standards for opening a restaurant

Must Have Standards for Opening a Restaurant in 2024

Correct restaurant etiquette is essential — it always has been! Customs in common and restaurant standards are what keep food businesses afloat. Without them, the world of hospitality would be a treacherous — and even dangerous — place for customers to sample.

Don’t miss a thing with our top tips on the best standards you need to open a restaurant. Ensure your restaurant creates a safe, inviting environment for customers to return to, looking forward to the meal ahead.

Remember: safety comes first. Whatever you need when starting up a restaurant, we’ve got you covered. All the while our expert guidance can help your food business save money while heeding to current-day guest demands.

What Are Restaurant Standards?

Restaurant standards are the established principles used to aid the everyday business operations of a hospitality venue. Some restaurant standards are legal requirements; some are plain common sense.

Depending on the venue itself, these standards also help to define the definite level of service excellence a venue seeks to achieve and maintain over time.

This means adhering to certain principles of general behaviour, business practices, and criterion that every successful restaurant must champion to boost both customer and employee morale in restaurants. Restaurant standards are not only indispensable; they’re also absolutely necessary.

Hotel Internazionale Ischia via Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

Top 5 Standards for Opening a Restaurant

Forget trawling through reams of paperwork on standards and laws: all you need to know is here. The top 5 standards for opening a restaurant are here to help you learn all the basic principles from the outset.

1. Hygiene

Restaurant hygiene refers to both the sanitary principles and practices that preserve the health and safety of both customers and staff. Every country has food hygiene laws to promote a healthy consumer base — and understandably so.

All restaurants are legally responsible for food hygiene and the well being of customers. When starting out and beyond, restaurants must:

  • Request, manage, and understand customer food allergies, implementing all necessary measures when preparing and serving food
  • Train staff on hygiene rules, through both formal training and encouraging self study
  • Store food safely, preventing cross contamination, making sure food contact materials are separate
  • Cleanliness of equipment and food services, both inside and outside the kitchen

Customers want food handlers they can trust. This is a top priority restaurant standard, and government bodies are out there to help guide restaurants through the process. Maintaining a strong reputation for both food safety and authenticity protects the hospitality economy, ensuring continued business in the future. 

2. Management

Good behaviour is underrated and plays a really important role in meeting customer expectations. So what is good behaviour? Overall this means that staff are:

  • Customer focused
  • Knowledgeable about the menu
  • Affable, happily greeting customers
  • Enthusiastic about services

New research has shown that these age-old skills still hold authority in restaurant circles. One survey of 212 tourists found that training programmes focusing on personal aspects of staff were a necessity. The research team even went as far to suggest that restaurant marketers should give higher attention to the personal aspects of service in marketing activities. 

So when weighing up the most important standards for opening a restaurant, this is definitely one of them.

Hotel Internazionale Ischia via Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

3. Training

Don’t underestimate it — customers can tell when staff require more training. Thinking about the wider benefits of eating out, a QSR magazine poll discovered 41 per cent of customers go to restaurants to relax, not to stress over under-trained staff. 

Well-trained staff provide loads of benefits, including reducing staff turnover rates. This means customers and restaurant teams get to know each other better, fostering personal ties, allowing restaurants to further grow with a place in the local community.

So what does good training entail? Currently, this means going beyond the basic skills — for example, operational skills, customer-facing abilities. Things like knowing what to do with nutrients and environmental awareness are now courses provided by professional bodies. Customers will appreciate it if a restaurant stays up-to-date on present day practices.

Inventive approaches to staff training programmes are in vogue. For more information on this key restaurant standard, contact the Hospitality Training, an association dedicated to raising training standards, or your national equivalent for more.

4. Feedback

Online restaurant reviews are unignorable. Everyone is a restaurant critic on the internet — and frankly, new customers trust online reviews. An amateur restaurant review on Google, say, has a grass-roots feel unachieved in professional newspaper criticism.

The solution is simple: rather than treating the casually reviewer as a problem, re-imagine them as an asset. Nothing is better than a five-star review commending your business’ services — but bad reviews are also inevitable. There are ways to handle both.
When it comes to online reviews, ignorance is not bliss. Responding to both the commendable and critical is a vital necessity. Don’t forget fake reviews — having an eye for what is real and perfidious is a key standard and skill for all restaurant owners to sharpen.

5. Customer Service

Last but certainly not least, first-class customer service is foremost in the hospitality industry’s mindset. With the majority of Europe online (over 90 per cent in places like Great Britain) it comes as no surprise that customers now expect quality customer service to come from online services.

It’s a restaurant standard that new customers now take for granted: they prefer to book their tables online in a super-fast, super efficient way via the web. Nowadays, there’s good news: restaurants starting out can assuredly use online booking systems without breaking the bank. 

Ready to save money while meeting the top standards for opening a restaurant? An incredible service app is now available, ready at a restaurant’s fingertips.

Restaurants across Europe have successfully brought Carbonara App into their everyday processes and guest mechanisms. The owner of Ristorante la Canisela, a popular restaurant in the northern Italian mountains, loves using the app’s real-time reservation features.