How to Start Your Restaurant on the Path to Success

 In 5. Fred Langley, Operations, SMART Systems, The Numbers

By Chef Fred Langley

Different people define success in different ways. For some, success may mean having more time for a home life. It may be defined by increased profits. Some restaurant owners are looking at how they can provide a better customer experience, or a more focused and professional management team.

Whatever your definition of success, it is important for you to define what success looks like to you so you can chart a course that will get you there.

Once you know where you want to end up, we can help you get the course going. We start with the following core areas in your independent restaurant. Before you read any further and start to feel overwhelmed, know that you don’t have to tackle all of these areas at one time. All that matters is that you start with one.

  • Budgeting: We establish a baseline from current operations so we can set new budgeted targets. This budget contains the goals we have for your business and will be your targets when implementing systems in your restaurant.
  • Menu Engineering: We will need accurate recipe costing cards for all items you sell. This process will allow us to find out what is causing the gaps between actual and ideal cost of goods sold, which then allows us to engineer your menu for a huge financial impact.
  • Checklists: We will customize and provide you detailed checklists for every position including management. These give your team the ability to delegate, stay organized, provide better customer service and hold people accountable.
  • Sales Forecasting: We not only do forecasting but we leave your team with the ability to predict sales based on past performance.
  • Cash Controls: We will provide you with a system that accounts for every bit of cash that passes through your restaurant. You will have clear procedures and accountability so you know your cash is making it to the bank.
  • Purchasing: We will set you up with a purchasing tool that allows you to take care of the needs of the business, stay on budget, and effectively delegate the purchasing process without fear of overspending.
  • Scheduling: We will give you the process for writing a weekly schedule that stays within budget and takes care of the needs of the business.
  • Labor Controls: We can help you tie together forecasted goals with necessary goals to pay for the staff currently scheduled.
  • Management Direction: We will give you the tools to lead your team to success.

Our goal is to make the process simpler and faster for you to chart your course to success. We offer you proven best practices and strategies that will change how you do business.

Whether you work with us directly or like the DIY approach, you can use these core areas to define the path to your independent restaurant’s success.


Fred Langley is the CEO and restaurant coach for Restaurant Systems Pro. As a chef and restaurant owner, Fred found a new passion in helping other restaurant owners find success with systems and now focuses on it full time.
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