In-house vs. out-house

Running a foodservice operation is not a simple prospect. In addition to producing quality food and maintaining a high level of service, owners and GMs are faced with a multitude of responsibilities: payroll & human resources, taxes, state, federal and local mandates, technology, marketing, and accounting to name a few. These activities are time consuming, unrelenting, and costly. They can often break a business that's not prepared to handle them.

There is good news however. In response to this need, there is a growing number of consulting companies that can handle these responsibilities for operations of all sizes. I believe it's worth your time to look into some of these outsource options and see whether they might be a fit for your operation. Some reasons to outsource:

Outsource companies are experts in their fields — it's their core competency and many specialize in foodservice, which is a great benefit when managing the industry-specific areas of accounting, legal and taxes. An accountant who is well-versed with the Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants, for example, will be able to provide you with meaningful data in a format that will allow you to compare your operation with industry standards.

Cost savings
The idea of paying an outside firm may be daunting. But if you analyze your existing technology, office space, the salaries and benefits needed to cover these tasks you might be surprised at what you're already spending. Often, an outsourced firm can save you from 20% to 40% since they use specialized technology and offer the same services to many clients.

With things like marketing, there's no substitute for an extra dose of creativity that comes from working with a wide number of clients in a wide variety of areas. Outsourced firms learn from other projects, both within the foodservice industry and in other industries. They can adapt great ideas to your operation. Also, these companies keep on top of developments and trends that might be beneficial to you.

You don't have to do the work, which creates time to do the important things that only you can do, like interact with your guests, market your restaurant, and be a great leader to your employees, who are your most valuable asset.

Take a look, do a little research, and talk to your state restaurant association for recommended outsources, and look at our own Preferred Partners — these are companies that we highly recommend for various aspects of marketing, training, hiring, and brand building.

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