11 Most Common Problems In Commercial Restaurant & Solutions


When working in a commercial kitchen there are 101 things that could go wrong or be problematic, both from a customer’s point of view and also from the employees, managers, and owners.

In this post, we will explain and help you understand what the most common and the biggest problems are and how to solve them! Without further delay let’s see the problems!

Common Problems For Staff

1. Food Hygiene

Problem

If there is a major hygiene problem in a restaurant and if it isn’t fixed immediately that could very well be the downfall of the entire business. This includes a dirty dining hall, tables, cutlery and everything a customer will touch during the visit and the food as well if there are constant complaints about hair in the food, some weird and rotten odors and tastes, and bad ingredients all together.

Solution

This can be easily solved by taking a serious staff meeting about clean clothes, hairnets or other hats, encouraging the staff to wipe the surfaces with proper cleaning supplies & precautions and taking really good focus on the orders, it’s not a good idea to order too much easily spoiling ingredients, and using common sense when it comes down to any kind of hygiene. This should be said with kindness and encouragement but heavily pointing out the importance of this task!

2. Staff Relations & Communication

Problem

This has been a major problem through the times especially there can be a lot of tension between the chefs and waiters. The worst case is when the manager or boss doesn’t have the best human and social skills and bumps the whole restaurant’s mood to the floor… In the worst case, this can result in mass resignations and a temporary shut down of the whole restaurant. Fortunately, these kinds of cases are extremely rare.

Solution

Again, this can be solved with a serious staff meeting and pointing out that if this kind of behavior continues there will be serious consequences. It isn’t this simple when dealing with a boss that has no manners or lacks communication. If the problem is a lack of communication you can and should say politely about it and usually the manager will see the problem and act on it. If it’s about the manners and treatment, depending on how bad it is you should say it straight to the boss along with other co-workers or if it’s out of control you can report it higher to the management. There are also various ways to motivate employees which will not only keep them satisfied but glad to come to work!

3. Management

Problem

When working in a restaurant everyone has seen an incompetent manager that doesn’t really know what to do… This can and will result in loss of sales, fewer customers, and frustrated employees.

Solution

If a new manager is starting where you are working don’t be afraid to guide him through certain steps that you know about. On the other hand, if you’re the new manager starting in a new place it’s normal that you don’t know everything at first as in other workplaces. Don’t be afraid to ask the people that have been working there longer and they will gladly help and on the side bonus, you will get better relations with the other employees!

4. Understaffing & Burnouts

Problem

The restaurant business is practically famous for this matter at least in most parts of the world and the problem is serious… Understaffing and burnouts walk in hand to hand because when a restaurant is highly understaffed there are no other options but to work overtime and with only a few people this will cause burnouts eventually.

Solution

Luckily there many solutions to try when a time is its worst. You should outsource the less important tasks and open an internship for a helping hand around the restaurant. You can also you should make a top-notch calendar and schedule the most important task so you can really see the timeframes and how it will work with other tasks.

There are also a lot of staffing agencies in your grasps and you only need to look up your local ones from the internet.

5. Underachieving Overall Service

Problem

If the whole restaurant is lacking and it feels like everything is hard and nothing goes right that can really feel like the end of the world and if not fixed it can be at least the end of the restaurant but where you can find a problem there is a solution!

Solution

There are a couple of solutions how to save the restaurant such as additional training for the employees would be a great place to start and really locate who is lacking skills and then training the worker to a better and more organized person.

Also updating the equipment will make the whole restaurant more efficient and professional, scheduling is the ultimate key to all operations within the restaurant and if that wouldn’t work, then asking help and tips from successful restaurants.

6. Budgeting & Money Management

Problem

If there is a problem with budgeting and money management that is one of the worst things when running a business. There should always be a precise idea of where the money is going and where is the money coming from! It may get overwhelming sometimes when you feel that the numbers attacking you, however luckily there are solutions!

Solution

In the modern days, there are great software and apps that can help you extremely well with budgeting. A great example of that is SaverLife that is a Free budgeting app you should really try!

Also any kind of organizing and scheduling cant hurt and always trying to budget a little lower so surprise costs that will appear once in a while won’t push you over the edge.

7. Attracting Customers

Problem

If your restaurant doesn’t have people coming in then you won’t have sales and that will result in you having no business… Attracting customers will seem like an impossible task if you’re not aware of the latest services or ideas to use or the most common ones that have been used for the ages. Don’t worry! There are many solutions to that problem.

Solution

There are numerous ways how to promote and get more people to your restaurants and you should definitely check our comprehensive guides on How Do Restaurants Attract More Customers and How To Promote Your Restaurant In Social Media.

8. Customer Service

Problem

If a restaurant haves bad customer service or not even good, the world will spread like the plague and with that, the reputation of your restaurant and traffic will decrease. Bad customer service is a killer of restaurant businesses and should be taken extremely seriously. Luckily there are solutions to improve customer service!

Solution

If the restaurant has gotten bad reviews about customer service it is time to round up the gang and have a serious staff meeting. Simply going through how the restaurant could improve the service, addressing and recognizing problems so they can be taken under the work. You should check out our 11 Best Customer Service Books that could really help if customer service needs to be taken to a whole another level.

9. The Menu

Problem

Composing a Menu is without a question a daunting task with a couple of things that may go wrong. First of all, if the menu is too simple your customer base will be too small to make it worthwhile, and on the other hand, if it is too board your ingredients may spoil before someone orders the specific dish and customers may get paralysis by analysis.

Solution

Having one type of cuisine will make wonders for your restaurant. Focusing mostly on one style like Italian dishes, Asian dishes, Steaks, or Vegan options, will attract more people, and let’s face it nearly everyone loves all the cuisines so it really doesn’t matter which one you land on.

The Menu should also be simple and easy to read and if this seems like a hard task for you, you can always hire someone to do this for you!

10. Staff Turnover

Problem

Another problem that is really common in restaurant businesses is the huge turnover. It is expensive and time-consuming to always be training more people to see the overall quality can get lower if the turnover is huge at the time.

Solution

If the turnover is big it may be a good idea to see why? You should take surveys among the employees, provide opportunities for advancements, reward them from good work with a pay raise and giving them flexibility with their personal lives because nobody likes that kind of life where work is all and you don’t get to enjoy life with the hard-earned money, at least not most of the people. That will at least turn the table in a better direction with 100% certainty.

11. Outdated Equipment

Problem

If a restaurant has mainly outdated equipment that could considerably slow the production times, efficiency, hygiene and lower the quality of nearly everything imaginable when compared to a rival restaurant with the latest equipment.

Solution

The solution is to at least consider and purchase more modern equipment for the most important parts of the restaurant and if you’re on a budget remember that better equipment usually pays itself back over time. Your brand reputation, quality of the food, and efficiency will rise and with those things, money usually follows.

Conclusion

The above 11 problems are the most common ones that nearly all restaurants can identify themselves at least from a couple of points and remember if there is a problem, there is a solution as well!

We hope that this post gave you value and you have now a better and clearer idea about restaurant work and all the ups, downs, and how to get past them.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS and while I love working in a busy restaurant, I also enjoy more peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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