There has always been a lot of discussion about what makes a restaurant successful. Is it the staff, the food, the ambiance, or the location? While one thing may contribute to a restaurant’s success more than others, there is no one thing that makes a restaurant successful. A good restaurant is the result of various different aspects of restaurant management that come together to create something magical.
Good employee management, efficient operations, proper training, planned marketing, etc. are all part of a restaurant’s success. It’s impossible for a restaurant to have long-term success if any of these important elements of restaurant management are not functioning effectively.
For instance, if your operations management is taken care of, but your employee management is poor, you will not be able to run smooth and streamlined operations at your restaurant.
Similarly, if your food is good but your marketing is not, you will not be able to attract enough customers to your restaurant. In restaurant management, one thing does not work well without the other.
However, it can get difficult for restaurant owners and managers to juggle all these tasks at the same time and make sure everything is taking place effectively and efficiently.
This is why we have created free restaurant resources to help restaurant owners and managers manage their operations efficiently and run a successful restaurant.
From creating a business plan from scratch to creating a training manual for your employees, or a restaurant marketing plan, our free resources aim at helping restaurant owners and managers manage their restaurants better and lead them towards success.
And they’re all completely free!
Whether you’re a beginner restauranteur or a seasoned one, there is something here for everyone. Check out our free restaurant resources below and quickly download your favorites to help you get started on your restaurant management journey.
12 Free resources for running a successful restaurant
1. Restaurant business plan template
If you have decided to open a restaurant, the first step is to create a business plan.
A restaurant business plan is a framework that guides you to plan and forecast every element of restaurant management and operations; from menu design, location, financials, employee training, and a lot more, and helps develop your restaurant ideas into a reality
Your restaurant business plan is what is going to map out how you plan on turning a profit from your business as well as where your restaurant fits into the saturated market and how you plan on standing out.
The business plan is one of the most important steps to guarantee long-term success for your restaurant.
Read more about creating a restaurant business plan here, and download our free step-by-step business plan template below.
2. Restaurant mission statement template
Your restaurant’s mission statement is a pillar of your identity. It tells the world who you are and what you stand for while helping to guide your decisions as a company.
That’s why writing a restaurant's mission statement is a personal affair. To make it meaningful, you’ll need to dig into some pressing questions about your values, vision, and goals. What makes you stand out from the rest? Why should your customers, employees, investors, the media, and other entities favor you?
Mission statements come in all shapes and sizes. Yours can be as short as a sentence or two, or you can use it as an opportunity to tell a story about your brand and the impact it strives to have in the local, national, or global community.
Learn how to write a mission statement for your restaurant that will entice and engage your audience by reading more about it here, and download our free restaurant mission statement template below.
3. Restaurant SWOT analysis template
Your restaurant may have the best ambiance or serve the most delicious appetizers in your locality.
But if you don’t keep tabs on its strengths and weaknesses or identify the opportunities and threats facing your business, your profitability may suffer.
That is where conducting a restaurant SWOT analysis can be your best defense against losing ground to your competitors. A restaurant SWOT analysis can help you get a firmer hold on where you excel and which areas of your restaurant need attention.
Learn more about running a SWOT analysis for your restaurant here, and download our free SWOT analysis template below.
4. Restaurant training manual
A restaurant's success depends on its employees. Well-performing employees can help take your restaurant from good to great, while their poor performance can cost you customers; which is why training them correctly is one of the most crucial factors for restaurant success.
The best way to provide each employee with consistent training is to create a restaurant training manual that will help standardize the training process throughout.
A restaurant training manual or an employee handbook is a guide that outlines the job role, rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines of your restaurant for your new hires and helps management train them in a standardized manner.
Every time a new staff member is hired, the management can take them through all the training steps as per the training manual, making sure no important information is missed out.
Read more about creating a training manual for your restaurant here, and download our free training manual template below.
5. Restaurant operations manual
An operations manual contains the processes and procedures for every single aspect of your restaurant. It may not be the most exciting book you'll ever write or read, but it's a crucial reference if you want to provide consistent quality over time. And it's even more important if you plan to expand operations beyond a couple of units.
For example, an operations manual will make sure that the front-of-house staff always cleans tables and chairs in the same way, regardless of who is performing the task. Or that the signature dish your customers love and come back for, will taste the same every time, even if there’s a new chef in the kitchen.
Learn more about creating an operations manual for your restaurant here, and download our free restaurant operations manual template below.
6. Restaurant employee handbook
Hiring the right employees for your restaurant is necessary, but providing them with a smooth onboarding process when they join is equally as important.
Properly trained employees that are well-versed in your company’s values, culture, vision, etc., are much more likely to lead your restaurant to success. This is why the onboarding process is so crucial.
If done correctly, it can set employees up for success, while a lousy one can lead to poorly trained and confused employees, eventually leading to high employee turnover and loss of revenue.
A restaurant employee assists restaurants in providing a smooth, streamlined onboarding process to its employees. A good employee handbook tells employees your restaurant’s story, which in turn helps them connect with the business and motivates them to work towards achieving the restaurant’s goals.
Read more about creating an employee handbook for your restaurant here, and download our free restaurant employee handbook template below.
7. Restaurant daily opening checklists
Opening the restaurant correctly is one of the most important tasks that define how the operations will take place for the rest of the day. A poor opening can lead to a multitude of problems and issues that can derail operations and lead to loss of revenue and unsatisfied customers.
The best way to ensure that all the opening procedures and checks are being done in an orderly manner is to add a daily opening checklist to your restaurant’s opening routine.
A daily opening checklist is a document that lists down all the important tasks that need to be completed before the restaurant opens for the day to ensure that everything is in order.
Learn more about why your restaurant needs daily opening checklists here, and download our free restaurant daily opening checklists template below.
8. Restaurant marketing plan
With growing competition in the industry, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for individual restaurants to stand out amongst the crowd. The only way to make your restaurant’s name heard amongst all the others is through effective and efficient marketing.
Having a proper marketing plan is a prerequisite for running a successful marketing strategy. Without it, you are just taking blind shots without knowing what works for your restaurant.
A restaurant marketing plan is a strategic document that outlines a restaurant’s strategy to promote a brand, acquire new customers, and enhance the guest experience. It’s focused on a specific period of business and highlights a variety of marketing-related action steps, such as goal creation, budgeting, and content planning.
Read more about creating a marketing plan for your restaurant here, and download our free restaurant marketing plan template below.
9. Restaurant social media policy template
Social media plays a big role in representing your restaurant’s brand identity in front of your customers, and even a simple misstep can be catastrophic for your business. This is why it’s very important to regulate and manage how your brand is being presented by your employees on social media. This is where a social media policy would come in handy for your restaurant.
A social media policy defines guidelines and regulations on social media use for your organization. While you cannot fully control what your employees share on social media, it’s important to set some boundaries about messaging regarding your business and brand.
Following these guidelines helps provide a cohesive brand image for your restaurant across all social media platforms. But mainly, they help in avoiding consequences like a security breach, legal complications (due to breach in regulations or copyright infringements), PR issues, etc., and provide instructions for damage control in case of a crisis.
Learn more about creating a social media policy for your restaurant here, and download our free restaurant social media policy template below.
10. Restaurant event planning checklist
Events are a great way to draw people to your restaurant, whether on a big holiday weekend or a slow weeknight. If a restaurant has promised a memorable experience, diners are bound to come in, enjoy their meal, and be entertained.
However, running a successful restaurant event is not an easy task. It requires managing various different tasks in a time-sensitive manner, and without proper planning, things can very quickly and easily get out of control.
It’s crucial for restaurant managers to have an organized plan for their event that includes all the tasks that are to be completed before the event and who is responsible for them. An event planning checklist helps you do just that and compiles all the data related to your event in one place.
11. Table management ROI ebook
With customers’ evolving preferences and increasing competition in the industry, managing a restaurant efficiently it’s getting harder for restaurant managers. That’s where technology like a table management system can be helpful.
A table management system is an all-in-one restaurant management solution that assists restaurant staff with their day-to-day tasks while streamlining operations and increasing efficiency.
A good table management system helps restaurants in every aspect - from reservation and floor management to collecting guest data, managing guest journeys, tracking performance, and so much more.
For a restaurant looking to make the leap and invest in a table management system, it can be difficult to determine its benefits and returns. Our free guide to table management system gives you an in-depth understanding of what to expect from a table management system in terms of return on investment.
12. Earn reservations from social media ebook
Social media is an important way to reach and engage potential diners at your restaurant. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have recognized this, and over the past few years, have added new features for page owners that go beyond just updating their feeds.
One such tool that is dedicated exclusively to restaurants and can help them drive revenue from social channels is the official Facebook and Instagram “Reserve” button that enables direct bookings for a restaurant through its Facebook and Instagram pages.
The official Facebook and Instagram “Reserve” buttons enable restaurants to embed their reservation link directly on their respective social pages, allowing customers to book a table at the restaurant without having to leave the social media platforms.
These reserve buttons turn your social channels into free direct booking channels and allow you to reach your customers where they are present, helping you capitalize on your social media following.