The 5 Stars of Restaurant Standard Operating Procedures

October 20, 2020 in Standard Operating Procedures

Table of Contents

According to FOX 13 News in Salt Lake City, the online review website Yelp is “often the first place people turn when trying to find a new restaurant.” 

Most often, the reviews–good or bad–have to do with the food and the service. For those of us who work in restaurants, we know that the quality of the food and the service are usually the result of a series of missteps. Never just one.

5-Star Restaurant SOPs

Restaurant SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures help restaurants deliver the required and expected standard of service customers will pay for. Streamline restaurant operations standard operating procedures for both the front-of-house and the back-of-the-house. 

Standard operating procedures are the oil that makes the restaurant machine run smoothly. 

SOPs are written lists of rules, standards, and norms that layout how to work efficiently, safely, and professionally. The success or failure of a restaurant depends on how well the needs of the customers are met. 

Completed SOPs provide proof of good service, cleanliness, meal preparation, and preventive maintenance of kitchen appliances. Train new staff members, communicate in seconds with all employees, keep guests happy, so they will keep coming back for more. 

Writing restaurant SOPs reduces time spent on training, increases preventive maintenance, and reduces reactive maintenance. 

SOPs reduce labor costs by providing step-by-step training of staff, from line cooks and chefs to waiters to management. With staff turnover high in the restaurant industry, SOPs provide instructions and expectations in easy-to-read accessible formats. 

Written procedures should focus on how you want your restaurant (your brand) to look in the eyes of the customer. SOPs about staff hygiene, customer treatment, and food preparation are crucial to keeping a restaurant busy and open for business. A restaurant can fail if it receives one bad inspection.

5 Categories of Restaurant Standard Operating Procedures 

Write Standard Operating Procedures for restaurants that include:

Facility and equipment, including:

  • equipment cleaning and sanitizing, 
  • dishwashing
  • pest control
  • ice machine cleaning
  • thermometer calibration, facility
  • sanitation of dining areas
  • laundry and linen use

Staff and personal hygiene, including 

  • employee health and personal hygiene
  • handwashing
  • glove and utensil use
  • contact with blood

Food flow, including: 

  • purchasing and receiving food from outside sources
  • food storage, cold food preparation
  • freezer and refrigerator maintenance

Menu production, including:

  • holding- and reheating food temperatures
  • food donations
  • recycling and composting food waste

Communications, including: 

  • response to foodborne illness complaints and reports
  • engagement with kitchen visitors
  • staff orientation and training
  • food safety regulations

Keep Passing Restaurant Health and Safety Inspections

Restaurant SOPs cover all aspects of food preparation and service. You must show that you have a plan in place for monitoring, verifying, record-keeping, and taking corrective action. 

SOPs need to integrate the FDA’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Training and Monitoring principles. These principles include food safety training, quality improvement, record keeping, and employee training. 

Write Standard Operating Procedures to put your restaurant on firm footing to pass inspections. SOPs need to include restaurant rules and regulations

Local health departments administer and enforce food laws. To stay open and competitive, restaurants need to have written SOPs that describe methods and operating procedures. Rules covering heating, cooling, labeling, hand-washing, and other practices that prevent foodborne illness are available through your local health department. Use them as a basis for developing your restaurant’s SOPs for food handling.

Review standard operating procedures for food-handling with all employees. They may be tested on their knowledge during routine health inspections.

Restaurant Standard Operating Procedures also prepare staff for OSHA and food regulatory compliance inspections. Grade A signs in the restaurant window will bring in customers and keep well-trained staff on the job.

SOPs keep your restaurant running smoothly. They provide clear instructions and expectations to staff about how to carry out their duties. Running a smooth kitchen requires that all the moving parts be organized. Restaurants need easy-to-follow SOP for: 

  • preventive maintenance plans
  • quality assurance guidelines
  • regulatory inspection checklists
  • equipment tracking
  • food safety rules 

Streamline standard operating procedures for both the front-of-house and the back-of-the-house. Train new staff, communicate in seconds with all employees, keep guests happy, so they will keep coming back for more. 


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