Every restaurant is unique, but there are some commonalities among all successful businesses in the food service industry. One of those commonalities is the use of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

What are standard operating procedures?

SOPs are written instructions that detail the steps that employees need to take to perform their jobs. They help to ensure consistency and quality control in the kitchen and throughout the restaurant.

While every restaurant will have different SOPs, there are some general best practices that all businesses should follow. In this blog post, we’ll share some restaurant SOP examples and best practices that you can use in your own business.

Restaurant Standard Operating Procedures - What is sop in restaurant?

Why you need restaurant standard operating procedures

Routines help keep things running smoothly

Having a set of standardized procedures helps new hires get up to speed quickly, without having to rely on seniors co-workers.

Consistency is key to customer retention

Customers return to a restaurant not just for the food, but also for the dependable experience. Every dish coming out of the kitchen should be consistent in both taste and presentation, and it’s important that all front-of-house staff provide great service with every interaction.

Maintenance of hygiene standards

Maintaining consistency in hygiene standards is also vitally important, such as the entire kitchen staff frequently washing their hands, maintaining sanitizing stations, wearing a clean uniform while on shift, and so on.

Employee Performance Evaluation

Once you’ve established a standard set of rules and regulations, you can easily track your team’s progress and identify areas where they excel (or need improvement). This streamlines the process of giving out yearly performance evaluations and bonus payouts.

Expanding successfully

When expanding your business, it is crucial that you are able to replicate the same level of success across multiple locations. This means maintaining high standards of quality control so that each new location can meet (and exceed) customer expectations.

How to develop standard operating procedures (SOP) for restaurants 

As a restaurant owner or manager, you know that there are a lot of moving parts to run a successful business. From ordering food and supplies to cooking and serving meals, there’s a lot to keep track of. SOPs can help to streamline your restaurant’s operations by providing clear instructions for every task, no matter how big or small. They can also help to ensure that all employees are on the same page, which is especially important in the kitchen where timing and coordination are crucial.

When developing SOPs for your restaurant, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that they are clear and concise. No one wants to read through a long document full of complex instructions. Second, be sure to write them in simple language that can be understood by all employees, regardless of their position or level of experience. And finally, don’t forget to test your SOPs before implementing them in your restaurant. This will help to ensure that they are effective and that all employees understand how to follow them.

Restaurant SOPs: best practices

Once you have developed your restaurant’s SOPs, it’s important to put them into action. Here are a few best practices to follow:

  • Train all employees on the SOPs. This should be done before they start their shifts so that they know what is expected of them.
  • Conduct regular audits of the SOPs to ensure that they are being followed correctly.
  • Make sure that any changes or updates to the SOPs are communicated to all employees right away.
  • Encourage employees to give feedback on the SOPs so that you can make improvements as needed.

Restaurant standard operating procedure examples

Here are a few restaurant standard operating procedure examples that you can use as a template to create your own:

SOPs for equipment and facilities
  • Laundry and linen
  • Cleaning of the dining area and temperature measurement
  • Maintenance of the ice maker and pest control
  • Dishwashing
  • Equipment cleaning and sanitization
  • Personnel and personal hygiene SOPs
SOP for food safety 
  • Standards for takeout and delivery
  • Food safety maintenance for the refrigerator and freezer
  • Buying and handling food from outside sources
  • Food temperature danger zone
SOPs for menu management
  • Compliance with the restaurant’s concept while creating menu
  • Food presentation
  • Satisfying customer expectations
SOP for restaurant service
  • Ensuring that the conversations between restaurant management, staff, and customers are productive
  • Devising standards to meet customer service expectations
  • Seating and front-of-house greeting
  • Making the billing and end-of-service payment smooth for the customer
Equipment Handling
  • How to use kitchen equipment. 
  • Protocols for using personal kitchen equipment such as a microwave, oven, etc.

The bottom line

SOPs for restaurant staff are a great way to optimize your restaurant’s efficiency. SOPs are a great way to optimize your restaurant’s efficiency. Make sure to set clear standards and monitor compliance with the procedures you create. The real key to success is implementation. Creating SOPs doesn’t mean much if you don’t execute them effectively. It’s easy to forget about protocols until something goes wrong.

Make sure to set clear standards for each procedure, making sure each team member understands what is expected of them, and then monitor compliance with the procedures you’ve created.