As the saying goes, "You only get one chance to make a first impression," and this is as true for restaurants as it is for people. If a customer's first dining experience is horrible, the food and service were terrible, they will never come back. For this reason alone, it is important that restaurants manage both the quality of their food and their service.
Knowledge is power, and training staff to follow safe food handling practices is the best way to assure food quality and safety. The importance of training also goes for servers, cashiers or anybody else who deals directly with customers. A quality restaurant experience is about more than just serving good food but making the entire dining experience enjoyable as well. It is also wise to retrain staff who have been there for a while to just give them a refresher on proper procedures and why certain practices are important. >> Learn more about training restaurant staff
Telling employees about food quality management will only go so far. Restaurant managers also need to show employees how important it is by practicing what they preach. Whether it be through checking food temperatures, manning the grill or personally checking on customers, the restaurant manager is the person employees look to on how to act in every situation. >> Learn More about Becoming a Restaurant Manager
A food safety certification program takes some of the guesswork out of food quality management. In order to become certified, each restaurant has to implement very specific practices that are designed to assure food is being handled, prepared and served by the safest means possible.
Food quality control begins the minute it enters the restaurant, and that means all shipments need to be checked against spoilage so only the best ingredients enter the restaurant. Once accepted, the food needs to be stored properly (whether it be frozen, refrigerated or dry storage) in order to maintain high quality and maximize shelf life.
As mentioned before, you only get once chance to make a first impression, but keeping that impression alive is critical to maintaining a client base. If portion sizes or staff service changes on a daily basis, customers will lose faith and start coming to the restaurant. Therefore, it is important that staff properly measure all food portions. As far as server consistency goes, a lot of managers tell servers to leave their problems at the door, meaning don't bring your issues to work and start every day in the restaurant fresh so they can give customers the same enjoyable dining experience every time.
Sometimes, managing food quality is so daunting a task, especially for large commercial kitchens, that it can become a full-time job. For that, there are quality assurance managers. Quality assurance managers have at least a two-year degree in food sciences or a related field and are responsible for, among other things, training staff in proper food handling and regularly monitoring food quality in the commercial kitchen.