How to improve consistency in the food you serve

  • 09 Aug 2016

    In the hospitality industry, consistency is King. Here John Wood looks at why it’s the most important thing for running a successful restaurant.

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    One of the key things I have learnt about running a successful business is that it is all about consistency.

    Consistency in:

    • food
    • service
    • your messaging
    • your brand
    • how you treat people
    • how you treat your customers
    • how you treat your suppliers…

    … in everything you do, you need to be consistent.

    That does not mean you can never change from that and that does not mean you have to serve the same menu all year around. What is does mean, is that you need to set your standards, have a firm idea about what you want to be and what you want people to describe you as. Then put structure, processes and training in place to deliver that.

    Running a restaurant or food business is about being reliable and trusted by your customers. To do that, you need to have exact standards and specifications that are easy for any member of the team to follow. Evolving and improving on them is what we do best. Re-adjusting and improving as you go is perfect. Putting a robust process and training in place will help you achieve this in no time.

    Setting a standard

    As an example, McDonalds is one of the largest QSR chains in the World. It may not be to everyone’s taste or quality, but they develop, improve, set standards and then execute consistently across multiple locations in multiple countries time after time.

    How do they do that? Everything they do has a simple and easy-to-follow process. Whether you are trying to achieve a Michelin star or serving a great burger in your room service, your customers expect it to be consistent (and deserve a consistent dish).


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    Delivering a consistent standard in my own operations

    In my career, whether I was running my Michelin starred restaurant or when I was running multiple operations with different concepts in each one – I was always consistent in my approach. I would create clear specs – recipes with methods, plating standards, detailed service notes so my service teams knew as much about the dish as the chefs did.

    I would ensure that the teams were well trained and made it clear that there was ‘zero tolerance‘ to deviating from the spec of how that dish was made. If we changed anything it was discussed, tested, specs were re-written and people were re-trained.

    John Wood - Co-Founder - Kitchen CUT - Global Recipe Costing Software -

    THAT is how you deliver consistency.

    THAT is how you make sure customers come back time and time again.

    THAT is how you start to run a successful operation.

    Kitchen CUT allows you to do all of the above extremely easily, creating easy specs with clear guidelines and methods (including training videos and photographs if you wish). Kitchen and Service teams can have different user access – so they can see all of the information that is relevant to them.

    It goes without saying, that delivering consistently good margins is also critical, which ties effortlessly in to creating recipe specs with Kitchen CUT.

    Top Tips for creating consistency

    1. Have clear recipe specs (methods, exact ingredients etc) for your team to follow
    2. Spend time training your teams (kitchen and service teams) about how you expect the food to look and taste
    3. Make sure new team members are inducted properly and get up to speed
    4. Photograph the dishes (and/or create short videos) so that everyone can see exactly how things should be presented
    5. Don’t settle for anything that falls below your standard

    Why not sign up for a free trial and see how you can easily deliver consistency in your business.


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