Advice Guy

An industry expert answers questions on improving restaurant operations

Have a question for the Restaurant Business Advice guy?

Want to ask our Advice Guy?

Submit your question here.

Latest Articles
Q.

I am opening a new property. I have been interviewing chefs and showing them the kitchen. A lot of them are saying they would need an additional walk-in refrigerator. My architect assured me everything is industry standard. Is there a usual formula?

A.

Commercial kitchen designer James Feustel of Feustel Foodservice Design says, “You can use roughly one square foot per seat

Q.

Can a restaurant owner charge me for something that I broke in the restaurant? For example, my boss charged me $227 dollars for a part on his front door that I didn't even mean to break.

A.

Restaurateurs hate to hear this but employee mistakes are typically the cost of doing business and can’t be charged to the employee in most states.

Q.

We have to tip out 2.5% of our sales to the back of house. Is that legal?

A.

In most states, sharing the tip pool with the back of house at all is not legal.

Q.

We have implemented a policy that all reservations on Fridays and Saturdays must be guaranteed with a credit card.  What we tell the guest is that if they make a reservation for 10 and only 8 show up we will charge them $15 for each guest who does not show up.  It is amazing how our no shows have dropped dramatically and we get very little push back from guest.  What are your feelings on this?

A.

Credit card guarantees can be good motivators for guests to keep their reservations.

Q.

We are a 17-year-old successful business that does three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are tired! We really don't want to sell, but my partner and I want a life! We have tried all different phases of management, chefs, etc., but we are very hands on! We are at the point of just doing breakfast and lunch for the rest of our career! Although we are a seasonal restaurant, we are still busy year round. How would this affect our business?

A.

Congratulations! For an independent restaurant, being open daily for three services for seventeen years is impressive—and exhausting.

Pages

Advertisement