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The Key to Creating Restaurant Success

Knowing how to run a restaurant is no guarantee of restaurant success. That's because operating a restaurant and building a thriving business requires totally different skills and expertise.

The key to sustainable growth and profit has always been operational competence coupled with great business skills.

Join our community of thousands of independent restaurant operators who are learning new skills, making better business decisions, applying new tools and improving their results.


FEATURED RESOURCES
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Training Manual TemplatesDOWNLOAD: Restaurant Training Manual Templates
Having comprehensive, easy-to-understand training manuals for every position in your restaurant is vital for new employees to learn to perform their jobs the "right way." Use these templates as a guide to create your own detailed restaurant training manuals for server, bartender, busser, prep cook, line cook, dishwasher . . .
. . .
more >>

2015 Workshop: Achieving Extraordinary Results2015 Workshop: Achieving Extraordinary Results
Not satisfied with your results? What's going to change it? Learn how some of the most successful independent operators in our industry achieve stunning results by attending this 3-day workshop. . . . more >>

Survey: Employee Selection & HiringSurvey: Employee Selection & Hiring
This survey will show you what other independent restaurants are doing to successfully find, select and hire hourly employees. Some of the responses are unconventional and reflect a high degree of creativity. Learning what's working for other independent restaurant operations should give you many valuable ideas to improve your own recruiting and hiring systems. . . . more >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan TemplateDOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template
Includes 2014 Industry Analysis A professional, well-conceived restaurant business plan is absolutely essential for an independent restaurant venture to obtain funding and have any real chance for success. Our business plan templates will provide you with the tools to develop & communicate your plan in a professional, compelling format that will enhance your chances of securing capital and making your plan a reality. . . . more >>

Spot Food Cost Problems by Knowing Your Ideal Food Cost
by Joe Erickson
Spot Food Cost Problems by Knowing Your Ideal Food Cost "What should my food cost be?" - this is one of the most often asked questions by restaurant operators. Considering that food cost, along with labor cost, make up 60-70% of all restaurant expenditures, knowing what your restaurant's food cost "should be" is the first step towards controlling it . . . more >>
Which Version of QuickBooks® Is Right for Your Restaurant?
by John Nessel
Which Version of QuickBooks® Is Right for Your Restaurant? While the dominance of QuickBooks within the independent restaurant community remains steady, its usage is changing. QuickBooks online version is not simply a Web-enabled version of the QuickBooks desktop version but a unique program. This article compares and contrasts features of both flavors to assist you in making an informed decision on the best way to meet your current and future financial reporting needs. . . . more >>

Ten Menu Mistakes You Can Avoid
by Mark Laux
Ten Menu Mistakes You Can Avoid A well-engineered menu should be your most effective marketing tool. One reason for badly designed menus is that computers have seduced operators to go it alone in the engineering and design process. With a few pointers you can avoid the most common menu mistakes and significantly improve your profitability. . . . more >>

How to Foster a Positive Working Relationship Between Front and Back of House
by Kelly Hartman
How to Foster a Positive Working Relationship Between Front and Back of House Camaraderie and cooperation between front- and back-of-the house staff is critical to a smooth shift. Many operators unwittingly allow this relationship to be sabotaged. Here is how to fix the communication errors that create animosity between the kitchen and wait staff. . . . more >>

SURVEY: How Independent Operators Are Using Management Incentive Programs
SURVEY: How Independent Operators Are Using Management Incentive Programs More independent operators are taking what used to be a "chain-only" practice and profiting on several levels by using management incentive programs. Learn what works and what doesn't from the comments and insights of nearly 100 independent operators. . . . more >>
How to Toss the Help Wanted Sign
by Howard Riell
How to Toss the Help Wanted Sign Finding good restaurant employees has always been a challenge; however, as the economy heats up it could become even more daunting to find high-quality employees. This article explores 14 ways to assist you in sourcing and retaining great hires by implementing standard, consistent and simple hiring steps. . . . more >>

How One Family Pulled Together To Create a Restaurant Success Story
How One Family Pulled Together To Create a Restaurant Success Story In 2003, Misty & Gary Young used their life savings to purchase a small, 45-seat breakfast café in Truckee, CA. With no restaurant experience, they put it all on the line. Their story, as told by their eldest daughter, Shila, is as heartwarming and inspiring as it is instructive. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Menu & Recipe Cost Spreadsheet Template
DOWNLOAD: Menu & Recipe Cost Spreadsheet Template Knowing what each of your menu items costs to prepare is one of the most basic yet overlooked aspects of running a profitable restaurant. This comprehensive spreadsheet template will give you an easy-to-use tool to calculate and maintain the current cost of your menu and recipes. . . . more >>

How to Create a Realistic Budget For Your Restaurant
by Joe Erickson
How to Create a Realistic Budget For Your Restaurant The vast majority of restaurant failures can be attributed to the absence of a plan or practical budget upon which decisions, accountability and actions are based. A budget focuses management on considering changing conditions and forces them to adapt their operations to maintain profitability and consistency of product and service. . . . more >>

How to Handle and Reduce Guest Complaints in Your Restaurant
by Joe Erickson
How to Handle and Reduce Guest Complaints in Your Restaurant Customer complaints are inevitable -- or are they? In this article, we review the systems and techniques to address and, better yet, prevent customer dissatisfaction. If complaints are frequent in your restaurant, maybe it's time for you to get "mad as hell" and put in place systems to prevent them. . . . more >>

How to Reward Staff for Outstanding Behavior Without Breaking the Bank
by Howard Riell
How to Reward Staff for Outstanding Behavior Without Breaking the Bank In a business in which service consistency and quality can make or break you, high-quality employees may well be a restaurant's most valuable feature. And in a business in which margins are tight and you have to watch every penny, rewarding top performers isn't always easy. The good news is operators needn't break the bank to accomplish this. . . . more >>

All Systems Wow! How to (Systematically) Deliver the Ultimate Guest Experience
by Joe Erickson
All Systems Wow! How to (Systematically) Deliver the Ultimate Guest Experience Why in the world would we want to spend so much effort on marketing simply to gain first-time customers, unless we are certain that we can deliver a guest experience good enough to make them want to come back? If you want to ensure you consistently exceed guest expectations you must focus your attention on improving the systems that impact your customer's experience the most. . . . more >>

Break-Even: It's Like Having Your Own Financial Crystal Ball
by Jim Laube
Break-Even: It's Like Having Your Own Financial Crystal Ball One of my sharpest restaurant clients, nearly aways knew what his monthly net income would be for each of his three restaurants before he saw the P&L. Using a simple break-even approach, he could accurately estimate his profit just by knowing each restaurant's sales volume. Here's how he did it. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: 4-Week Periods for 2015 to 2018
DOWNLOAD: 4-Week Periods for 2015 to 2018 If you want to convert to a 4-week, 13 period reporting cycle, now is the time to get ready. This series of Excel worksheets breaks down years 2015 to 2018 into 4-week periods beginning on the last Monday in 2014. . . . more >>
Checklist Generator
Checklist Generator The Checklist Generator is a web tool enabling restaurant operators to create and store checklists of all types in the RestaurantOwner.com cloud. It has been designed for restaurant operators who want their staff to complete checklists using IPads, tablets and other mobile devices and gives owners a tracking tool to timestamp when checklists are completed. This tool is a free benefit of RestaurantOwner.com membership. . . . more >>
Create Some Excitement in Your Restaurant With a Puzzle Promotion
Create Some Excitement in Your Restaurant With a Puzzle Promotion Create some excitement in your restaurant by engaging your customers with this fun and unique promotion. This easy to roll out marketing strategy will reward your best customers and is a great way to foster good will resulting in more frequent visits. . . . more >>

DOWNLOAD: Weekly Planning Guide Template
DOWNLOAD: Weekly Planning Guide Template Carrying out your restaurant's annual plan is done one week at a time. Managers who excel in weekly planning tend to be more knowledgeable of unit profitability and shift preparedness. Use this template as a guide to create your own weekly agenda form. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Annual Restaurant Budget Worksheets
DOWNLOAD: Annual Restaurant Budget Worksheets How will your restaurant perform in 2015? Studies show that companies who prepare annual operating budgets are more successful than those who don't. Use this budget worksheet to quickly prepare your annual financial plan to give you and your staff specific, measurable goals throughout the coming year. . . . more >>
The Fastest Way to Build A List of People Who Like to Eat Out in Your Community
The Fastest Way to Build A List of People Who Like to Eat Out in Your Community Use this anonymous survey-promotion technique to quickly build a database that targets the people in your community who eat out and spend the most! It's a great tool to add new customers and generate more sales. . . . more >>
Menu Engineering Basics: How to Make Your Menu Your Top Salesperson
by Banger Smith
Menu Engineering Basics: How to Make Your Menu Your Top Salesperson Your menu is much more than a decorative price list. The menu is your most powerful merchandising tool. Everything that makes your restaurant special and profitable flows from the pages of your menu. Learn how to make your menu a much more effective sales and profit building tool. . . . more >>
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Winston Salem, NC


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City Bagel Café
Siloam Springs, Arkansas


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Tavern At The Village Green
Cleveland, TN


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Printer's Alley Bar & Grill
Memphis, TN


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Pearle Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Dublin, NH


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Matters of Taste Bakery Market Café
Honolulu, HI


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Paddy's Brewpub & Rosie's Restaurant
Kentville, Nova Scotia


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Hizzoner's Uptown Deli
Bellingham, WA


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Robert Hodgson
Lefty's Restaurant
Parksville, B.C.


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Pappa's Bossier
Bossier City, LA


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Route Restaurants
Burlington, CO


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StageCoach Station
Miles City, MT


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Steve Paoli
Mission Bay Foods
San Francisco, CA


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Rob Page
The Bisbee Grille
Bisbee, AZ