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Your Restaurant’s Scoreboard: The Operating Budget

Question 4  do you have an operating budget

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) and RealFood President Ed Doyle surveyed MRA members on how they execute various operating procedures. When it comes to good restaurant business practices, some members confirmed they follow them, and some admitted they don t. Find out how you fit into the landscape of best practices.

Everyone needs to have an operating budget, as it is the chief way to navigate your business. Without an operating budget, how else can you set goals? How can you know specifically where you re succeeding, and where you’re failing? The operating budget s sales forecast sets labor, food costs, and every other important measure a business needs to function well.

An operating budget shouldn’t be secret everyone needs to know about it. It shouldn’t hide in the management office; it needs to be a part of the daily dialogue with the entire staff. When the operating budget gets broken down into daily goals that are communicated to all employees, it becomes part of the language, and then part of the mindset. Everyone will chase down those goals together, and be aware of shortcomings and successes as they happen.

A visible operating budget creates one scoreboard for the entire business, and the entire team should be reaching for it and held accountable to it.