How to best manage multi-unit restaurants?

Learn about the three challenges faced by owners of multi-unit restaurants and find out how to overcome them.

Running your own restaurant entails huge amounts of responsibility and a lot of stress. It is a well-known fact that maintaining a work-life balance is extremely difficult in the restaurant profession. Now let us imagine that we run several different eateries in various locations. What are the solutions that need to be implemented by owners of multi-unit restaurants?

Challenge one: Keeping high standards in all the locations

Customers who have visited your other restaurants will have certain expectations regarding their experience. To meet them, you must be able to maintain high standards across the board, not only in relation to the quality of the food served. The establishment’s interior design, the speed of delivery, prices, and quality of service also play a crucial role. The list of things to pay attention to is long, but if suitable procedures and clear communication are ensured, the chances of succeeding in your other restaurants will increase.

Remember to train your staff properly. Make sure to provide them with materials they can learn from and come back to. Provide each establishment with checklists to be used at opening and closing. The dishes coming out of the kitchen should be beautifully presented, regardless of the eatery’s location. Opt for a standardised menu and pay attention to how your employees talk to guests when taking orders for meals to be eaten in the restaurant or delivered. Of course, you can’t control everything yourself. The key to success is finding a trusted person who will keep you informed of any situations that require your attention and help you manage your establishment.

Challenge two: Upholding a positive image of the restaurant

Building a strong brand for your restaurants will increase their recognition. However, it is a task that requires continued effort, commitment, and a lot of patience. Consider how you want your restaurants to be perceived and what your target audience is. A company’s image takes years to build. Unfortunately, its demise comes much more easily. Keep your finger on the pulse and monitor what people are writing about your restaurants. Make sure to react in situations where opinions are unfavourable. When running a profitable business (or any business for that matter!), finding the time to browse through online comments and respond to users is close to impossible. Fortunately, this is where technology comes to our rescue. There are solutions currently available on the market that will not only help you keep track of customer feedback but also improve your restaurant’s online ratings. One of them is – a customer satisfaction management module developed for restaurants running their own delivery service. After each completed delivery, the customer receives an automatic notification inviting them to rate their order. If the order receives less than 4 stars out of a possible 5, the feedback is emailed to the restaurant owner. And if the rating equals 4 stars or is higher, the system automatically encourages the customer to publish that rating online. The module can help you control the quality of your deliveries and identify areas that are still in need of improvement. With this knowledge, you will be able to implement suitable corrective measures to improve the restaurant’s image in the eyes of the customer.

Challenge three: Staggering amount of data

When running multiple restaurants, you need to have the “big picture” of the entire business in your head. Your focus is no longer on analysing day-to-day operations but on how your individual locations are performing and on the solutions needed to make your team more efficient and increase profits. The more locations you manage, the more data you have to analyse, so in order to have easy access to all this information, it is certainly worthwhile to invest in a POS system. Opt for cloud-based solutions. Their installation is much quicker and is usually done remotely. Cloud-based POS systems will provide you with access to your restaurant data from anywhere in the world. All you need is a good Internet connection. When running a multi-unit restaurant firm, make sure to check that your POS system has an inventory management function. Remember that stock control cannot be one person’s job. The entire staff of the restaurant should be trained in how to take stock and what to do if a product expires. This will help you avoid unnecessary losses and ensure that your restaurant costs are well calculated.

You got this

Your first restaurant is a success. It’s time to open another. With the right tools, a clear vision and a dedicated team, you have the opportunity to create something special. Remember that technology is your friend. Try using it to build a positive image of your restaurant online and have continued access to key data.


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