EMERGINGEmerging Concepts

Consistency is King: The Importance of Reliability in the Restaurant Industry

In the writing and marketing world, we commonly use the phrase, “Content is king.” Over two decades ago, Bill Gates spoke those now-famous words. This phrase refers to the ability of high-quality and relevant writing to draw traffic and interest to your business, website, or organization.

In restaurants, a well-known phrase is, “Consistency is King.” In much the same way that content draws in consumers, consistency builds loyal restaurant guests. And yet, it’s one of the most challenging goals restaurants face. 

Let’s explore how restaurants create the consistency that defines their brand.

The Importance of Consistency

We’ve all had the experience of going to a new restaurant and falling in love. The ambiance, food, drinks, and service aligned, like the Big Dipper in the Northern Sky. You made a reservation for the following weekend, anticipating the experience long before it arrived. Only, the experience had changed. The server was in a bad mood and the food was less than stellar. And, you wondered, how? 

It’s that easy to gain a loyal fan and then lose them. 

So, how can you ensure the same experience, day after day and plate after plate? And what about when you have multiple restaurants? You might as well throw in the towel, roll the dice, and put your fate in the hands of uncertainty. Or not. As your customers become more conscious of their spending habits, the importance of retaining each and every one of them becomes increasingly important. 

The Challenges of Consistency

If you’ve been in the restaurant industry long, you’ve undoubtedly heard operators talk about the struggle to find and retain qualified chefs. That’s the first problem. And, for those they hire, do they train them with step-by-step instructions and institute portion controls on the line? It’s a time-consuming challenge almost every restauranteur experiences somewhere along their hospitality timeline.

Portion control, however, is essential. Not only does it ensure consistency, but you can also be confident you won’t run out of various products in the middle of a shift because of overuse.

Recipes

Standardization is the key to high quality in any business. It involves creating protocols and procedures defining how to reproduce products consistently. In the restaurant industry, it’s essential to have protocols for making your food and drinks.

As Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German architect and pioneer of modernism, said, “Less is more.” This minimalist approach can help you excel in the customer experience, particularly when it comes to ensuring reliability. Seasonings can be the Achilles heel of creating consistent dishes. Simplifying the process while retaining a great flavor can significantly help reduce variations. Premix seasonings or choose one or two fresh herbs for a specific dish. 

Recipes collated in binders with dividers make it easy for chefs to find what they want. Unlike a computer, these are easily replaceable when they get flour, grease, and grime on them. 

Training

The forgetting curve relates to the sharp decline and almost exponential loss humans experience when they learn something new. Ultimately, we may require seven or more repetitions or use multiple forms to encode the information, such as audio, image, and hands-on experience. 

And that is the key to training. Fortunately, several companies turn learning into a stimulating, visual and auditory experience. 1 Huddle uses mobile, engaging games to help your team learn faster and retain it. They even offer managers a 21-day competitive game experience to help them become better coaches and leaders.

Continuity

As with most things, the more you practice, the better you become. If possible, splitting up the prep so that the same person performs the same tasks for the most part ensures a level of consistency that’s hard to beat. 

More Than Food

Consider your customer’s journey from when they make a reservation or reach out via social media to when they walk into your doors and, ultimately, leave. Their first point of contact is the host. Their last point of contact is often the server. In between, they may encounter bussers, bartenders, and managers. Each point of contact must be optimized. And, once again, training is key to this experience. Have a plan, share it with your staff, and stick to it.

Are you ready for your restaurant to become its best self, the one that draws in new customers and sees them return again and again? Consistency is the king and the answer to long-term success.

At EMERGING, we help leading restaurants obtain and exceed their goals by providing insights and support in supply chain management, labor, finance, and real estate expansion. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, contact EMERGING today.

FAQS

How do restaurants measure portions? 

Precise recipes and tools that measure portions are some of the most important items in portion control. Tools include scales, spoodles, food dishes, cups, and ladles.

Why is kitchen consistency important?

Consistency is one of the key ingredients to success. If your customers know that they’ll experience the same great food, service, and ambiance every time they walk into your restaurant, they’ll return again and again.



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