Monday, February 10, 2014

Trusting Relationships - The Key Ingredient To Restaurant Success

Any good relationship requires trust. Restaurants rely on trusting relationships. A regular customer trusts that he or she will be provided with good service and a quality meal. They have no control over who prepares their meal or the ingredients that go into it. They trust that management has trained the staff properly, are overseeing the food preparation and have done a good job in procuring wholesome food. When you realize how much trust it takes for guests to put food in their mouths, that came from sources unknown to them and handled by strangers, it is a wonder why we have so many restaurants. It is also one of the reason so many restaurants fail, because they lost the trust of their customers for one reason or another.

On the other hand, management trusts the employees to do their jobs as they were trained to do. For employees with access to money transactions, such as wait staff and bartenders, even more trust is put into these people to handle each transaction properly. The employees must trust that management will provide a safe work environment and that they will be paid each and every pay period.

Trust must be earned before it can be given freely. You don’t simply let a new employee handle food or money without training and supervision.  A kitchen manager or chef will verify that the cooking staff is trustworthy to produce a quality product before it is delivered to the customer.  The owner or general manger must verify that the chef is sending out meals that meet the standards.

Ultimately it is the guest who must place his or her trust in your establishment the first time they order. Once your restaurant has proven itself you have gained some trust. If they return you must provide the same quality experience consistently to increase their trust in you. It only takes one “bad” night to send a customer away, never to return.

When it comes to handling money, “trust but verify”, is the phrase that pays. Good restaurant bookkeeping systems and restaurant accountants help keep everyone honest and trustworthy by verifying the veracity of each day’s transactions. Security cameras strategically placed can help people do the right thing. Once trust is lost from intentional mishandling of money it can never be regained. From restaurant accountant to server that person has no more credibility and must be fired immediately to prevent further loss.

Likewise with food handling, should any cook or prep disregard policies and standards they jeopardize the quality and integrity of the entire establishment. Most times retraining is all that is needed but in the event that employee shows no improvement they must be let go in order to preserve the delicate trust your guests have in the restaurant. Even management must be held accountable for proper money handing and service standards. Owners cannot afford a bad manager to infect the restaurant with blatant disregard for quality, standards or even outright theft. Checks and balances from accountants, restaurant consultants or secret shoppers keep everyone on their toes doing the right things to keep the public trust.

About the author
CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence, Menu Writing and CFO Restaurant Consulting Services.  For more information go to

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