for qualification at least monthly.
  • argumentation— Explain why they need to continuously improve their skills.
  • Rewarding— Reward employees for their achievements and talents (keep away from favoritism).

Remember that communication is key

This applies to both your team and your customers. And both verbal and non-verbal communication.

The 5 most important secrets for communicating with employees:

  • Go digital and chat with them
  • Show that you care, ask about their wants and needs, answer their questions and concerns
  • Praise in public, but criticize in private
  • Encourage, collect, and act on feedback
  • Treat employees like customers

The 5 most important secrets for communicating with guests:

  • Address regular visitors by name
  • Customize communications (e.g. a personalized handwritten note is a killer trick to win your customers’ hearts forever)
  • Use body language (eye contact, handshake, genuine smile, etc.)
  • Earn loyalty by sharing personal stories
  • Make them feel like they have your full attention

Observe the laws and regulations

They should be informed of inspection types and licenses, food preparation, building and zoning regulations and other important rules, so as not to repeat the fate of Oakland pop-up nokni and face the closure of your facility for being illegal. That’s not the worst result you can possibly imagine.

Do you know all about labor laws, the consequences of undocumented restaurant employees or the employee retention tax credit?

Regularly browse legal topics in the hospitality industry, consult with attorneys when necessary, and keep up with changes in state and local laws. For example, alcohol certification has recently become mandatory in California.

Leverage powerful advertising to build brand awareness

A powerful and creative advertising campaign can boost a restaurant’s reputation and increase profits. Follow the example of Buffalo Wild Wings and benefit from TV and radio advertising.

Advertising should be mandatory embedded in social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. In this case productive Social Media Management can be your first step in amplifying a restaurant’s voice and expanding brand awareness.

Note: The golden rule for any restaurant business is to be Instagram-centric. Your Instagram profile content should stand out while enticing guests to take photos, share them, comment and recommend the place. Here’s how you can enable word of mouth. With the “instagrammable” blue-green, violet or coral tones and strong colors (orange, yellow, red) it is possible to convince customers.

Think long-term and plan more carefully

Planning isn’t child’s play since you can’t predict unexpected situations (like when COVID-19 transformed the foodservice industry). It pays to update your contingency plan and always have plan B as a backup.

Perhaps it’s the best time to revise your business plan and think from a long-term planning perspective to increase restaurant performance like Rave or Red Robin did.

Master workforce planning

To avoid beating around the bush, use the following planning tactics to increase profitability:

  • Consider employee preferences
  • Put all the expensive shifts to work
  • Make sure you have staff on call
  • Prepare schedules in advance and provide instant access to them
  • Take advantage of automation and create online timetables

Stay open to learn from your team

Whether it’s a pre-shift meeting, a co-worker meal ritual, or just a minute from work together, always listen to what your team members have to say.

They can surprise you with amazing suggestions for improvement that you have never thought of. Recognize their individual strengths, interact with them in team buildings and listen more carefully to build a strong team of people willing to share their ideas with you.

Focus on solving problems, not blaming them

Cleanliness is one of the biggest issues and concerns, with 95 percent of consumers wanting increased engagement in cleaning following the onset of the pandemic.

Of course you can blame your staff if you receive a complaint about a lack of sanitizer or a dirty toilet, for example, but it is a manager’s responsibility to ensure a cleaner and safer place for guests.

Some restaurant managers like to play the so-called “blame game” and are fixated on finding faults. When a problem arises, don’t waste time looking for a scapegoat – instead, solve it as soon as possible.

Renew as much as you can

Innovation and AI-powered technologies in particular can help reduce costs, fight inflation, improve back-of-the-house efficiency, and attract more guests.

With robotics and automation already taking root in the hospitality industry and QR codes now failing to surprise anyone, there could be benefits in trying something out of the ordinary.

If you offer delivery services, you may benefit from a Restaurant ordering system. Customers can place and manage orders through the mobile app, website, Facebook and Instagram. It also allows you to implement a targeted social media advertising strategy.

Alternatively, you can learn from competitors who have already successfully applied innovation strategies in their companies Improving restaurant efficiency:

  • Robotics (wings and rings)
  • Instagram Tables (Boston Chops Downtown)
  • Code protected lockers for charging phones (Parlor Pizza)
  • Conveyor belts (Chubby Cattle)
  • Private igloos, domes and eateries (Gianni’s Café, The Three Horseshoes)
  • Other tech products can also add to your toolbox.


The expectations of restaurateurs and restaurant managers are still high.

Let your restaurant thrive with happy guests once you “cook” the best management strategy from the above tips.


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