How to Serve 200 Customers Daily in an 8-seat Restaurant
Breaking down the cost of eating a fine meal there’s a lot you pay for on top of the transactional value of buying and preparing food. Being waited on in an architecturally designed restaurant in a prime location is great. But what if you want the same quality food without the premium price?
As the case goes for Australia, to get a fine dining meal here, you’ll also be paying for self-inflicted operational inefficiencies.
We’re largely talking:
- Capital and operational expenses of having a large fancy venue
- Staff who perform various activities that don’t directly pertain to the preparation of food
- Time consumed in a long seated meal that prevents the venue from turning over the table several times during service
But this isn’t the case in many places of the world – I recently travelled to Japan where I discovered good food can be purely transaction. It’s usually in an alleyway and the people who greet you also cook your food.
In Japan, many well-regarded restaurants have no front of house staff at all. Many don’t have a human taking your order.
Here’s one example I encountered: I picked this example because it has a western counterpart – a high-end steak restaurant. The place is called Le Monde, located in Shinjuku, and it’s tiny. There’s 3 staff, there’s no time of the day that doesn’t have a line and the dining room has 8 seats.
Here’s how they do it
Eliminate menu choice. What do you want? We have steak, steak, and steak. There is no question as to what you’re ordering. It’s going to be steak and it will be cooked medium-rare. The only question is what cut you will be ordering.
Each steak comes with an exact amount of thick cut potato chips, a small number of greens and a tiny amount of rice.
The result is an ultra-low wastage restaurant with a hyper-efficient kitchen process.
Efficient design. This place is evidence that if you design your restaurant with the efficiency of a Toyota plant you can serve up high-value food at a low price.
Those waiting outside observe the menu, the one front of house team member takes your order at the door. You then progress to a standing line inside. The chefs watch the progress of seated customers and line up the steaks to match the inside line of customers.
A perfectly timed steak hits the grill, you simply sit and a steak goes directly from the grill to a plate in front of you within 30 seconds.
You then leave promptly after finishing your meal because people are looking at you waiting for your seat.
Here’s a technical diagram I put together in the early hours of the morning:
No time for talking. There’s dead silence in this restaurant. The feel is part fine dining restaurant with quiet jazz music and a little bit like a solemn funeral.
You sit, you eat, you leave.
This is in part because you’re eating to an audience of other people waiting for your seat.
Never an empty seat. Empty seats are dead money. Hospitality operators pay for the seat and the square meter it sits on for one reason – to make money from it. By having a small footprint, every seat makes money.
Restaurant wastage comes in many forms, and ultimately the consumer pays for it somehow. The same goes for wasted seats and square meters, if you’re eating in an empty restaurant there are only two options: you’re either paying for the empty seats in your meal price or the operator is going backward.
I walked past at all hours of the day and never observed this place without a line to get a seat.
Aces in their places. Unlike my fellow diners who looked down at their meal and only looked up to pay, I took a good look at how the kitchen operated. The simplicity created insane efficiency. Everything had its place and each meal was prepared like clockwork.
All perfect. Always on time.
Here’s the staff setup:
1x FOH staff member takes care of the dining room, takes orders and prints the bill.
1x Chef manages the grill. They observe the eating progress of seated customers and ensure everything is ready to go in order of those in line.
1x Chef manages the sides and plating, and everything else that happens in the kitchen.
Insane value. This is a subjective statement but rings true if your goal though is to eat fine dining food at takeaway prices.
This is achieved by eliminating all of the activities that are non-value adding to you getting a quality steak cheap and fast.
The result: a restaurant quality steak for a fast food price. It’s a place where well off business people and broke backpackers eat side by side. Something you won’t see often in Australia.
Industry Insights |
Change Might Be Coming to Hospitality and Retail Owners
This one is looking at all you Food Produce and Hospitality business owners out there in the Tandaverse. It has been announced that the Senate will launch an inquiry into the Australian Wine Industry. Tanda users in wine country, also known as South Australia, may have already heard South Australian Senator Anne Ruston moved for the inquiry to see if there’s a market failure. This means having a look at that transition from vineyard to restaurant. In true politician style, Senator Anne Ruston says things are going well for the wine industry in Australia, but there may be opportunities we have missed and certain factors going against us. This is all very vague and contradicting. Managers and business owners out there know hearsay is useless for your growth. Facts and numbers are the things most important to you. So what does all this actually mean for you? Well, what is unusual in politics is that it seems all sides of government are for the inquiry. Senate has reported that though the broad-ranging report is still in the process of conception, it would take a look at the power and influence of retailers and wholesalers of Australian wine in domestic and international markets. Not only will it uncover information beneficial to retailers, it’ll examine existing policies like the Wine Equalisation Tax. Though it’s quite apt that the policy is named WET, refrain from wetting your lips to celebrate just yet. Things could be in the process of changing for better or worse. But this is only part of a bigger picture. Free Market Trade agreements are on the table now making it an exciting time for Australian business owners. Tanda, and we’re sure you guys too, are very keen to see how this inquiry unfolds in the near future and beyond.
Industry Insights |
Are your staff qualified to work?
Knowing when staff are working is one thing, but knowing that staff are qualified and competent can add a huge reassurance for employers. Industries such as hospitality, childcare and medical services are required to track staff qualifications to meet legal compliance regulations. In addition to recording staff qualifications, childcare centres are required to display staff qualifications on the roster. Why it’s important to keep a record of staff qualifications Qualification compliance arises as an issue for businesses, as some jobs legally require the specific qualification and knowledge to perform a certain task or responsibility. For example: Bartenders must obtain a Responsible Service of Alcohol certification (RSA) before being able to legally work behind a bar and serve alcohol to patrons. If they also work in food production, then they may be required to hold a food safety certification as well as First Aid/ CPR certificate. A childcare worker must hold a valid Working With Children certification to be able to work in an environment where children are present. In addition to this, they may be required to hold a certificate in education, as well as various health safety certifications such as First Aid/ CPR, Anaphylaxis and Asthma certificates. Tracking and implementing qualification compliance measures can present numerous problems for businesses who may not have the resources, time or technical capability to keep track of all staff qualifications, including when the qualifications expire. Tanda simplifies qualification compliance Tanda’s qualification feature assists employers to effectively record, track and roster their staff while meeting their qualification compliance requirements. Qualification documentation can be uploaded to individual employee profiles to indicate the competency of the individual. Teams within Tanda can then also be restricted based on employee qualification type, ensuring that every individual working within the specific team is adequately qualified for the job. For example, an RSA could be the prerequisite qualification for the Bar team, meaning that anyone working within the Bar, from bartenders to glassys, would need to be fully qualified with an RSA. Employers can use the qualification feature to enhance rostering for smarter and more compliant workforce management. Staff are able to easily and quickly view qualifications on the roster, in addition to details such as team and location. Managers will also be alerted to expiring qualifications on the roster; receiving alerts before the qualification expires, and subsequently once it has. Tanda makes it easy for Employers to keep track of staff qualifications, as it’s all stored electronically in one secure location in Tanda. By displaying staff qualifications on the roster, alerting managers to encroaching expiry dates and enabling qualification specific teams Tanda makes it easy for employers to be compliant. Visit the Tanda Help Site for more information on setting up employee qualifications in Tanda.
Events & Media |
Fair Work Announces Penalty Rates Transitional Arrangements
Today the Fair Work Commission has released its decision regarding the Transitional Arrangements to the changes in penalty rates. On February 23 2017, the Fair Work Commission released its decision to amend Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates in a number of Modern Awards. Sunday Penalty Rate Changes Sunday penalty rates will be reduced to 150% for full-time and part-time employees under the Hospitality Award, the Retail Award, and Pharmacy Award. Sunday penalty rates will be reduced to 175% for casual employees under the Retail and Pharmacy Award. The Sunday penalty rate for casual employees under the Hospitality Award remains unchanged at 175%. Sunday penalty rates for Level 1 Fast Food Award employees will also be changed. Full-time and part-time employees will see a reduction to 125%, and casual employees will see a reduction to 150%. Public Holiday penalty rates were also reduced for the Hospitality, Retail, Pharmacy, Fast Food and Restaurant Awards. The Fair Work Commission faced backlash over the decision, with many employee industry groups citing that a reduction in penalty rates would leave the ‘most vulnerable’ workers worse off as a result of taking home less pay. The Commission has today announced that it was not sufficiently persuaded that the impacts were substantive enough to not go ahead with the proposed changes, citing the positive employment benefits as more significant. It has also rejected the SDA’s request of introducing different transitional arrangements for current staff and employees employed after July 1 2017, as it would potentially create significant disharmony between employees, and additional complexities for employers transitioning to the new penalty rates. As such, the Fair Work Commission has announced its Transitional Arrangements for the relevant Modern Awards, these are outlined below. Transitional Arrangements to Penalty Rates Transitional Arrangements Fast Food Award Source: Fair Work Commission Transitional Arrangements Hospitality Award Source: Fair Work Commission Transitional Arrangements Retail Award Source: Fair Work Commission Transitional Arrangements Pharmacy Award Source: Fair Work Commission Proposed Changes to Public Holiday Penalty Rates The proposed changes to Public Holiday penalty rates will take effect July 1 2017, without transitional arrangements. Source: Fair Work Commission For more information on the Transitional Arrangements made to the aforementioned Awards, please visit the Fair Work Commission website.