Project Description

Main goal

The opening and running of a restaurant is a big challenge. It is necessary to find capital, to manage employee schedules, to optimize processes, to control costs, to increase revenues, to improve the quality of service. All this requires a wide range of knowledge. Through this theme, we will try to give the amount of knowledge through which one could achieve a successful management of the opening and running of the restaurant. The theme will address the management of restaurants. We’ll present its features and significance for the development of tourism. Its origin, history and development in the world and in Bulgaria. The types of establishments, their classification, categorization and characteristics. Special attention will be paid to the development of the restaurant product. We’ll present the design of the restaurant product, the development of the menu of the restaurant and the organization of the commercial premises. The organization and the way of functioning of the restaurant. The duties and responsibilities of the types of staff, and the requirements for job descriptions. The costs for starting and managing the restaurant. Revenues and opportunities for their growth.

Duration

The individual training module for self-education on the topic of Restaurant management has a total duration of about 5 hours (300 minutes) including the time for introduction to the provided additional resources on the topics of the module.

Course content

Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4
Introduction to restaurant management History of restaurant management Types of establishments Development of the restaurant product
Topic 5 Topic 6 Topic 7
Organization and functioning of the restaurant Restaurant staff Income and expenses in the restaurant management

Up to date Curriculum

The opening and running of a restaurant is a big challenge. It is necessary to find capital, to manage employee schedules, to optimize processes, to control costs, to increase revenues, to improve the quality of service. All this requires a wide range of knowledge. Through this theme, we will try to give the amount of knowledge through which one could achieve a successful management of the opening and running of the restaurant. The theme will address the management of restaurants. We’ll present its features and significance for the development of tourism. Its origin, history and development in the world and in Bulgaria. The types of establishments, their classification, categorization and characteristics. Special attention will be paid to the development of the restaurant product. We’ll present the design of the restaurant product, the development of the menu of the restaurant and the organization of the commercial premises. The organization and the way of functioning of the restaurant. The duties and responsibilities of the types of staff, and the requirements for job descriptions. The costs for starting and managing the restaurant. Revenues and opportunities for their growth.

The term comes from the Latin word “restaurant” and means an establishment where food is served against payment.

Restaurant management is one of the three main tourist activities. Along with the hotel management and tourist transport, it is an important activity for the organization and time-spending outside the permanent residence.

Food production and consumption go through a long period of development in various forms, in order to reach the modern restaurant industry. Historically, the catering of people in general has developed in two main forms: domestic (individual) form of catering and non-domestic (collective) form. The domestic form is characterized by the use of labor on behalf of family members, low productivity, lack of modern management, low level of kitchen equipment and minimal amounts of food. In addition, the food produced in the home kitchen is in small quantities and is not exported for sale on the consumer market, therefore it is not commercial in nature. Nevertheless, the conveniences and facilities offered by home cooking are the main reasons for its existence to this day.

The non-domestic form is characterized by the fact that it takes place outside the home, in specialized buildings, where dining conditions are offered. The motives for people to eat out are many and varied. They range from satisfying hunger, saving time, socializing and flattering the ego to self-promotion. This form of catering is typical of the classic restaurants, where in addition to food, no other services are offered. At a later stage of human development, as an expression of customer needs, additional services began to be offered. In this way, a better and more complex satisfaction of their needs was achieved. The non-domestic form is characterized by high productivity, production of large quantities of food, application of modern management, use of specially trained staff (cooks, waiters and others), energy savings, raw materials, etc. All production of this non-domestic form is intended for the consumer market. It was created as a result of a long historical path of development and is the basis of modern restaurant management.

Restaurant management is defined as an economic activity including actions such as production, realization and consumption.

Restaurant management in tourism is a basic, socio-economic tourism activity, which produces and sells a complex product to meet the basic and additional needs of a predominantly tourist clientele within a specific material and spiritual environment. (Dabeva & Lukanova, 2011, p. 15).

According to the Tourism Act, “Restaurant management” is the provision of tourist services in specific forms of servicing, according to the type of tourist site. It is a production activity. Within this activity, we have the transformation of resources – materials and products. As a result of the transformed resources, the restaurant business creates a restaurant product intended for sale and consumption by tourists. The product of the restaurant ensures the complexity of the hotel business and tourism as a whole. In essence, the restaurant product is a set of restaurant goods and services that are offered to guests during their visit to catering and entertainment establishments.

Taken individually, restaurant management is a complex system with three sub-systems:

Within the production component, a specific processing of the delivered raw materials and products in the restaurant is performed, as a result of which culinary products are materialized. This production is carried out in the kitchens of the restaurants or in independent culinary production units, such as kitchen factories, centers, kitchens, etc.

The realization component consists in the sale of the produced culinary products, finished goods and services against payment of the clients. As we can see, in addition to our own kitchen products, we also offer finished goods that do not require additional processing. No product is created here, but an opportunity is created for higher revenues.

The organization of the consumption of products and services includes the creation of a number of facilities and comfort for the customers in the process of consumption of food, beverages and services.

No product is either created here but, with the invested efforts and additional consumption service costs, the value of consumed meals is increased, as well as of the beverages and services.

On the basis of these features of the restaurant management, we may conclude that this is an economic activity, obeying the market principles of benefit generation from the operations.

As per the Classification of Economic Activities (CEA-2008), restaurant management falls within the sector of „I HOTEL AND RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT, which includes two sections – 55 Hotel Management and 56 Restaurant Management.

According to the same Classification, section 56 Restaurant Management includes: activities of food and beverage establishments that prepare and offer food and beverages for immediate consumption. These activities are carried out by restaurants, fast food restaurants, take-away establishments with the possibility of food packaging and consumption outside the establishment, permanent and temporary establishments with or without seating.

This section does not include:

  • production of food (including ready meals) that is not for immediate consumption;
  • production of beverages that are not for immediate consumption;
  • sale of purchased ready meals and beverages that are not for immediate consumption.

Restaurant management is characterized by a number of features:

  • Irregularity of the production process;
  • Coincidence in time and place of production and consumption of the restaurant product;
  • Need for specialized material base, which in turn requires large investments;
  • Requires a high degree of coordination of the various units;
  • Relatively high share of living labor;
  • Dependence on the condition and development of the food industry and agriculture;
  • Seasonality of available food products, etc.

The significance of restaurant management has two aspects: social and economic.

Social significance:

  • Satisfies the need of food and catering;
  • Forms catering culture;
  • Provides opportunity for social communication and contacts;
  • Improves the living standards of people;
  • Improves communication skills;
  • Satisfies spiritual needs.

Economic significance:

  • Improves infrastructure – construction of food and entertainment establishments, accompanying infrastructure;
  • Secures jobs and employment;
  • Increases the personal income of the people working in the system;
  • Increases income in the republican budget;
  • Stimulates the development of accompanying activities.

According to the Tourism Act, a restaurant may be operated by a person who is a trader within the meaning of the Commercial Act or is a legal entity that has the right under another law to conduct business, including under the legislation of another Member State of the European Union or a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation; which is not in bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings.

There must be staff with the required educational and language qualifications, and management experience is required for management staff. It is necessary to have its own, rented or used on another basis site in which it will perform the activity.

The persons performing restaurant management are obliged to compile price lists – a menu list for the kitchen and confectionery products and a menu card for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages with the respective sales prices and quantities. The menu list and card must be provided to each user before ordering and when presenting the bill. Both must be written in Bulgarian and, if desired or if necessary – in another language. The announced prices in the menu list and card are of the same value for all tourists, determined in compliance with the requirements of art. 3, para 4. For each sale of a tourist service, a fiscal voucher must be issued in accordance with the Value Added Tax Act.

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

  • Koprinarov Br., Hotel and restaurant management, Shumen, Episcop Konstantin Preslavski Publishing House, 2005;
  • Classification of Economic Activities (CEA-2008);
  • Tourism Act.

Historical development of restaurant management

Very much like the hotel industry, as a specific activity related to meeting human needs, the restaurant industry has a long history, but the modern aspects and characteristics of this activity developed only in the years of the last century. The periods of development of the restaurant industry coincide to a significant extent with those in the development of the hotel industry. This correlation is based on the fact that both activities are closely linked. The majority of accommodation facilities also offer restaurant services.

The non-domestic catering, as a commercial activity, has existed for a long time. Restaurants have been there since ancient times. In the ancient Egyptian civilization, around 1700 BC, primitive facilities were built for travelers, where food was offered mainly in baskets. Banquets were held during major celebrations. Games, dances and religious rituals were also organized. Until 400 BC, women were not allowed in these establishments. Subsequently, in order to ensure better organization and supply of food, this restriction was lifted.

In ancient Greece, local civil servants, military men, visiting civil servants and athletes – winners of a number of competitions, including the Olympics – enjoyed the privilege of eating in public places at the expense of the city in which they resided. The winners of the Olympic Games ate at the expense of the state for life. In Athens, government officials ate and spent the night in a separate part of the city called the Agora. Visiting civil servants, important Athenians, benefactors of the city and winners of the All-Greek Games had dinner at Prytaneion. The ancient Greeks loved to gather together to discuss issues of public interest, drink and eat.

Ancient Rome marked a kind of peak in the development of non-domestic catering with a dense network of public establishments. The widespread use of non-domestic catering was due to the lack of kitchens in many homes at the time and the ease with which people could buy ready-made meals.

The huge size of the empire and the need for constant movement of officials, troops and other employees, made it necessary to build stations along the roads for rest and accommodation, which also offered food for travelers.

For senior officials there were luxury restaurants – Tabernas. Tabernas, where the word tavern comes from, were small restaurants in ancient Rome that served wine and food. Such restaurants are almost intact in the ruins of ancient Pompeii. From them one can get an idea of ​​what these establishments looked like then – a large service counter, where huge urns with wine were stored, with a huge brick oven and other cooking equipment at the back. These small taverns were the predecessors of trattorias or small restaurants in modern Italy.

Thermopolia – the snack bars of that time – were small restaurant-bars that offered food and drinks to the customer. These public eateries were located on the first floor of the insula (Roman multi-storey houses), because there was running water, sewerage and cooking was allowed (they were built of stone or bricks). They had tables, chairs, a kitchen and a counter. Rural pubs were widespread in the provinces of the Roman Empire. They offered bread, meat, cheese, wine. Wine was usually grown and produced by the owners of these pubs.

Another type of restaurant from that time is Popina – restaurants offering food in several dining rooms.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the destruction of the Western Roman Empire in about 500 AD, restaurants sank into oblivion. The number of travelers decreased sharply, and therefore there was no need to maintain restaurants in which to organize meals. At that time, monasteries and other religious buildings became the main places where travelers were sheltered and fed. The monasteries were part of the culinary centers in the closed feudal society, they owned lands and pastures, raised various crops and domestic animals, and prepared food with domestic raw materials. Hospices and inns were built to feed the pilgrims, and sometimes they were fed for free.

The crusades that began in 1095 intensified travel, and restaurants began to swarm again.

Sometime around this time (1100 AD) in China, the first establishments recognizable as restaurants appeared in the cities of Kaifeng and Hangzhou. These were densely populated cities with more than 1 million inhabitants. The prototype restaurants were located in lively entertainment districts that served business travelers, along with hotels, bars and brothels. Intensive trade between China’s northern and southern provinces was in full swing at the time. The traveling merchants were not accustomed to the different cuisine and therefore in these establishments a variety of food was prepared to meet the specific requirements of the traveling traders.

In medieval England, inns began to open everywhere, following the traditions of pubs in Saxon England. In them, people ate and had drinks while discussing daily affairs. Soldiers in the armies and navy were recruited in the drinking establishments. At that time, taverns and inns were marked with simple symbols, not words, because most people could not read. There were many lions, golden fleeces, white hares, black swans, dolphins and other similar signs. Wine and beer were used very often because the water and milk were contaminated.

In Japan, a special restaurant culture originated from the Japanese tea traditions of the 1500s.

In France of the Middle Ages, guilds had a monopoly on many aspects of cooked food. For example, the cashiers were the guild that prepared cooked meats for sale. It was illegal to cook meat in any form if you did not belong to that particular guild. In 1765, a man named Boulanger added boiled lamb to a stew he sold in his shop near the Louvre. The restaurateur’s guild sued him, but Boulanger won the case. Over the next 20 years, which led to the French Revolution, more restaurants like Boulanger’s began to open in Paris.

When Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI went to the guillotine, the way of life of French society changed. Guilds were swept away and many chefs working in aristocratic and royal households found themselves unemployed. Many of them opened their own restaurants in Paris, forming a new way of eating and serving. Delicate porcelain, cutlery and linen tablecloths, all attributes of the aristocracy, were now available to a whole new echelon of French citizens.

Creating à la carte menus that included gourmet food, chefs focused on sophisticated experiences, preparing private dinners for people. Guests no longer had to eat at a common table, as was typical of taverns and roadside inns. These professional chefs who had become restaurateurs managed to get rich real quick.

Cafes flourished in the 19th century – a style of restaurant that, however, did not offer table service. Rather, customers ordered their food from the counter and served themselves.

Thanks to the development of travel, luxury dining destinations have since spread throughout Europe and the New World. The oldest restaurants date to this era.

At that time, the rapid economic and demographic growth of industrial societies created a sufficient income for the population so that people could travel and visit hotels and restaurants. With the emergence of the new forms of transportation (steamer, locomotive, car), travel costs decreased, amenities grew and travel became available not only to the elite of society. This determined further the growth and development of the restaurant industry.

Until the middle of the 20th century, the main restaurants and entertainment establishments were snack bars, cafes and classic restaurants. From the middle of the 20th century, fast food and mass catering establishments appeared. They emphasized the low cost of the food offered, semi-finished or pre-prepared food (sandwiches, burgers, toasters, etc.) and beverages in restaurants of unpretentious type in terms of interior and service. Along with them, high-class public, commercial establishments were opened, offering a wide range of food and beverages in a luxurious atmosphere and perfect service. Such were the restaurants and entertainment establishments belonging to the large hotel complexes, private restaurants, and bars.

In the 21st century, the trend of increasing the total number of non-domestic catering establishments continues. Small and medium-sized, flexible and changing establishments are prosperous, with and without service, offering coziness and a certain comfort, combined with an affordable, unpretentious assortment and low “mass” prices.

Development of the establishments in Bulgaria

In the Bulgarian lands, in Roman times there were restaurants typical of the territories incorporated in the Roman Empire. At that time, in the settlements with mineral springs – Hissarya, Kyustendil, Stara Zagora and others, medical complexes were built (then called bathing complexes) with establishments for accommodation and meals. The typical restaurants of the time – built next to road stations – also existed in our lands.

With the adoption of Christianity, many monasteries were built and many religious centers were established. To serve the pilgrims who visited these places, they built inns which offered accommodation and food. With the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule, the construction of relatively large buildings known as kervansarai began, to accommodate passengers and horses. Usually the passengers who stayed in them brought their own blankets and food. There was no charge for their use. Later, they started to build private inns. Those were usually built in larger settlements. A pub and catering room were usually set up next to the big inns. In the 19th century, the service in them was improved and they started offering rooms with beds and duvets, food, drinks and coffee.

After the Liberation of Bulgaria, the main type of establishments appeared to be inns, pubs and cafes, which offered food and drinks, mainly coffee and wine. Restaurants were rarer. The most popular were the pubs. In them, the guests were served mainly by the innkeeper, members of his family, and sometimes a hired assistant. Between the First and Second World Wars, cafes, pubs and inns were the establishments of the less insolvent population. The richer ones visited fine restaurants and entertainment bars, which were located in the larger cities and the capital. The conditions and service in them were at a higher level, but the prices were significantly higher too.

During the period 1947-1990, Bulgaria saw the building of large for the scale of the country tourist sites – hotels, independent restaurants and entertainment establishments, entertainment centers and more. Characteristic of this period is that the ownership of these establishments was exclusively in the hands of the state.

After 1990, political and economic changes took place. Market relations were established. Private property developed. Internal and external competition emerged. Small, mostly family-owned caravans, pavilions, cafes and restaurants were largely opened. The privatization of state-owned establishments began. In more recent times, large-scale construction of a new, modern material and technical base in the hotel and restaurant industry has begun. Today our country has a well-developed network of modern, high-vategory restaurants

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

In general, the classification of establishments can be made by grouping them on the basis of the specifics and characteristics that determine their nature, such as:

  • Location – urban, suburban, roadside, mountain, lakeside, seaside;
  • Seasonality – summer, winter, permanent or temporary;
  • Form of service – with service; self-serviced; partially serviced;
  • Assortment of the offered production:

– general profile – offering a wide range of food and beverages;

– specialized – specialization based on product – chicken, fish, game;

– narrowly specialized – based on a sub-product group, such as pasta, confectionery, etc.;

  • Category of the restaurant – one, two, three, four, five stars;
  • Size – small, medium, large, very large;

There is no single classification system in Europe and the world. There is a naturally established classification known in society, on the basis of which the consumer interest is built and determined. At the same time, some types of restaurants, such as tea houses, are inseparably linked to local culture and have different meanings in different parts of the world, while others, such as Spanish tapas bars, are much more than just places to eat. The cafes differ greatly in style and menu. Each restaurant format has its own set of target audiences and requires a different type of investment, location, skills and overall effort. This makes the different types of restaurants unique in themselves. Before entering the restaurant or food business, you must be very careful when choosing between the various restaurant formats, the necessary investment, the target audience, the kitchen. It is therefore crucial to understand which are the different types of restaurants that exist, what distinguishes the restaurant format and most importantly, which format of the restaurant will be best applied in the particular case. For this purpose, several established world formats can be considered with their peculiarities for comparison:

  1. Bistro – Originating from Paris. These are small neighborhood restaurants, usually specializing in (but not limited to) French cooking style. They offer mostly simple dishes at reasonable prices in a cozy, casual atmosphere. This is the so-called small Parisian restaurant
  2. Ethnic restaurant – This type of restaurant offers specialized cuisine associated with a particular nationality, using ingredients and cooking techniques that belong to this specific culture. Among the most common are Chinese, Greek, Turkish, Italian and Mexican. Basically, these restaurants are located in large cities or areas with lively immigrant communities.
  3. Fine dining restaurant – A restaurant with a fine dining room. The highest rated type of restaurant, often characterized by complex menus, attentive service and sophisticated decor with clean white tablecloths. These luxury restaurants serve a rich clientele, sometimes requiring a formal dress code and reservation in advance.
  4. Trattoria – This is less formal than a restaurant, a traditional, often family-run Italian establishment dedicated to rural local cuisine.
  5. Teppanyaki-ya – A Japanese restaurant where the chef prepares food (usually consisting of steak, seafood and vegetables) on a hot iron grill (teppan) right in front of the customer.
  6. Osteria – It originally functioned as a simple wine bar where customers brought their own food. Nowadays, the term is mainly used to describe a casual and unpretentious Italian dining room (cheaper and less formal than a trattoria) offering plain home-cooked food, although it is not uncommon to see it attached to elegant restaurants that want to evoke a feeling of warmth, old-fashioned style and familiarity.
  7. Drive-through restaurant – a little different from drive-in, drive-through or drive-thru restaurant allows customers to place an order on a microphone and then get to a window where they pay and receive their food. Large fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King often offer this type of service.
  8. Pizzeria – The pizzeria is a restaurant where pizza is baked and served. In Italy, where they come from, there are two different types of pizzerias – one is a traditional seating restaurant that can also serve wines, salads and pasta; and the other type of pizzeria, which originated in Rome, is a bakery selling pizza “al talo” (pizza piece). Founded in 1830, the Antica Port’ Alba pizzeria in Naples is considered the world’s first pizzeria.
  9. Taverna – The tavern is a small, traditional Greek restaurant with rustic décor, an authentic atmosphere and a limited cheap menu – usually consisting of simple local dishes such as grilled meat, fish and seafood. Apart from being the most popular and emblematic restaurant in Greece, the tavern is also an integral part of the local culture. The taverns in Bulgaria are similar to the Greek ones – rural decor, authentic atmosphere, traditional dishes.
  10. Fast casual restaurant – A new type of restaurant where the food and service are a little more luxurious than the fast-food restaurant. Chains like Chipotle, Panera Bread or Shake Shack in New York fall into this category.
  11. Pop-up restaurant – A growing trend in the hospitality sector, pop-up restaurants are temporary restaurants that operate in unexpected places for a limited period of time. They are a great opportunity for young, talented chefs to show off their skills or try out a new culinary concept before investing in a monolithic restaurant.
  12. Café – The cafe is probably the most common restaurant there. It first appeared in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in the 17th century and has since served as a public gathering place. Cafes are mainly focused on coffee and other hot drinks. They also often offer sweets, pastries and other light meals / snacks. The menu varies considerably from country to country.
  13. Diner – American type of seating restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, inspired by the old dining car. They are usually open 24 hours a day (especially on the motorways) and serve classic American dishes such as burgers, sandwiches, fries and pies.
  14. Ramen-ya – This is a popular type of restaurant in Japan, which specializes in soup dishes with wheat flour noodles. Each region in the country has its own variation. Not all ramen-ya restaurants offer a seating service.
  15. Teahouse – Teahouses are mainly places for drinking tea, some of them also offer light dishes, typical for the local tea culture.
  16. Fast-food – Synonymous with McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, fast food restaurants are distinguished by the speed of service, convenience and affordability. They are usually part of large international chains or franchises and have limited, not very healthy menus, usually consisting of burgers, French fries, pizza and soft drinks. In the last few years, however, some fast-food restaurants have begun to offer higher-quality options such as gourmet and custom pizzas.
  17. Buffet-style restaurant – A self-serviced restaurant where different types of food are displayed on tables. Most buffet restaurants offer everything you can eat, where customers are charged a fixed fee, but the concept has several variations depending on which country you are in.
  18. Cafeteria – This can be either a stand-alone restaurant or a restaurant within an institution (school, hospital, workplace). There is little or no staff in the cafeteria, so people have to take care of themselves by choosing from the available ready-made food.
  19. Tapas bar / Tasca – Based on Spanish culture, tapas bars are lively places where drinks come accompanied by small plates of food called tapas. Ranging from traditional modest taverns to gourmet places, they are less formal than restaurants, but much more than ordinary bars, offering not only drinks and small bites, but also a comfortable place for friends to relax, to communicate or watch a football game together. One of the great experiences when visiting Spain is ‘Ir de tapas’, or ‘tapear’ – walking from bar to bar, drinking and tasting delicious tapas.
  20. Steakhouse – A restaurant specializing in first-class beef cuts. In most cases, the menu also includes beef, pork / lamb chops and roast chicken, plus good wines and a variety of side dishes.
  21. All you can eat restaurant – Restaurants where customers pay a fixed fee and then serve themselves as much food as they want. They usually have plenty of places to eat, with everything from salads to hot dishes and desserts.
  22. Dinner in the Sky – an innovative restaurant concept based in Belgium, allowing a fixed number of guests to enjoy their gourmet meals on a table hanging in the air. Dinner in the Sky is available in over 45 countries around the world.
  23. Dark restaurant – This is a relatively new and unusual type of restaurant, where customers eat in complete darkness, often served by blind waiters. The concept of eating in the dark aims to awaken the other senses by removing vision. The first permanent dark restaurant is Blindekuh, opened in 1999 in Zurich, Switzerland, while the most popular is Dans Le Noir? – the only restaurant chain of its kind, with many locations around the world.
  24. À la carte – These are all those restaurants where customers can order individual dishes from the menu.
  25. Gastropub – The term gastropub originates from the UK and describes a type of restaurant that combines the charm and character of the pub with luxury food and good beer. The first gastropub in history was The Eagle, London.
  26. Brasserie – A classic French restaurant serving traditional food, coffee and drinks throughout the day. Although the style of cooking is similar, the brasseries are larger and livelier than the bistro and have richer menus.
  27. Food truck – This is a licensed vehicle equipped with a kitchen for cooking and serving food at temporary sites. Unlike ordinary hot dog carts or taco carriages, these wheeled restaurants travel on their own and are filled with more sophisticated cooking appliances, providing a superb street food experience. Focusing on limited but non-standard dishes at reasonable prices, gourmet food trucks are a growing trend around the world.
  28. Churrascaria – A steak restaurant in Brazil. The name comes from Churasco, the Brazilian style of grilled meat (similar to barbecue). The meat is on large skewers and is served directly from the grill on the plates of the seated customers to eat. In churrascaria, a range of grilled meat on skewers is brought to the table and the waiter cuts thin slices on your plate.
  29. Food court – A group of small restaurants or fast food stalls sharing a common dining area with seating. Also known as dining halls, they are usually located in shopping malls and airports

In Bulgaria, Art. 124, para. 2 of the Tourism Act defines the following types of catering and entertainment establishments:

Restaurants are public catering and entertainment establishments, which offer kitchen and confectionery products, alcoholic and soft drinks. Customer service is provided by qualified specialists using special forms of serving.

Fast-service establishments offer a limited standardized range of culinary products and/or ready-packaged goods, desserts, beverages – soft and alcoholic. The main form of service is self-service. Combined forms of service are also applied.

The drinking establishments offer a wide range of soft and alcoholic drinks and snacks.

Café-patisseries are establishments for additional food, which offer confectionery, ice cream, pastries, soft and alcoholic beverages.

Bars are establishments that offer a wide range mainly of alcoholic and soft drinks, cocktails and beverages, nuts, confectionery, a limited range of culinary products.

According to the law, establishments adjacent to accommodation, and independent catering and entertainment establishments are categorized in the following categories:

  1. Restaurants – “one star”, “two stars”, “three stars”, “four stars” or “five stars”;
  2. Fast-service establishments – “one star”, “two stars”, “three stars”;
  3. Drinking establishments – “one star”, “two stars”, “three stars”, “four stars”;
  4. Café-patisseries – “one star”, “two stars”, “three stars”, “four stars” or “five stars”;
  5. Bars – “one star”, “two stars”, “three stars”, “four stars” or “five stars”.

The categorization of the catering establishments in Bulgaria is determined by the Ordinance on the requirements for the categorized places for accommodation and establishments for food and entertainment, by the order for determining the category, as well as on the terms and conditions for registration of guest rooms and guest apartments adopted by the Council of Ministers № 139 of 26.06.2020.

The ordinance determines the minimum mandatory requirements that must be met by the accommodation establishments, the adjacent catering and entertainment establishments and the independent catering and entertainment establishments, to determine their category, as well as the conditions and the procedure for registration of a guest room and a guest apartment.

Depending on the type of catering establishment, the categorization is done either by the Minister of Tourism or by the mayor of the municipality. For this purpose, an application must be submitted by the restaurateur or by a person authorized by him together with the required documents under the ordinance. A temporary certificate is issued for the open procedure, which must be placed at a prominent spot in the site. The relevant body conducts the procedure and issues a permanent certificate on the basis of the requirements of the ordinance. The certificate for the specified category of the site has a term of 5 years with the exception of the certificate for the sites located on a pontoon, the term of which corresponds to the term of validity of their permit. The categorization is done according to a five-star system from one to five. The establishments adjacent to the accommodation units may receive a different category from that of the accommodation itself, the difference between them being not more than one star.

Not subject to categorization:

  1. Catering and entertainment establishments, located within educational and health institutions, as well as in enterprises or offices meant to be used only by their employees and where no access for outsiders is provided;
  2. Fast-service establishments with capacity of up to 12 seats or designated parts of commercial sites with up to 12 seats;
  3. Designated parts of premises or yards of categorized guesthouses, guestrooms and hostels offering homemade food only to the guests written in the accommodation registry;
  4. Hunting lodges under the Law on Hunting and Game Protection: hunting residence, hunting home, hunting hut and hunting shelter.

The Ordinance defines the characteristics of the various types of catering and entertainment establishments.

 

Restaurants:

  1. Classical restaurant: offers a wide range of prepared on the spot multi-component culinary goods and specialties, confectionery, desserts, bread, pastries, hot drinks, juices, soft and alcoholic beverages ready for consumption; it creates conditions for catering and entertainment;
  2. Specialized restaurant:
  • For fish, poultry, game or other – offers an assortment based on a given main product – fish, fish products and other sea products; poultry; game or other;
  • For barbecue or grill – offers an assortment based on grilled meats;
  • Restaurant-pizzeria – offers kitchen production and varied assortment of bread and pastry products – pizza, pasta, lasagna, macaroni; salads, sauces, desserts, long- and short-term confectionery made on the spot, etc.; it also prepares for consumption soft and alcoholic beverages, natural mineral, spring and table waters, beer and wines.
  1. National cuisine restaurant:

Restaurant with Bulgarian cuisine: offers mostly Bulgarian national and regional cuisine and drinks – mehana, inn, traditional house, etc.;

Restaurant with foreign cuisine: offers French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and other cuisine; the assortment is based on the corresponding national cuisines and beverages;

  1. Restaurant-club – serves clients with particular interests;
  2. Thematic attractions restaurants – offers a suitable assortment of meals, drinks and/or artistic and music program, with a typical architectural interior and exterior (tents, pens, barracks, sea-ships, etc.).

Fast-service establishments:

  1. Snack-bar – offers and assortment of dishes and specialties prepared on grill or plate, a-la-minutes, salads, soups; ready long- and short-term confectionery, ice-cream; natural mineral, spring and table waters, ready for consumption soft and alcoholic drinks and beer; the food is prepared in front of the client and is offered at a counter;
  2. Bistro – offers limited kitchen products from ready-to-eat foods in canned, frozen, concentrated or dried form; the process of food preparation in the site is missing; the card-menu includes hot drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, ready-to-drink alcoholic and soft drinks and beer;
  3. Fast-food establishment – offers sandwiches with sausages, cheeses, combined sandwiches with fresh vegetables, burgers, French fries, grilled meat products, sauces, salads, ready-made pasta, confectionery, sugar and chocolate products, ice cream, hot drinks, natural minerals, spring and table water, soft drinks ready for consumption and beer;
  4. Lunchroom – offers varied assortment included in any of the groups below:
  • Soups, sandwiches and sub-product dishes;
  • A-la-minutes on grill – meatballs, sausages, skewers; salads; the card menu includes hot drinks, milk drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, ready-to-drink soft drinks, beers and a limited choice of alcohols.

 

Drinking establishments:

  1. Caféaperitif – offers a wide range of ready alcoholic and soft drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters; limited range of culinary products – salads, cold appetizers, French fries, grilled meat products, sandwiches, burgers, confectionery and chocolate, nuts, ice cream;
  2. Winery – offers a wide range of predominantly bottled wines, ready alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, natural mineral, spring and table waters, suitable kitchen products and appetizers; there may be conditions for tasting;
  3. Pub – offers bottled alcoholic and soft drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, hot drinks, salads, cold appetizers, nuts, sugar and chocolate products;
  4. Beer-house – offers a wide range of draft and bottled beer, salads, cold appetizers, French fries, grilled meat, hot drinks, natural mineral, spring and table water, ready soft and alcoholic drinks.

 

Café-patisseries:

  1. Café-patisserie – offers short- and long-term confectionery, sugar and chocolate products, sandwiches, hamburgers, pasta, ice cream, hot drinks, cocktails, natural mineral, spring and table water, beer, ready soft and alcoholic drinks;
  2. Patisserie – offers short- and long-term confectionery, sugar and chocolate products, pasta, sandwiches, ice cream, hot drinks, dairy drinks, natural mineral, spring and table water and ready soft drinks;
  3. Ice cream parlor – offers predominantly an assortment of various ice creams on milk, fruit, cream and other bases, ice cream specialties, ice cream cakes, pastes, shakes, ice cream, etc.;
  4. Cafe – offers hot drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, ready alcoholic and soft drinks, short- and long-term confectionery, sugar and chocolate products, pasta, nuts;
  5. Coffee club – offers hot drinks, natural mineral, spring and table water, ready soft and alcoholic drinks, sugar and chocolate products, nuts, for customers with certain interests (internet, art, games, etc.);
  6. Cafeteria – offers a variety of hot drinks, ready soft drinks, natural mineral, spring and table water, snacks, pasta, sugar and chocolate products;
  7. Tea-room – offers warm tonic and soft drinks (tea, herbal teas, coffee, hot chocolate, cocoa, grog, punch, mulled wine, etc.) and snacks.

 

Bars:

  1. Cocktail bar – offers a wide range of ready alcoholic and soft drinks and cocktails, natural mineral, spring and table water, nuts, fruits, confectionery and sugar products;
  2. Café-bar – offers various types of coffee, ready soft and alcoholic drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, fruits, etc.;
  3. Бар congress center – offers an assortment meant for servicing congress events;
  4. Bar – sports center (swimming pool, tennis court, fitness hall, bowling, etc.) – offers tonic drinks, alcoholic beverages, juices, nectars, soft cocktails and drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, etc.;
  5. Lobby bar – offers ready alcoholic and soft drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, cocktails, snacks, desserts, nuts, fruits, etc. It is located next to the lobby of the accommodation establishment.
  6. Discotheque – offers ready alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, natural mineral, spring and table waters, cocktails, nuts, hot drinks, sandwiches and hamburgers, sugar and chocolate products; a site mainly for dancing with dance floors and countertops in the trade hall and a limited number of seats;
  7. Bar-club – offers ready alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, natural mineral, spring and table waters, kitchen and confectionery products, etc.; a site with musical and art program for clients with certain interests;
  8. Piano-bar – offers ready alcoholic and soft drinks, natural mineral, spring and table waters, cocktails, hot drinks, nuts, fruits, sugar and chocolate products; a restaurant with quiet music;
  9. Bar-casino – bar services in a casino hall;
  10. Bar-variety – a luxury establishment with bar service and musical/artistic program;
  11. Night bar – establishment with bar service and night working time.

 

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

  • Todorov D., Restaurant management, Matkom Publishing House, 2010;
  • Ordinance on the requirements for the categorized accommodation and catering and entertainment establishments, on the procedure for determining the category, as well as on the conditions and procedure for registration of guest rooms and guest apartments (2020);

Tourism Act (2013);   https://travelaway.me/restaurant-types/.

Designing the restaurant product

The design and overall layout of restaurants goes through several main stages. “Of particular importance are the activities for generating ideas and developing a concept for marketing research, inextricably linked to the planning and financing of the restaurant product.” [1]

A key point in this process is the choice of the location of the restaurant, determining its capacity, creating an attractive menu, organizing sales and preparing a forecast for its development. The next stage is the construction of the restaurant – the design of the trade hall, along with the selection of building materials and accessories; specifying a construction method; choice of furniture. This is followed by the design of the organization of production, service and technology. Finally comes the planning of pricing approaches.

“Generating ideas and developing a concept for the essence of the restaurant product are highlights of the design. In their entirety, they are oriented towards establishing opportunities for revenue generation.”[2]

Before starting the activity, generating ideas and developing a concept for the essence of the restaurant product is a must. For the successful functioning of the activity, it is desirable that this process is not interrupted. This will allow new ideas to be generated, tested and eventually implemented.

This whole process requires an analysis of the effectiveness of the idea. The assessment of the potential for profit also determines the final decision, whether an idea should be realized or not. Profit is the main driving factor for the implementation of any business initiative, including the restaurant business. Therefore, the performance analysis needs to be thorough. The realization of the product goes through its consumption by customers.

Here it is especially important to carefully determine the profile of the potential customer in terms of purchasing power, age, marital status, education, lifestyle, employment rate, etc.

Quantitative parameters must also be taken into account, such as the numbers of the permanent population, the incoming and passing flow of people. The next point in this analysis involves taking into account the characteristics of the products and services that will be offered on the market. The benefits of these products must be properly analyzed. All this must be done through the prism of product usefulness and consumer interests. The realization of the products and services depends to a large extent on the organization of the service. Therefore, the type of service organization that will be applied must be taken into account in the analysis of efficiency. The features of the service and the products that determine their competitive advantages must be clearly and precisely defined. These features will be the basis of the advertising policy of the restaurant. Here it is important to determine why a client would visit the restaurant. Another important point in this analysis is the determination of the geographical characteristics of the customer flow. This will allow to determine the area from which they come and, on this basis, to compare the products and services in this area with the ones offered in the restaurant. Efficiency also largely depends on the activities of direct and indirect competitors. An in-depth study of competition must therefore be carried out. On this basis, competitive advantages can be correctly determined and a correct pricing policy can be established. The efficiency of the restaurant also depends on its capacity. Here it is very important to achieve maximum optimization of the parameters in order to ensure the maximum number of visitors without affecting the quality negatively. An important point is the analysis of resources – material, technical, human and financial. Quantitative parameters must be specified through the needs of optimal functioning and the amount of funds that need to be invested.

A very important point in product planning is to take into account the trends in the development of the restaurant industry at the local, regional, national level and in the world as a whole. This will largely allow to accurately determine the time, place, type and size of the restaurant to be built.

This whole planning process would be successful if some practical solutions are taken into account, that have become established in the market.

For example, there are some established rules for choosing the location of the restaurant. It is assumed that a restaurant located on the right side of a street in the direction of the main traffic flow is profitable. It was also found that, at crossroads, there are problems with stopping and parking. Positioning the restaurant in an area where there are other restaurants is useful because, despite the presence of competition, there is a concentrated flow of customers who very often look for something different. Speaking of exterior, efforts should be directed to a design that would quickly attract attention. Here, on the one hand, we must look for the difference that would attract attention and the tradition which creates security for the customers and confidence in the type of restaurant. The outdoor advertising on the facade must be noticeable, must stand out and give a clear idea of ​​what is offered and the way it is offered. It is very important to have a parking space in the area of ​​the restaurant or next to it. Nowadays, the customers are totally obsessed with cars. The entrance of the establishment must be positioned so that it is easy to recognize. There are some established rules for the organization of the restaurant beyond the entrance. It is assumed that it is better for the entrance to lead to a lobby, and not directly to the dining hall.

The menu

According to Dabeva and Lukanova, 2011, p. 241, “the menu is of key importance for the running of restaurant business in tourism”.

According to Ribov et al., 2007, p. 117, “the choice of dishes included in the menus of restaurants, as well as the methods of their presentation, are extremely important for the success of company strategies. The menu largely determines the market orientation of restaurants and their target segments.”

In practice, the term “menu” is used in two senses, which reveal its essence and purpose (Dabeva and Lukanova., 2011, p. 241; Mooney, 1997, p. 45):

  1. Menu means the structure of the culinary products and the drinks for the restaurateur. In this sense, as a structure of supply, the menu is to be planned.
  2. The menu performs informational functions for the customer of the restaurant. Its general aspect introduces the theme and style, and hence the atmosphere of the site, and its individual positions specify the culinary products and drinks, as well as their prices.

The menu is the core of marketing operations. It performs several main functions (Aleksieva and Stamov, author collective, 2003):

  • To be a continuation of the marketing concept. Satisfying the needs and desires of customers is a priority in it. The finding of the needs of the guest is done through market research and analysis of internal marketing information systems;
  • To reflect the established image of the restaurant, such as content and appearance;
  • To influence the demand through the use of artistic techniques, presentation of dishes, additional information, etc. One can experiment with different menu options, which leads to increased profits without changing the number of items in it;
  • To offer innovations and thus achieve an advantage over the competition;
  • To inform about the trends in catering and to respond to the changing taste preferences of customers;
  • To challenge and attract new market segments

The menus of the restaurants as we know them today are a relatively new phenomenon. The menus, printed and placed in front of the client of the restaurant, fix his attention on the type of dishes, their prices, and – nowadays – what they include as products and method of preparation. This allows the customers to make their choice based on their taste and financial capabilities.

The planning and compiling of the menu is a very responsible activity because it largely determines the market orientation of the restaurant and its target segments. At the same time, it is a very difficult activity. There are no special formulas for compiling the menu, but there are a number of principles on the basis of which a successful presentation of the restaurant can be achieved.

The stages of menu planning can be defined as follows:

  1. Demand analysis;
  2. Formation of product strategy and menu concept;
  3. Structuring the menu;
  4. Design;
  5. Testing;
  6. Analysis

In the analysis of demand, the characteristics of the clientele and the size of the market must be taken into account. Based on this analysis, a proper product strategy and menu concept can be prepared. Within it, one must also take into account how the customer interest is formed and how it is structured over time. On this basis, they can determine the time during which the restaurant will operate – morning, lunch, dinner. This is important because if the restaurant is open all day from morning to midnight, then all the dishes needed during breakfast, in the middle of the morning, lunch, evening snacks, dinner, etc. should be included. During lunchtime, guests expect speed, which should also be taken into account when planning the menu.

When structuring the menu, a decision must be made about what dishes and drinks should be there by type and how many should they be in the respective group. Here a correct assessment must be made of the production conditions and capacity of the establishment, as well as of the resource provision. The conditions of the production process, the technological equipment, the qualities and skills of the staff must also be taken into account.

The success of the restaurant largely depends on the form, presentation and positioning of the individual groups of dishes and drinks in the menu. The design must be consistent with the marketing strategy applied by the establishment. For example, national restaurants should be presented with visual images that correspond to national specifics. The outlook of the menu must correspond to the category of the restaurant. The way the dishes are presented in the menu is the other important point. A number of psychological approaches are applied to achieve a better presentation of groups of dishes and drinks. According to Gaze Motion Theory, in printed menus, the gaze first falls and focuses on specific places, usually in the middle of the page in a two-page menu. Given this theory, the dishes and drinks that require the most turnover should be placed there. This approach can also be applied to triangular and quadrilateral menus. For longer menus, it is assumed that the positions at the beginning and at the end attract the most attention.

It is very important that the menus contain a brief description of the composition of the dishes, mixed drinks and processing methods. This increases the “transparency” of the culinary process and the customer’s trust, as well as expands the range for his independent choice. A very good approach is the presenting of drinks in the menus together with the origin of the wines and the possibilities for combining them with certain dishes. It is good to apply separate menus for different products and events.

Testing allows to discover problems regarding the design, information gaps, illogical configurations, inappropriate fonts, etc.

Menu analysis gives a chance to see whether it satisfies the clients and whether every product is beneficial. This analysis must be a continuous process.

Commercial premises

The organization of the commercial premises must create conditions for the welcoming, seating and serving of the clients. In classic restaurants and most other catering establishments, the following zones have been designated:

The entry zone includes a vestibule, lobby, wardrobe / closet, bathroom. Its size and type are according to the size, type and category of the restaurant.

The vestibule serves to separate the entrance from the commercial halls. Its size depends on the size of the restaurant.

The lobby is located between the vestibule and the commercial hall. It is connected to the bathroom. It can accommodate seats for waiting when there are groups of guests.

The wardrobe or cloakroom is a relatively small separate room and serves to store outerwear and luggage of visitors.

The bathroom includes washbasins and toilets, according to the size and category of the restaurant.

The commercial hall/s is organized to create the necessary conditions for the sale of kitchen products and other goods, for entertainment, rest and relaxation of the guests of the restaurant. These are large premises, designed according to the views of investors. They are mainly used to accommodate customers. In addition to food and entertainment, in some restaurants they build halls with special purposes – for banquets, meetings, dances, tastings, etc. The furniture and equipment in the commercial halls may be different. To a large extent, this is determined by the category, purpose, capacity, and other characteristics of the establishment. The main part consists of tables and chairs for customers. When making internal arrangement, it is very important that the overall look is harmonious. The tables must be located in such a way that there is enough distance for the guests and the staff of the establishment to pass. They must also comply with the fire safety requirements, which are part of the conditions for obtaining a permit to operate the establishment. Also, he hall can accommodate auxiliary tables for food and beverages for serving, as well as for demonstrations. There may also be waiter lockers and trolleys. The lockers are used for storing utensils – knives, spoons, forks, etc., and inventory – ashtrays, vases, tablecloths, etc. Waiter trolleys are designed for serving food. They can differ in type depending on the type of dishes and drinks for which they are used. Directly in the trade halls, there can be refrigerated carts and showcases, which are designed for cooling appetizers, culinary products, desserts, drinks and more. High-end restaurants may have a loverator. This is a heat cabinet that is used to heat plates in the very dining rooms.

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

  • Katya Ilieva, The Menu challenge in the tourist restaurant management, 2012;
  • Todorov D., restaurant management, Matkom Publishing House, 2010;
  • Stamov St., Nikolovska Kr., Serving and bar tending, Matkom Publishing House, 2012;
  • Stamov St., Aleksieva Yor., Serving, Sofia, Matkom Publishing House, 2005;
  • Manol R., Maria St., Preslav D., Lyubomira Gr., Restaurant and hotel management, Sofia, Trakia-M Publishing House, 2007

[1] Aleksieva, I, St. Stamov. Guideboo on hotel and restaurant management (Design and projecting). Sofia, Raabe, 2001

[2] Ribov, M. Hotel and restaurant management, Trakia M Publishing House, 2007, p. 109.

5.1. Types of service

As already discussed while describing the nature of the restaurant business, it is a process that covers the making of kitchen products, their sale and organization of consumption. In addition to these basic activities, a number of additional services can be applied to better satisfy consumer interests, such as organizing music and artistic programs.

As we have seen, the variety of types of restaurants is extremely large. This determines the great diversity in the organization of services in them. There are basically three possible forms of service:

Waiter service is usually offered where meals, rest and entertainment are provided, such as restaurants, tavern bars, cafes and more. Self-service is mainly applied where there is mass catering. In this way, the process is faster and a maximum number of visitors is served. On the other hand, the conditions are of lower quality and there is no way to enjoy rest and entertainment in them. Mixed service is less common. It is mainly used for receptions, banquets, etc.

Depending on the form of work organization, there are two main ways of serving:

In the individual form of service, the waiter usually serves a certain number of tables. He serves his customers, performing all stages of the service – welcomes and accommodates the guest, takes the order, serves the ordered food and drinks, takes out the used dishes and utensils, takes the bill and sees the guest out. This form has some disadvantages – the waiter must be highly qualified, and at the same time perform a number of stages of the service process that do not require good qualifications – preparing dishes, utensils and other equipment for work, arranging tables, collecting the used dishes and utensils and bringing them to the washing unit. He must be constantly on the move between the tables and the kitchen, the buffet and the washbasin. This very often creates problems in the communication with customers, because they need timely care.

In the collective form of service, we have a common action of several waiters, as each waiter performs certain processes. There is no requirement for a mandatory broad qualification of each waiter. One is busy welcoming and accommodating guests, another accepts the order, a third one serves and can collect used cutlery. This allows waiters with different qualifications to be used. However, this form is applicable to large establishments with many customers.

Both forms can be mixed. In this form, the main processes are usually performed in a brigade, and some actions, such as serving appetizers, aperitifs, drinks and desserts are done by one waiter.

The very process of serving includes:

5.2 Preparation for service

The preparation process precedes the actual serving of clients. This stage includes the preparation of staff for work and the cleaning and arranging of the commercial hall.

Preparation of staff for work

The preparation of the staff for work is expressed in the fact that the employees arrive a few minutes before the opening of the restaurant. During this time, until the opening of the customer service facility, the staff puts on their uniforms, does their personal hygiene and fixes their appearance. Then, according to the functions with which they are charged and the area for which they are responsible, they check the hall, the equipment, the furniture and the accessories. During this time, the daily instruction for work is performed. The manager or his deputy is responsible for its implementation.

Cleaning and arranging the commercial hall

Cleaning and arranging is the next stage of preparation for service. During this stage, the commercial premises are cleaned and ventilated. Then the arrangement of the commercial hall itself is done. After that, the laying of utensils and placing of chairs is performed. The arrangement is done in the respective zones, as the cutlery is placed on the left and on the right, and the dessert utensils are placed in front. Cutlery should be placed perpendicular to the edge of the table. Dessert utensils are placed parallel to the edge of the table. The handles are arranged according to which hand should be used. The handles of the small spoon and the knife are arranged on the right, and of the small fork – on the left. The forks and spoons are arranged with the concave part upwards, and the knives – with the blade to the dish. The application of this order is connected to better functionality and provides more convenient use by customers.

Stages and procedures of customer service

The serving of clients in the commercial hall is a complex and responsible process. There are several technological stages whose application guarantees the quality of the restaurant service. These stages are:

  • Welcoming and seating the guests in the commercial hall – done by a porter, hall manager or waiter. This is one of the obligatory elements of the quality service.
  • Introducing the guests to the assortment of the establishment – done by the manager or waiter, by presenting a menu-list and drinks list to the guests;
  • Taking the order – done by the waiter;
  • Putting the order to implementation – done by the waiter who transfers the order to the bar and kitchen after having taken it;
  • Serving the ordered food and drinks – done by the waiter;
  • Taking the used dishes/utensils out – done by the waiter;
  • Settling the bill – done by the waiter or the hall manager;
  • Seeing the guests out – done by the hall manager, sometimes by the waiter.

The welcoming and accommodating of guests is the first operation that the staff of the restaurant must perform. Within this activity, the first contact with the clients is realized and this determines their first impressions of the restaurant. That is why it is very important to pay special attention to this moment. The kind welcome of the guest and the created pleasant first impression will always give positive feedback. Although this operation is mainly used in high-end establishments, it is desirable that other establishments apply it too if possible. Welcoming and seating of guests have several mandatory actions that need to be done:

  • Get in touch – open the door, approach the customers, greet them with “Welcome to our restaurant Mr./Mrs….;
  • Take care of the client – ask if there is a reservation, help him with the outerwear (take them off and leave them in the wardrobe), accompany him to the table, help him sit down, wish them a pleasant meal.

Certain rules must be followed during the seating. The selection of a table can be at the choice of the service staff or at the choice of the clients. The seating at a table with more seats is done by placing guests opposite one another. Young people are not seated next to seniors. It is not allowed to accommodate more guests at a table with a certain number of seats. No seating is allowed at an uncleaned table.

After placing the customers at the tables in the trade hall, they must be acquainted with the range of the restaurant. This is done by presenting them with the menu of the restaurant and the list of drinks. In self-serviced establishments, the menu and the list of drinks are exibited in a suitable place with good access so that the customers can easily get acquainted with the offered assortment. Some advice for better presentation:

  • Make sure there are appropriate menus;
  • Provide customer-friendly menus. It may be necessary to offer a menu in a different language, a children’s menu, etc.;
  • The menus are left on the right side of the guests;
  • Leave the wine list to the group leader or place it in the center of the table. The wine list is usually presented after the guests have made their choice of main course, but very often it is presented with the menu so that guests can combine their choice of food and wine;
  • Ask guests if they want something to start with and serve free appetizers, if applicable;
  • Advise customers about the dishes included in the menu, if they so wish.
  • You may tell customers that you will be back in a while and let them get acquainted with the menu on their own. Do not hurry.

The next important operations that are directly related to customer satisfaction are serving food and beverages and taking used dishes out. It is good to know and apply common practices for good serving, such as:

  • Hold the silver utensils by the handle;
  • Hold clean porcelain near to the edge;
  • Hold the glass containers by the stem or at the base;
  • Never put your thumb on the plates;
  • Always carry utensils, plates, napkins and cups on a clean tray when serving;
  • Do not return to the kitchen empty-handed (carry dirty dishes, for example);
  • Dishes should not be placed too high on the trays;
  • Serve the ladies first;
  • Always serve the guests on the right first, clean the tables the same way;
  • Serve the free dish (if available) immediately after accepting the order;
  • Change dishes and towels during meals;
  • Always change the ashtrays when there is ash in them;
  • Always open the wine bottles in front of the guest;
  • After opening the wine (if it is white or champagne), leave it in the ice bucket;
  • Always show the label and repeat the name of the wine when presenting it to the guest;
  • Serve alcoholic beverages with ice on the side;
  • After the main course, clean the crumbs with a napkin to serve the dessert;
  • Offer coffee and tea when ordering dessert;
  • Trays with used dishes must be removed from the sales area immediately.

The payment of the bill must be made with a receipt, and it is desirable that it be presented in a folder for verification. The bill must be presented after the guest has requested payment. Free items for the end of the meal (if any) must be offered upon presentation of the bill.

Seeing guests out is the last stage of customer service. After the guests have paid for the consumption, the waiter helps ladies up from the table, successively pulling the chairs slightly. He sees them to the entrance of the commercial hall.

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

In its essence, the restaurant management includes production, sale and consumption of culinary products and other food products. The implementation of these activities is done through the staff in these institutions. The human factor is decisive in the implementation of activities.

Within the restaurant business, we have a coincidence of the production of kitchen products with the time of its consumption. The quantity and quality of staff work directly affects the quality of the service offered, and hence the customer satisfaction. The variety of activities in the restaurant determines the need to hire diverse staff. Hiring staff who are efficient and productive is vital to any type of catering establishment.

So, the question has always been: What kind of staff does the restaurant need?

The answer to this question goes through an analysis of the types of personnel needed for the implementation of our already known processes – production, implementation and organization of consumption. The diversity is grouped into three main categories:

Service staff – they are responsible for the overall customer service in the commercial hall and includes: porter, bellboy, cloakroom attendant, hall manager, head of the commercial hall, waiter, bartender, cashier, cleaner.

Production staff – this staff is responsible for the acceptance of the raw materials, the production of kitchen products and its delivery for consumption. This includes the senior chef, deputy-chef, chef, assistant chef, slicer, bartender, washer, general kitchen worker. Here come also the confectioner, an assistant confectioner and a general worker if there is a production of confectionery.

Management staff – manager, deputy managers, managers of establishments, salon managers.

Manager

The most important employee in restaurants is the manager. He is the direct leader of the restaurant; he manages and is responsible for the overall production and trade activities. He reflects the style and character of the restaurant. The manager must have the ability to control staff in the kitchen, service area, hospitality entrance, bar, lounge and toilets. He creates the organization so that customers feel welcome and comfortable.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Presents the restaurant to the customers in the best possible way and is responsible for the quality of the offered food and drinks.
  2. Organizes and manages the overall activities of the staff in the restaurant.
  3. Approves the foods and drinks included in the menu and their price.
  4. Controls the quality and quantity of the used products with which the dishes offered in the menu are prepared.
  5. Approves daily orders for delivery of products and beverages, controls their proper storage. Approves the daily menu.
  6. Plans and organizes specialized activities.
  7. Accepts and reports the turnover of the restaurant from the waiters and bartenders after the end of their working day.
  8. Performs audits of available products and beverages.
  9. Approves the work schedules of the restaurant staff proposed for approval.
  10. Manages all financial statements of the restaurant and monitors its proper management and timely reporting.
  11. Responds to all requests from customers in a timely and efficient manner.
  12. Discusses with customers their satisfaction with the food offered and services provided.
  13. Organizes, manages and is responsible for keeping all documentation in the restaurant.
  14. Organizes and conducts training courses in order to increase the professional qualification and the efficiency of the employees of the restaurant.
  15. Improves his personal skills and qualifications.
  16. Participates in the selection and appointment of employees in the restaurant.
  17. Ensures the security of the restaurant.
  18. Performs all obligations arising from the Labor Code, the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Rules of Procedure.

Hall manager

Responsible for everything within the commercial hall. He implements the trade policy of the firm in practice, creates an atmosphere of attention, tolerance to clients and care; takes part in establishing the image of the restaurant.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Organizes the welcoming, seating, servicing and seeing out of the clients of the establishment.
  2. Draws, together with the manager, a schedule for the work of the waiters and monitors its implementation.
  3. Ensures the distribution of waiters by sectors.
  4. Controls the work of the waiters for compliance with the rules of serving and accurate customer service.
  5. Controls the cleanliness and order in the trade hall, the availability of menus and the arranging of the tables.
  6. Negotiates, organizes and manages banquets, receptions and special orders of clients.
  7. Settles disputes that have arisen between the staff and the clients of the establishment.
  8. Controls the observance of the requirements for work with the cash registers and the issued cash receipts.
  9. Performs other specifically assigned tasks related to the position.
  10. Guarantees the quality of service in the trade hall.
  11. Is responsible for the substantiated claims made in relation to the organization of the service.

Must know:

  1. The rules of service technology and the regulatory requirements for the accountability in the establishment;
  2. The order and requirements for cash operations and issuing of primary financial and accounting documents;
  3. Normative requirements for hygiene levels and fire safety;
  4. Computer and other automated systems for performing the activity of client servicing.

Senior chef

The senior chef is the main figure in the kitchen. The success and financial results of the establishment depend on his professionalism and skills. In some restaurants, the star attraction is the senior chef himself. The best chefs create their own culinary masterpieces to be served, and it is known that sometimes this person has been the reason for the restaurant’s success or failure.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Organizes and coordinates the work in the kitchen.
  2. Organizes and participates in the production of own cooking products.
  3. Observes the approved technology for production of cooking products and recipes for the composition, quantity and quality of the products used.
  4. Develops the menu together with the manager, taking into account the available products.
  5. Controls the chefs and kitchen workers to implement the specified menus.
  6. Monitors the proper use and maintenance of equipment and inventory and the sanitary and hygienic conditions of the premises.
  7. Performs production briefing of the workers in the kitchen.
  8. Performs other specific assigned tasks related to his position.
  9. Responsible for the quantity and quality of the products and spices used and their compliance with the established recipes. Liable for damages caused by complaints for poor quality cooking products and for lack of products and spices.

Must know:

  1. The regulations and internal instructions related to the organization and technology of the cooking products;
  2. The hygienic and sanitary requirements for the production of cooking produce;
  3. The regulations for work safety and fire safety during the work in the kitchen;
  4. The computer and other automated systems for recipes and other regulations for the use of materials and spices in cooking produce.

Waiter

The waiter is the main figure in the commercial hall. He takes part in almost all stages of servicing – welcoming, seating and seeing the guests out, serving and taking the used dishes away. The quality of service depends largely on his professional qualification, knowledge and skills.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Welcomes and seats the clients of the establishment;
  2. Waits and watches from aside the table – for the client to make his choice;
  3. If necessary, informs the client about the menu and the specialties of the restaurant;
  4. Accepts the customer’s orders and writes them in a notebook for taking orders;
  5. Gives the request for the orders to the kitchen and bar of the establishment;
  6. Serves the utensils on a tray and gives them to the customer, according to the order;
  7. Serves the dishes and drinks sequentially in the order of their consumption, according to the technology of serving and in compliance with the temperature regime for the different dishes and drinks;
  8. Takes the used utensils and dishes out immediately after their use;
  9. Takes account of the served food and drinks and provides it to the client;
  10. Accepts sums of money (cash, credit cards), issues cash receipts and invoices for paid bills upon request.
  11. Reports the turnover after completion of work;
  12. Informs the salon manager about irregularities;
  13. Immediately notifies his immediate supervisor in case of absence from work due to illness;
  14. Performs other specifically assigned tasks inherent to the duties performed by him;

Bar tender

The bar tender is responsible for the storage and accounting of drinks in the bar of the establishment. He has to have good qualification and professional experience for the preparation of special drinks (cocktails, punch, grog, etc.) and for their attractive decoration and serving.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Pours drinks and prepares ice cream and cocktails.
  2. Works with the coffee machine and other bar equipment.
  3. Prepares portions of dried fruit.
  4. Washes and polishes the dishes used at the bar.
  5. Observes the sanitary and hygienic norms and rules, and the weight of the issued production.
  6. Gives orders for the supply of drinks and other goods sold in the bar.
  7. Keeps records of the served production by the different waiters, checks them daily.
  8. Performs other specifically assigned tasks related to the position.

For the success of the restaurant, several important points should be considered when selecting restaurant staff:

  • The selection of staff must be competent and impartial;
  • Personnel should be assigned those functions for which they have the highest qualification and specialization and are most competent;
  • They must be motivated;
  • They must receive well-deserved recognition and correct evaluation of their work;
  • They must receive adequate remuneration according to the competencies, quantity and quality of the invested labor;
  • There should be a good working atmosphere;
  • Attractive social and living conditions must be provided.

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282438.

Should a commercial space be rented or purchased for a restaurant business? This is a question for anyone who starts such a business. We must take into account that most of the restaurants are rented, but the main reason for this is that the owners of most of the commercial premises wouldn’t sell them.

Those who can buy commercial real estate are in an enviable position. Before making a decision, here are a few pros and cons of ownership that need to be considered.

Firstly, the pros:

  • Paying a mortgage is better than paying a rent. The rent payments are forever, but the mortgage will eventually be paid off (hopefully). Mortgage payments can often be very close to your rental obligation.
  • In most cases, capital will be gained in the property and, over time, it may double or even triple its value. This increase in value is in addition to the value of the restaurant business contained in the property.
  • You become the owner and do not have to take into account the potential troubles of a landlord or property manager.

Now, about cons:

  • You may need to make a compromise with location, as many good places can be offered for rent but not for sale.
  • If the restaurateur has rented and vacated his premises to buy his own property elsewhere, he can create a great opportunity for his competitor to move his business to the former place.
  • Here all maintenance and repair costs are personal as opposed to rent, where they may be at the expense of the landlord.

The decision to use rented premises or to purchase a commercial property is not always definite. When deciding to buy or rent, you should not buy just to own real estate. A property can only be bought if you are willing to use exactly that property in that place.

Opening a restaurant is a big challenge that requires a huge investment of time and money. But the challenges do not stop there – after the opening of the restaurant comes process management, management of work schedules and staff, controlling costs in the restaurant. It is not enough to simply provide exceptional products and services. There must be a financial result from all this to justify doing this business. For this purpose, it is necessary to constantly work to increase revenues on the one hand, and at the same time to control costs. This whole process must be closely monitored.

Generally speaking, revenues are the money received from sales.

Costs are the money invested to operate this business. These are funds paid to suppliers, staff, tenants, local and national authorities and others. In fact, controlling restaurant expenses is one of the biggest challenges. Not only must a lot of costs be managed, including labor, equipment and food, but it must be done in the conditions of constantly rising prices of these costs. Cost management requires knowledge of their nature. It is very important to know the nature of the different types of costs. In the restaurant industry the costs are:

  1. Investment costs (the costs of opening a restaurant);
  2. Management costs (operational costs).

The costs of starting (opening) are different for the different restaurants. These costs vary depending on whether the premises will be built or rented, as well as what and how much will be renovated. The total amount of expenses is also influenced by the size of the establishment, its type and location.

Starting costs represent the capital needed to start the business. That is why it is very important to know well the types of such costs. This will allow you to correctly calculate their total value by type, and hence the total value of the starting process. This will give you an idea of ​​how much capital is needed to start. On this basis, an estimate will be made of the personal funds and possibly of the raised ones which will be needed. We must not forget that the latter have their price and this must be taken into account when forming the pricing policy of the restaurant. What could these costs possibly be? Generally speaking, these are:

  • Construction and repair costs – they differ depending on the size, type and location of the establishment;
  • Loan expenses (if any) – initial installment of principal and interest;
  • Guarantee deposit (if used for rent) – usually this is the amount of installments due for the first 1-2 months;
  • Start-up fees – music licenses, permits;
  • Restaurant equipment – it can be purchased (new or used) or rented;
  • Software costs;
  • Marketing costs – costs incurred for marketing before launch, including billboards, signs, brochures, etc.;
  • Initial supply – goods, drinks, etc.;
  • Staff salaries for the first month.

 

The operational costs are the ones occurring in the process of running the everyday work of the restaurants. These include:

  • Rent and communal services;
  • Costs of food and drinks;
  • Costs of labor;
  • Insurances;
  • Marketing costs;
  • Other costs.

 

Rent and communal services include the costs for rentals, electricity, water supply, Internet, cable TV, phone, etc.;

Food costs include the costs associated with the preparation of kitchen products for sale. The costs of flavoring and garnish should also be taken into account here, such as: ketchup, mustard, pickles, olives, lemons, etc. Food costs are one of the most important costs to be monitored. Based on them, the prices of the menus can be correctly determined. They have a direct impact on the self-value. Calculating this cost per unit of food requires that one knows very well the constituent products from which it is made. Many existing recipe books can be used, as well as a survey of the production of the dish by measuring the quantities of the products used. Then you need to study the delivery prices of these products.

Beverage costs include the costs of preparing the drinks for sale. These are usually alcoholic cocktails. Here it should be taken into account that, in addition to the cost of the main products from which the cocktails are made, there are also additional products that are used in this production for garnish and decoration.

Labor costs include the costs of salaries, bonuses, insurance and compensation of employees. They constitute a significant part of the costs of servicing the commercial process. It is therefore very important to constantly monitor and determine the daily amount of work required. This cost is characterized by the fact that it is constantly growing. Wages are generally rising. However, the growth rate must be monitored. If it is large, there are two ways to reduce costs – by planning fewer staff or by reducing wages. This can be detrimental to staff service though. To prevent it from happening, staff must be constantly trained. Processes must be constantly audited and optimized to increase efficiency. Staff planning must be optimized as much as possible.

Insurance costs include the property insurances, the “occupational accident” insurances of the personnel, etc.

Operational marketing costs are the costs of marketing and advertising incurred in the process of the operation of the restaurant.

Other costs – all other costs directly related to the activity – costs for repairs and maintenance, software, local taxes and fees, material losses, etc.

 

From the point of view of control opportunities, the costs are:

  • Fixed costs;
  • Variable costs

The fixed costs, which from the point of view of control are uncontrollable are the costs which remain the same within unchanging business volumes. Such a cost are usually the salaries of the managers when they are fixed. Or the rent costs, the taxes for use of sidewalk space, external cleaning service, repairs, etc.

The variable costs or controllable costs include the cost of food and beverages, salaries, utilities, advertising and promotion, music and entertainment, detergents and consumables.

For example, food costs are higher when sales are higher and vice versa – food costs are lower when production is lower. These costs are more difficult to predict when opening a restaurant, as they vary depending on the production. At the same time, they must be constantly analyzed and monitored in order to observe their percentage to the volume of production. Successful management would allow for a bigger growth, which, in equal other conditions, would lead to an increase in the profit of the establishment.

Profit represents the growth of revenue over expenditure. The difference between the raised income and the incurred expenses forms the result – profit (when this difference is a positive value) from the performed activity. This is the main indicator that characterizes the whole economic activity. The magnitude of this indicator determines the meaning of the running of any economic activity, including the restaurant business. Cost control alone is not enough to make a profit. Revenues are those that are essential to the size of the profit. With good and true pricing, the increase in the turnover of the establishment leads to an increase in the profit margin. For this purpose, a price market research should be made, taking into account the dynamics of the prices of the restaurant product among the competitors. An analysis of the potential customer flow should be performed too, and attention should be paid to the average income of the population.

There are only two ways you can increase restaurant sales without increasing prices – by attracting more customers or by selling more to existing ones.

Attracting more customers can be done through the use of technology and various other means to promote the restaurant, such as organizing special events, offering discounts and more. To attract new and regular customers, several marketing ideas can be applied, which would lead to increased profits.

  • Restaurant website – each restaurant should have its own website to offer menus, promotions, events; to communicate with repeating and potential clients and even take orders online. The site increases the chances of a good positioning in The site gives an opportunity to utilize the full potential of the advertising channels and platforms.
  • Loyalty programs – the loyalty programs based on points and discounts stimulate clients to return frequently and are extremely efficient instruments for the management and marketing of restaurants.
  • Email campaigns – marketing campaigns via email are low-cost ones and, organized correctly, are very efficient for the drawing of old customers to the establishments and restaurants.
  • Social media – social media are another main marketing instrument which clients use to reach potential customers. An interactive Facebook page is obligatory in order to attract clients. You may publish tempting photos of meals offered by the restaurant, special offers of the chef, coming events, etc. You may share advice or stories from world-famous chefs, publish information about global culinary events or impressive food channels.
  • Google-mapping of the restaurant – platforms such as Google Local Guides, Google Maps and Google My Business are very efficient. This is an excellent way to get localized. It also gives the customers the option to post independent reviews, giving you an idea of their opinion of the restaurant and the chance to answer unsatisfied clients which you would otherwise never know about. Local establishments must use these platforms. Thus they would attract clients who are nearby.
  • Traditional advertisement – local radio, newspapers and direct post ads can still be useful and work for a better coverage of events, services and other efforts for broad public information.

In order to sell more to already existing customers, you may use some non-traditional techniques:

  • Menu changes include more profitable products or products with higher margins. It is very important to train the staff to sell those products.
  • Sale of goods – g. selling goods for home.
  • Sale of temptations g. placing stands in the clients’ hall which sell chocolates, sweets or other extras while the clients are waiting for their tables.

The solid choice of procedures and processes for the management of restaurants; the well-trained staff and the applied system for monitoring of income and costs set a good basis for growth.

Sources and additional resources on the topic:

https://www.qsrweb.com/blogs/should-you-lease-or-purchase-commercial-space-for-your-restaurant-business/.

Industry Leading Skills

The best knowledge and skills are the driving force in any industry. They are the basis for development, innovation and progress.

Build Your Future With Continuous  Education

Formal education should be considered just as start position. The things are changing and evolving all the time, so if you are not educating yourself you will become obsolete.

Training module 2: RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT

Welcome to your M2 Restaurant managemen_EN

1. Restaurant management is a part of:
2. The restaurant business is:
3. In its essence, the restaurant product is a combination of:
4. The main activities in the restaurant business are:
5. Answer with Yes or No if the term restaurant management includes, as per the Classification of Economic Activities (CEA-2008), the following: "activities of establishments for food and drinks which prepare and offer food and drinks for direct consumption".
6. In ancient Athens, civil servants ate in a special part of town called:
7. Tabernas restaurants in ancient Rome were:
8. Establishments for mass fast catering appeared:
9. Kervansarai were present in Bulgaria in the times of:
10. The diner restaurant is for:
11. The Food truck type restaurants are:
12. The categorization of the catering and entertainment establishments is done by:
13. Are there establishments which are not due for categorization?
14. Does the organization of service have an impact on the realization of products and services:
15. The stages of menu planning are:
16. The commercial premises of the restaurants include:
17. The types of service in a restaurant can be:
18. According to the type of work organization, the waiter service can be:
19. Clients receive the menu from:
20. If there are a lady, an adult man and a child, who should be served first:
21. The serving personnel includes:
22. Who organizes and coordinates work in the kitchen:
23. Clients are welcomed and accommodated by:
24. The manager is responsible for and controls:
25. Which of the payments is limited in time:
26. The volume of business starting costs is influenced by:
27. Variable costs:
28. Profit is:
29. Marketing and advertisement:

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