The hospitality industry is experiencing a much-anticipated resurgence after the past few challenging years. People missed starting the mornings in their favourite cafés, holding business meetings outside offices, and catching up with family and friends at dinner. Naturally, restaurants and cafés embraced the return. Many owners used this revival to expand their business to new locations, while others saw it as an opportunity to enter the hospitality industry at its peak.

Yet, the comeback didn’t do much to improve the hospitality stats.  A whopping 60% of restaurants close past their first year in business, and by the fourth year, that number rises to 80%.  Moreover, research suggests dining-out habits changed in 2023, with people cutting down on drinks, desserts, and appetizers more than before, and ordering cheaper menu items.

Restaurant technological innovations, the expansion of online ordering, and the growing importance of a quality digital presence all add up to a new reality of running a hospitality business.

Much has changed in restaurant and café management in recent years; thus, to stay in the know, this article brings you the seven golden rules of restaurant and café management.

Get the Pricing Right

Price is not the sole factor that determines the success of a restaurant or café. However, balancing food costs and pricing can either make or break the business. 

As a rule of thumb, food costs should be around 30% of what restaurants charge their customers. But it’s important to be realistic and understand the market prices for the food you serve. You should not sell yourself short. 

Moreover, restaurants can boost their profits by offering higher-margin items like signature drinks or appetizers. These items can make a significant difference to the bottom line. 

Additionally, there’s no need to be afraid of simplifying pricing and reducing the menu size.

Keep Employee Turnover Low

Every restaurant or café business is built upon the pillars of good food, fine drinks, and quality service. However, it becomes challenging for bars and restaurants to maintain the expected standards of their customers if their employees, including chefs, baristas, and waiters, frequently come and go.

Hospitality businesses require consistency in their employee teams to minimize mistakes, lower training costs, and maximize staff performance.

To create a winning team, restaurants, and cafés must hire the right person the first time. Check candidate references, look at how quickly they switch jobs, and discuss short- and long-term goals.

Business owners need to provide their employees with fair and competitive pay. According to statistics, the typical hourly wage for food service workers falls between $11 and $13. However, it is common for waiters and bartenders to earn more in tips than they do from their employers. Additionally, restaurants and cafés should cross-train their employees, periodically survey them, and use their feedback to show they value the staff.

Finally, schedule employee shifts well to avoid burnout and provide a ladder for professional advancement. After all, 9 in 10 restaurant managers start in entry-level positions, meaning restaurants and cafés capitalize well on their employees’ strengths.

Create a Quality Manual

In the hospitality industry, a quality manual is a comprehensive document that outlines quality policies, procedures, and standards for all aspects of food production and service. 

This includes clear and detailed instructions on sourcing, storing, preparing, cooking, plating, and serving dishes. Besides points on food preparation and sourcing, a quality manual must also include food safety procedures.

The manual should also specify the responsibilities of each staff member, methods of quality inspections, and the corrective actions and preventive measures for any quality issues that may arise.

Additionally, a quality manual includes in-depth guides on human resources and guest service, such as handling customer feedback, complaints, and returns. Lastly, the document should outline guides on the maintenance and cleaning of restaurant and café areas and equipment.

Embrace Technology

Technology may not be central to the café and restaurant industry, but it’s wise to keep up with the trends and ensure you’ve got all your customers’ expectations covered.

One of the tech solutions to implement is online reservations, as 83% of customers say online reservations are “very important” to them. 

Moreover, there’s online ordering and delivery, with 77% of consumers reporting frequently ordering in instead of going to a restaurant.

Hospitality businesses need to have a point-of-sale (POS) system to track orders and manage inventory effectively.

Lastly, it is notable that QR code-based restaurant menus are becoming increasingly popular as they allow for contactless ordering and payment systems, and help to address the problem of understaffing. 52% of U.S. restaurants have already transitioned to a QR code menu, and it is expected that more will follow suit.

Create an Exquisite Customer Experience

It’s essential to understand that nowadays, the front of the house extends beyond a restaurant’s physical premises. It includes the brand out in the world, including the website, social media presence, online ordering platform, and even delivery service. 

For instance, let’s talk about delivery. The quality of a restaurant’s or café’s delivery service can either make or break the overall impact of the food and service provided. Therefore, when selecting the appropriate method of delivery, you must consider factors that affect the overall customer experience, not just the cost and convenience. 

While we’ve highlighted delivery as an example, this approach applies to every aspect of your business and customer experience. 

For instance, is your website user-friendly for customers looking to book a table or order food for delivery or collection? Customers tend to return to pleasant experiences and keep away from frustrating and time-consuming ones, regardless of how good your food is. 

Leverage Dedicated Platforms

There are many platforms available on the market that are dedicated to the restaurant industry. These platforms can help with more efficient restaurant management. 

One such platform is being developed by, which is dedicated to restaurant jobs and networking. It is set to launch in September 2024. 

This platform will help restaurants and cafés streamline their hiring process by providing access to a pool of potential candidates from across the industry. 

Moreover, OysterLink’s platform will provide dozens of job description templates for all restaurant and café positions, from bartenders and servers to behind-the-scenes positions like chefs and managers. 

For current and prospective restaurant and bar staff, OysterLink will offer in-depth career resources covering topics like resume writing, salary negotiation, legal compliance, and application strategies. 

Additionally, the platform offers comprehensive insights into salary trends. This will help employers offer competitive pay and job seekers secure fair wages.

Work the Reviews

Managing online reviews is crucial for the success of restaurant and café businesses. Prospective customers often use reviews on Google or Yelp to assess their dining choices. Therefore, it is important to actively manage your reviews rather than letting them happen on their own. 

Review management typically involves two approaches. First, encourage your satisfied customers to leave a review. These loyal customers can be identified through your data. You can ask them to review your business or use language to prompt action. Consistently generating positive reviews can be the key to success. 

Secondly, negative reviews are inevitable. However, you can mitigate the damage with an honest and sympathetic response in public. A well-crafted response can make any complaint appear irrational and be discounted as a result. Ensure that your tone is appropriate, but don’t hesitate to engage with your customers.

By getting more positive reviews and responding to negative ones, you can build a great reputation and attract more customers. So, be proactive and take control of your reviews to grow your business.