Ron's Tip Jar/Insights - Published by Ron Santibanez   

February 13, 2013


In This Issue:

Tips and Things - What To Look For In Potential Restaurant Employees

Labor Cost Must Be Precontrolled

Delegate With Caution

Restaurant Start Up -  The Process



 Tips and Things

What To Look For In Potential Restaurant Employees

  1. Stability - You don't want employees to be leaving in two months. Look at past employment. Stability also refers to the applicants emotional makeup.
  2. Leadership Qualities - Good employees are those who are achievers and doers, not individuals who have to be lend around by the hand.
  3. Motivation - Why is the applicant applying at your restaurant? Is the decision career related or temporary. Does the applicant appear to be a self-motivator?
  4. Independence - Is the applicant on their own? Do they appear to have some level of financial security?
  5. Maturity - Does the applicant appear to be sufficiently mature to handle the stress of the job?
  6. Determination - Does the applicant display characteristics of a person who finishes what they start? Examine time at school and the last position they held.
  7. Work Habits - Is the applicant aware of the physical work involved in working in a restaurant? Has the applicant done similar work? Look at the neatness of the application or resume. Is it filled out completely?


Thought For The Day

"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of the way."

~ George S. Patton

Labor Cost Must Be Precontrolled

The best time to control labor cost is in advance. The key to advance control lies in efficient scheduling, and efficient scheduling requires an understanding of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of each job category and the forecasted level of business activity. One cannot forecast without knowledge of what transpired in the past and the conditions which impacted sales activity.

Once labor cost has been incurred, it cannot be lowered or recovered. If you were overstaffed yesterday, you cannot recover the cost by under staffing tomorrow. Therefore, you must schedule only the amount of labor hours needed for the forecasted volume of business activity.

"Precontrolled" implies advance planning compared with "after the fact" corrective action.


Delegate With Caution

When you delegate new responsibilities to members of your staff you will have to deal with the question, "what's in it for me." It is only fair to reflect someone's increased contributions to your profitability on their check. If you don't give for what you get, you will not find many volunteers to take on additional duties.

Don't view delegation as increasing costs. Rather, view it as a way to free yourself to identify more ways to increase revenues. Even if delegation does nothing but give you more free time to have a life, any additional costs will be offset by your own increase in productivity. .


Restaurant Start Up - The Process 

  The process of opening your own restaurant can be a daunting task. I have always told my clients that the process of opening a restaurant is just that.....a process. In the next few issue of "Ron's Tip Jar" I will explain some of the necessary steps you must take to open a Successful Restaurant and how the plan to open a restaurant comes together.

Decision to Open a Restaurant

The decision to open a restaurant is a relatively simple first step that may have been your dream for years, or the opportunity may have just presented itself and you want to seize the moment. For whatever reason, you want to develop a restaurant.

Your decision to take action initiates several other activities. You review and expand your notes on concepts, markets, menu, design, operating style, and restaurant details in general. At this time, you begin to share your ideas with trusted friends and potential partners. The energy and excitement grows. You plan a meeting to establish a plan of action.  

The Exploratory Meeting

The exploratory meeting focuses on how you are going to pursue the venture. You discuss concepts, operating style, menus, design, and other aspects of the proposed restaurant. Brainstorming is rampant. The enthusiasm and collection of ideas and activities must be organized and controlled. The development process must be managed.


Researching ideas and how other operators perform becomes a top priority. Perhaps you schedule trips to investigate successful or similar restaurants. Unfortunately, the idea of doing research is regarded as a luxury to many. A budget is established for it, and when funds become tight, it is deleted. Researching ideas and techniques must remain a high priority. The most obvious reason is that you may learn something. Secondly, you may also see how not to do things.

Research is a key element in the development process. Don't skimp on it.

Financing Plan

The financing of your project is a key component. Financing your restaurants development does not usually occur until you have:

  • A solid business plan
  • A termination plan
  • Legal documents for investors/partners
  • A legal business structure/entity
  • Procedures for managing the funds
  • Supporting budgets/documents for equipment needs

It is evident why the development process becomes complex. If funding cannot be completed before other activities are finished, and still other activities cannot begin until financing is in place, your development time schedule begins to expand and individual responsibilities increase.

Operational Plan 

The second critical document of your planning process is also comprised of several components. But you cannot start on this plan until you have completed at least the first draft of your business plan. Keep in mind that as you refine the business plan, changes may occur that will dramatically affect your operations plan.

The draft of the operational plan initiates five key activities:

  • The job descriptions of key management people
  • Staffing needs
  • Preopening plan
  • Design program
  • Menu development

Design Program

The design program is the third critical document in your planning process. The operational requirements established in the operational plan will dictate the physical components of the restaurant. Without a clear understanding of how you plan to operate and function and what spaces and amenities you require, the design team cannot design an effective space in which you can operate.

Construction Process

The construction process includes the activities from the bid/budget process through the completion of all contractual/administrative activities. Toward the end of construction, many earlier, unrelated activities start to interact. Owner-provided items such as phone systems, artwork, signage, furniture, and specialty finishes must be installed and coordinated with the general contractor. Scheduled inspections by building officials take precedence over all preopening operational activities. Coordination is critical.

Preopening Plan

The preopening plan, essentially a management activity, is considered a part of the development process because most of the activities begin very early in the development of your restaurant. As the restaurant constructions draws to completion, several activities move into the facility and greatly affect the final weeks and days prior to final inspections and the certificate of occupancy.

Opening of the Restaurant

The opening of the restaurant to the public is not the completion of the development process. Without competent project management, the loose ends that remain untied can cause operational headaches for weeks and months after opening. Delivery of equipment operating manuals, service numbers, and the completion of unfinished construction details are an integral part of the development process and should not be overlooked.




You can now read todays Restaurant Business News on our website .  


Additional "Tips" are now available on "Ron's Blog."




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 We encourage you to contact us if there are specific subjects you would like to see addressed in "Ron's Tip Jar/Insights".

"Ron's Tip Jar/Insights" is a newsletter discussing issues that affect your restaurants profitability delivered by Ron Santibanez. You may also view past issues of "Ron's Tip Jar/Insights" by clicking here.

Contact us at ProfitLineConsulting@gmail.com

For information regarding our start-up and profit improvement services, call us at 866-903-5875. You may also reach me by email at RonSantibanez@gmail.com



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