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    On a lighter note, restaurants and marriage parties are remembered for the food. However, if a restaurant wishes to build for itself a strong reputation and create customer delight, it has to go beyond food and also focus on its service and environment. Restaurants are a business entity and not a one-time event or occasion. A restaurant has to follow its processes consistently to make sure that it can achieve the targeted standards in the delivery of food, service and environment. Consistency in quality, service and environment in a restaurant or even in a roadside stall is what can set it apart from its competition. And in order to maintain consistency in its processes, SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) can prove to be a very powerful tool for restaurants. By designing a robust restaurant standard operating procedures manual, a restaurant can propel itself in the right direction.

    To Maintain Personal Hygiene

    Personal hygiene is a very sensitive parameter in restaurants to maintain the quality of food and service and it is applicable to all the employees of a restaurant. Some of the important areas where personal hygiene standards are required to be maintained include:

    1. Grooming & Attire Arriving neat and clean to the workplace maintaining bodily hygiene, wear a neat and clean uniform, appropriate shoes which are comfortable for long duration usage and are anti-slippery, use of aprons in and only in designated areas and so on. Employees should be discouraged from having long hair and use of hair net should be made compulsory. Fingernails, beards and moustaches should remain trimmed and clean.
    2. Washing hands Thoroughly and vigorously with soap and clean and warm water for at least twenty seconds in the designated wash basins and drying hands with fresh and clean towels – before entering the premises and area of work (for e.g. kitchen), after switching between raw food materials and prepared/semi-prepared food, after bodily contact/sneezing/coughing, after using washroom etc.
    3. Medical Attention Any kind of sickness, burn, wound, cut, abrasion or injury should be immediately reported to the restaurant manager, the concerned employee should be relocated to the first aid room or staff room and treated with first aid and medical supervision should be sought.

    The standards of personal hygiene required to be maintained by a restaurant can be incorporated in the restaurant policy and procedure manual. These SOP procedures can also serve as a compliance mechanism for the restaurant manager to ensure that employees are adhering to the laid down standards of personal hygiene in executing their duties.

    The standards of personnel hygiene required to be maintained by a restaurant can be incorporated in the routine functional duties of the employees using documented workflow procedures or SOPs

    To Properly Manage Facilities and Equipment

    1. Equipment Maintenance It is very important to ensure that equipment like washing machines, air-conditioners, air-dryers, burners, chimneys, ovens, POS machines, computers, printers, CCTV cameras etc. used in a restaurant go through periodical maintenance checks so that these equipment remain fully-functional and the restaurant services and standards of performance required to be maintained are not hampered.
    2. Dining, kitchen and dish washing arena Before providing table services, waiters and staff need to ensure cleanliness and sanitization of tables. Any kind of tableware should be covered or wrapped with clean and sanitized clothing or tissue paper. During service, waiters need to wipe off any spill with designated clothing. Contact with the interiors of bowls, dishes and cutleries should be avoided. After service, bowls, dishes and cutleries should be removed. The table should be wiped and sanitized again and the floor should be mopped. Utmost care should be taken to ensure that the kitchen and food processing area remains clean, hygiene, well- ventilated, hazard-protected and remain restricted from other parts of the restaurant except for the transfer of food and raw materials and entry/exit of the kitchen staff. Similarly, the utensil and dish washing area too should be isolated from the other parts of the restaurants to avoid any kind of contamination and washed utensils, dishes, glasses etc. should be placed back to the designated areas.
    3. Laundry and Linen Employees need to make sure that clothes, towels, aprons and table linens made available for use are clean and sanitized. Dirty and used linens should be immediately sent to laundry and necessary replacements should be made accordingly. To render continuous flow of services while maintaining the laid down standards, it is important for a restaurant to keep its facilities and equipment like the dining area, kitchen, laundry and linen, air- conditioners, dish-washing machines, washing machines etc. in up and running condition. By developing standard operating procedures for each section of a restaurant, employees can easily follow a step-by- step approach in executing their functional duties irrespective of the number of customers a restaurant is catering to.

    Developing standard operating procedures for each section of a restaurant, employees can easily follow a step-by- step approach in executing their functional duties irrespective of the number of customers a restaurant is catering to.

    To manage supply chain/flow of raw materials

    The quality of food that a restaurant serves heavily relies on the raw materials like vegetables, raw meat, spices etc. That is why the professional restaurants always procure their raw materials from appointed vendors only. This is a no-compromise zone. These restaurants will rather not serve a particular dish for a day or two than serve it by procuring raw materials from non-appointed vendors and suppliers. Restaurant delivery management plays an important role in ensuring the quality of the end-product.

    1. Vendor/Supplier Selection – Whether the quality of the raw materials offered by a vendor meets the specifications of the restaurant, whether the vendor has necessary storage conditions, whether the vendor has necessary licenses and permits pertaining to food quality standards, whether the vendor can provide the raw materials in required quantities, whether the vendor can provide an appropriate transportation solution, whether the vendor’s warehouse is located at a convenient distance from the restaurant.
    2. Storage After the goods arrive from the vendor, it needs to be stored in appropriate conditions which may include factors like temperature and humidity control, adequate storage space, necessary infrastructure and so on. Inventory staff in the restaurant has to ensure that stock of raw materials is maintained at required levels all the time. This may involve preparation of an order and supply schedule with the vendors.

    SOP development and implementation can prove to be very powerful in managing the supply chain activities of a restaurant. With a defined and documented step-by- step flow of work and reporting, a restaurant can confidently execute the process of vendor selection and the inventory staff can always keep a tab on the standards of quality and performance maintained by the vendors. With a predefined supply list and schedule, inventory staff can easily place the orders without missing out any requirement and ensure timely stock replenishment in the restaurant.

    SOP development and implementation can prove to be very powerful in managing the supply chain activities of a restaurant

    To read 2nd part of this article Read more  ……

    Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

     

     

    To read more about SOPs, click here SOP  and Six steps to writing a great SOPs for retail.

    YRC is an “Expert Service Division” of Mind-A-Mend Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.

    YRC Related Articles: How to Write SOPs for Marketing?, 6 Ways To Grow Your Business, How to Start a Retail Business in India, Business Expansion Plan for Small Entrepreneurs, Six Steps to Writing a Great SOP for Retail, How to write SOPs for an Apparel Brand?, How to Develop SOPs for Quick Service Restaurant?, How to write SOPs for Furniture Showroom

    Author Bio

    Nikhil Agarwal

    Chief Operations Officer

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      PROCESS AUTOMATION

      The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

      In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

      Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

      Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

      YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

      VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

      No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

      Photography includes the following steps:

      • Cataloguing your products
      • Cataloguing your images
      • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
      • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

      DIGITAL MARKETING

      Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

      Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

      These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

      Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

      This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

      IT INTEGRATION

      Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

      YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

      IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

      This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

      Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

      WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

      • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
      • Where should your Warehouse be located?
      • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
      • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
      • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
      • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
      • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
      • How much space do I require for warehouse?
      • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

       

      At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

      We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

      Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

      UI & UX DESIGNING

      This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

      Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

      From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

      Part 2: UX Designing:

      “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

      UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

      “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

      An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

      Part 3: UI Designing:

      UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

      A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

      The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

      If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

      At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

      SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

      This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

      In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

      Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

      Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

      Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

      Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

      Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

      Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

      PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

      Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

      Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

      • In-house Design Team
      • Freelance Designers
      • Outsourced Design Team
      • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

      At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

      These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

      If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

      Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

      BRANDING

      Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

      Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

      It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

      ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

      Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

      SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

      At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

      CRITICAL PATHWAY

      Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

      CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

      CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

      At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

      BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

      Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

      Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

      Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

      YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

      MARKET RESEARCH

      Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.