Standard Operating Procedures of Restaurants


Standard operating procedures for restaurants should include systems for providing customers with an appealing dining experience as well as serving quality food. In addition, a restaurant should have protocols in place to ensure that the efforts of all staff are effectively coordinated.

People dining inside Japanese restaurant in London, England
People dining inside Japanese restaurant in London, England (Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Front-of-House Procedures

A restaurant dining experience depends on everything from decor, to lighting, to music, and to temperature. Front-of-house staff should have systems in place for maintaining each of these elements, as well as parameters for adjusting them in accordance with changing conditions and customer complaints. Front-of-house staff are also responsible for taking care of customers' needs. This includes seating them in a timely fashion, taking their orders, filling their water glasses, delivering their food when it is ready and following up to make sure that the food and service are satisfactory.

Waitress delivers plates of food to diners
Waitress delivers plates of food to diners (Image: Tim Boyle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Back-of-House Procedures

Back-of-house staff are responsible for ordering and storing inventory, prepping ingredients, executing orders and keeping the kitchen clean throughout their shift as well as at the end of the day. Inventory managers should maintain spreadsheets indicating what they have on hand as well as what they need to order. Storage systems should situate frequently used items in the most accessible places and allow sufficient space for rotation of stock. Prep systems should ensure that ingredients are ready when they are needed. Different kitchen staff should be responsible for different types of tasks, such as soups or desserts. Cooks should keep their areas tidy, and janitorial staff should do additional cleaning at the end of the shift.

Cooks working in kitchen of restaurant
Cooks working in kitchen of restaurant (Image: Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Coordinating Front-of-House and Back-of-House.

A restaurant must have systems in place to coordinate the work of its servers and its kitchen staff. Servers should deliver orders to the kitchen in a timely fashion. Chefs should complete all orders on a ticket at roughly the same time, and they should have systems for communicating to servers that their orders are ready. Servers should communicate with kitchen staff about customers' special needs such as food allergies. When difficulties arise, service and kitchen staff should work together to efficiently solve problems.

Kitchen staff working together in restaurant
Kitchen staff working together in restaurant (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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