Food sector is an exciting business. Everyone has to eat and loves to eat. Therefore it is perhaps the business that will never go out of fashion. Restaurant business on that is even more interesting, mostly because of the live contact it offers with the customers. You prepare the food, serve it then and there, and the feedback immediately. The close proximity with the clients gives a lot of room to improvement. On the other hand it also exposes you to the vulnerability of criticism.
Managing a restaurant is one of the most difficult among all businesses. Because in restaurants we deal with customers in everyday every hour basis, the management has to be extra careful in running the show. There are two areas of restaurant that can be separated in terms of management ñ the back end or the kitchen, and the front end or the eating area. Both of these play equally important role in success of a restaurant.
The back end, the kitchen is the heart of the restaurant. That is where the identity of a restaurant is born. The food items in the menu forms an identity of a restaurant, which is has to constantly carry to be a successful restaurant venture. Management in the kitchen would involve maintaining of the menu ñ to keep the menu always fresh by adding items time to time or by even taking out some if necessary.
Kitchen management would also involve the quality of food served. Quality management is perhaps the most important aspect of restaurant management. The qualities of the raw food material and other ingredients also have to be monitored carefully in course of management of the kitchen.
Stock management of these food material and ingredients also fall under the back end management. Kitchen management would also involve maintaining the preparation to serve time of the ordered food. A kitchen should be as active with fewer customers and as efficient with full capacity customers. Kitchen management usually falls under the head chef or head cook.
The front end or the eating area consolidates the identity created by the kitchen. The look and feel of the place and a deciding factor for a customers appetite, and hence the profit of the business. Management of the front end would involve customer waiting, receiving, waiting tables, serving etc. Without the proper running of the front area of a restaurant, the kitchen fails to operate as it should, in turn resulting in the failure of the restaurant. Front end management of the restaurant would also involve the cash counter.
Common to both areas of a restaurant, perhaps the most difficult part of restaurant management is human resource. Because of the involvement of generally the less educated of employees, it might sometimes be not so easy to control. Also, restaurants are one area where employees come and go most frequently. Therefore it is the challenge for a manager to see that the transition is always smooth, for even if there are always new employees, the restaurant has to remain the same.