In fast casual restaurant facility management, it’s an ongoing challenge to keep costs down without sacrificing fast service and quality food. In order to maintain a consistent product, your facility must function optimally every day. You must avoid unexpected costs and revenue loss as you prioritize fast casual restaurant facility management.

There are five proven ideas for fast casual restaurant facility management:

  • Put the customer first
  • Understand your facility usage
  • Define your facility’s KPIs
  • Plan to be proactive
  • Keep up to date on trends  

Prioritize the Customer

As with all tasks, begin with your customer in mind. What impacts their experience? Ask yourself this question to focus and triage your work projects. Customers judge based on their entire experience. 

This includes issues such as out of order signs, missing menu items, and out of order restrooms. Keep your customers’ impressions and experience in mind to improve your brand in their eyes. All it takes is a second incident for it to become “this always happens,” in a customer’s mind – or social review.

Schedule work with the potential to disrupt service after hours, if possible. Remodels and renovations are best scheduled during your off-season, if you have one. Long-term proactive planning is your best tool when it comes to managing a fast-casual restaurant facility.

Understand Your Facility Usage

Facility usage is a category with many facets. Utility usage is only part of it. Other key indicators to consider are equipment and product usage.

Many restaurants choose to cut back on or optimize utility consumption as they review facility usage. But what about food waste? Food waste is bad for the budget, as well as the environment. Follow the food recovery hierarchy to prioritize strategies which reduce unnecessary production and limit waste. Manage all areas of use to benefit your facility and budget.

What’s the Food Recovery Hierarchy?

It’s a system designed by the Environmental Protection Agency to help facilities see and rank the options to prevent and divert food waste. Each tier of the upside-down triangle focuses on different ways to manage wasted food. ‘

Source reduction is considered the best because it generates the most benefits for the economy, society, and the environment. The levels, in order from top to bottom are: 

  1. Source reduction – this simply seeks to reduce the amount of surplus food created
  2. Feed hungry people – safely donate extra food to soup kitchens, shelters, and food banks
  3. Feed animals – divert feasible food scraps to animal feed
  4. Industrial uses – this tier advocates providing waste oils for rendering and fuel conversion, plus this also covers food scraps for digestion to recover energy
  5. Composting – contributing to the creation of a nutrient-rich soil amendment
  6. Landfill/Incineration – finally, the last resort for food disposal 

It is often a daunting task to obtain an overall picture of your facility’s usage. Hire a facility management company to compile this information and help your business strategize for success. 

SLM Facility Solutions doesn’t only provide quick repairs in case of equipment failure – we crunch analytics to review your facility’s usage, predict maintenance and repairs, and prevent lost revenue as we establish a plan for the success of your business.

Define Your Facility’s KPIs

If you do not know your facility’s key performance indicators (KPIs), now is the time to identify them. Your KPIs help you and your managers spot patterns and quickly identify problems or opportunities for your fast casual restaurant. 

Areas to begin with are:

  • Downtime
  • Inventory and maintenance budget
  • Asset lifecycle
  • Maintenance response time
  • Proactive vs reactive maintenance

With regular assessment of your restaurant’s KPIs, quickly identify issues to address performance problems. Also use KPIs to see where your operations excel, which allows you to optimize the support they need to maintain performance.

Plan to be Proactive

Proactiveness is such a critical component of managing fast casual restaurant facilities. Proactive maintenance is cheaper and results in less downtime than reactive repairs. Additionally, with proactive maintenance, choose your downtime, if there is any. 

Your budget and your customers are much happier if there was a short downtime on, for example, a quiet Monday afternoon rather than an extended repair at 6 pm on a Friday evening.

If you are too busy to handle proactive maintenance, SLM Facility Solutions manages the task for you. We develop proactive maintenance schedules so you know exactly when service occurs. All necessary work is performed at the frequency required to keep your facility in peak condition.

Keep Up to Date on Trends

Your facility does not have to be the trendiest place in town or adopt every new style that comes by, but be mindful that appearance does play a big part in your customer’s overall impression. Maintenance of your facility and quick repair of outages gives the customer the impression you care about your business and their experience. 

Remember the adage about “people won’t remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.” When customers regard your restaurant, does it feel clean and well-cared for…or shabby? Are the bathrooms dirty? Is the green space more weeds than cut grass? People will forgive dated furnishings if the facility feels valued. 

Do Less and Get More Fast Casual Restaurant Facility Management Done with SLM 

Fast casual restaurant facility management is a daunting task, even for the experienced restaurant professional. Leave the worry to SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide and free up time to focus on endeavors to grow your business. 

We guarantee a clean, operational fast casual restaurant without interference with your customers’ experience. Our team sources and facilitates a variety of services for the fast casual industry, including waste management, grease, lift station & cooking oil services, fire suppression & kitchen hood services, exterior maintenance, and HVAC & refrigeration, among others. 

SLM has over 20 years of experience in fast casual restaurant facility management to put to work for you. Gain a point of contact with a vast team of experts who aid in daily services, reporting, and compliance, as well as accountability. Our quick response times, knowledgeable staff, and attention to detail set us apart from our competition. Call us today to learn more about how we can improve your facility!