What makes a good restaurant? Is it the food? Is it the decor? Is it the service? Well, actually, it’s a fine blend of all of these things. We all want to eat our food in a nice, clean environment. We all want to be greeted, seated and served by a friendly, smiling member of staff. And we all want the restaurant we visit to serve up a delicious, healthy meal. Implementing quality control measures for staff service and how food is handled, processed, and served is the single most important aspect of creating a successful restaurant. Even if you don’t have the flashiest design, great food, hygiene, and service will keep those customers coming back.
In the UK, people who own or operate a food business must, by law, provide adequate training to any staff that will be handling food. Even if you hire somebody who has worked in the food business before, you still need to provide adequate training to ensure that know how to handle all the foods that your restaurant works with. You should train all staff in proper food hygiene and handling before they start work for you. It is also a good idea to offer “refresher” training from time to time to ensure that your staff don’t get complacent in their food handling duties.
It’s important to keep all aspects of your restaurant in good hygiene, from how food is handled to the overall cleanliness of your restaurant. This is especially important as the UK is currently in the process of giving food hygiene ratings to food businesses across the country. England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all using the same food hygiene rating system, whereas Scotland is running its own, yet similar, rating system. As the system is relatively new, it hasn’t been rolled out nationwide yet. However, if it runs in your area, then a food safety inspector will evaluate how hygienic your business is in handling food. The last thing you want is a poor rating, so whatever you do, stay hygienic.
One thing every restaurant owner should be mindful of is consistency. Returning customers will expect the same high quality service and the same food quality as they had the first time they entered your restaurant. Consistency needs to be closely monitored across the board, from portion size and how food is presented to how customers are greeted and served. If you fail to keep things consistent in your restaurant then your customers won’t know what to expect, which is never good for business.
As with any industry, policies and procedures in the food industry change from time to time. Therefore, you need to ensure you stay on top of everything by remaining educated and aware of any changes to food standards. Owning a restaurant today is nothing like it was owning a restaurant a decade ago, and things are likely to be different again a decade from now. By staying educated you’ll always be safe in the knowledge that your restaurant is operating to the quality and standard that is expected.
Practice what you preach
Finally, you need to practice what you preach and abide by the strict rules and food hygiene standards you expect from your staff. If you cannot lead by example then your employees aren’t likely to take what you teach them seriously. Proper quality control starts with you. If you can show enthusiasm and passion for food hygiene and customer service then your employees are much more likely to respect the rules you set for them too. There’s nothing worse than double standards!