If you are a restaurant owner, you know how hard it can be to manage and run a restaurant smoothly. Now imagine doing all that work for multiple outlets. Seems impossible, right? But there are tons of restaurant chains that run business smoothly without even breaking a sweat! So how do they do it? If you are looking to open a new branch or outlet of your restaurant, then make sure to give this article a thorough read. We will discuss some of the crucial information a restaurant owner needs to know while managing the operations of a multichain restaurant, so read on.
Do you know what a multichain restaurant is?
Well, duh! Of course, you do. A multichain restaurant has multiple outlets open at different locations, offering the same services and customer experiences across each of them. Therefore, if you have more than one restaurant operating at various locations, you own a multichain restaurant. Some of the most successful multichain restaurants include the prestigious Haldirams and Saravana Bhavan. So, if you want to build your restaurant chain empire, you have come to the right place!
Compelling ways to manage a multichain restaurant
Let us have a look at some of the essential elements to take care of while managing a multichain restaurant and how to run it smoothly:
1. Always listen to the data
Managing multiple restaurants at different locations takes a lot of work. One has to take specific and measured approaches and strategies to see visible and measurable results in such cases in a restaurant business. It is why paying attention to data is crucial before making any changes to the processes or activities. If not, it would only be a shot in the dark. First, identify the key metrics and elements that drive your business. Then analyze the data relevant to these metrics to understand how the restaurants function clearly. Once you derive meaningful information from the data, send it to all the employees so that everyone has the same idea of how the restaurant performs in real time.
2. Digitization is key
Suppose you are a restaurant owner with shops functioning at multiple locations. You might visit each outlet to align the operations and streamline communication. While this is a good strategy in itself, there is something even better you can do. Digitalize your visits by automating the processes. You can seek the help of restaurant management software like Foaps to give you a hand here. It saves you time visiting each store physically, and the activities become much more organized. Give employees digital note-taking tools like a company mobile or laptop to get inventory alerts and other vital aspects. Another essential element is a menu management system that allows restaurants to standardise and improvise their menu effectively.
3. Give great importance to proper communicatiom
You might have already guessed this because nothing can be as important as communication in a multichain restaurant. If there is no good flow of ideas and news from one restaurant branch to the other, things can get out of hand quickly. Unlike restaurants with only one outlet, a multichain restaurant must maintain consistency in its food and ambience across all its outlets. You can attain it only if there is a good flow of info among the branches. This prevents any type of miscommunication and sets clear expectations as well. Make use of some of the best restaurant management software available in the market to create schedules for your employees and hook them up with their system as well.
4. Take compliance seriously
Functioning at multiple locations comes with its risks. One such risk is the legal complications a restaurant might get itself entangled in if compliance is not taken seriously. The labor laws and regulations differ from one place to the other, and proper research has to be done by the restaurant so that it has a clear idea of what rules apply where. It becomes even more crucial when it comes to the amount of time an employee is allowed to work. So, organizations must carefully monitor employee hours. Here, restaurant management software comes in handy. It has features that calculate the total time an employee spends in a week or a month and send alerts when they exceed the specified amount of time.
5. Beware of team breakdowns
Having a proper organizational structure is extremely important for a multichain restaurant business. Every employee must have a thorough understanding of their role in the firm and to whom they have to report. It makes sure that the entire team does not break down if any one employee or manager falls sick or leaves the company. The head of the restaurant chain must appoint a manager to look over the operations of a branch, ensuring that the training programs are conducted properly, and that timely inspections are being done. In this case, restaurant management software enables streamlining these processes to be much more manageable.
6. Restaurant management software is essential
Suppose you have read the above-listed points carefully. In that case, you might have already understood how big of a role good restaurant management software plays in the successful operation of a multichain business. But always make sure to choose a system that fits the specific requirements of your business. Make a list of the current concerns and areas that need improvement in your business. Now look for the features that could solve these concerns for you rather than choosing one with many features you rarely use. Let the system know your needs and maintain them properly. You must do that, and the software will take care of the rest.
7. Pay heed to the employee lifecycle
Imagine having a hiring season for one location at one time. Once you are done with it, immediately, the hiring cycle for another place starts. That can waste time and effort, making things more complicated and confusing. It is always recommended for individuals who own multichain restaurants to align or synchronise the employee lifecycles of every outlet or location. You can even use an HRIS (human resource information system) system to help you feed relevant data of employees into the system. It alerts and aligns all the employee-related elements of the hiring, firing, and sustaining processes.
8. Each outlet is equally important
It might be possible that you have favorites when it comes to the restauant outlets. Your first-eve restaurant might always be special to you. But make sure that the sentiment does not cloud your strategic thinking and ability to maintain consistency across different outlets. You have to ensure that each one of your restaurant chain performs as well as the others and that a level of consistency in the taste of food and service is maintained here. From a customer’s perspective, they wish to get the same type of food and treatment from each of your restaurant chain. It is the responsibility of the restaurant owner to make sure that this happens. Order management systems and menu management systems are an integral part of multichain restaurants that run successfully, so make sure to install one that works the best for your restaurant.
9. Take note of sales
At the end of the day, every restaurant owner aims to increase the sales of their restaurant and make good profits out of them. Even when you do everything the same for each of your restaurant outlets, chances are that variations in sales occur in each one. One manner to skyrocket your sales is through third-party online food delivery services. You can learn more about increasing your online sales here. It can be because of a lot of reasons. If you have a restaurant management software installed, it will alert you about the sales of different outlets. Study the results thoroughly and look into why there is a sales drop in one location while the rest are doing pretty well. Then take the necessary steps to bring them back to the same level.
10. Manage inventory efficiently
One of the most challenging aspects of running a restaurant is identifying the right time to purchase stock and making sure that there are no shortages or surpluses. Any mismanagement can lead to operational failure and even stoppage of restaurant activities. This whole scenario gets multiplied when it comes to multichain restaurants. It is where the role of a restaurant management system becomes even more relevant. It allows the restaurant to get timely alerts from all its outlets about the inventory by aligning the data from all the different restaurant locations.
11. Make your branding consistent
It is one of such things that is easier said than done. Maintaining consistency across various restaurant outlets can seem like an easy task. Still, it can be a lot more challenging than that. Standardisation is key. Ensure that the menu, restaurant ambience, and the behavior of the employees remain the same across all outlets. Branding and identity of your restaurant help you stand out from the rest of the competition in the restaurant industry. If you fail to maintain a consistent branding or identity across all your restaurant outlets, it might result in a decrease in sales in certain locations as customers do not get the same feel of the major outlets there.
12. Do not open many outlets at a time
Lastly, do not haste the process. Opening a new restaurant chain means doubling the work and responsibilities of the restaurant owner. If you currently do not have the right resources or tools to open more outlets, it is always better to wait until you have all of them. If not, it would lead to the mindless opening of many restaurant chains, which would then distract the owner from focusing on any of the outlets properly. What matters is providing good food and making customers happy with great customer service. If a restaurant owner can do so in each of the outlets, that would be terrific!
Nothing is impossible if you have the right set of information and tools available. It stands true for multichain restaurants as well. Any complicated task can be broken down into smaller tasks and managed well if you have the right restaurant management software. It acts as a companion or virtual partner that looks over the processes across various restaurant outlets, ensuring that the functions are consistent and high-quality. Opening multiple outlets can be a great source of revenue for a restaurant owner and an even better strategy to increase the presence and branding of the restaurant. So make sure to give the above-given points a thorough read so that you are well-equipped to deal with any challenges the industry throws.