STAFF RECRUITMENT AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
Senior staff and managers in the units will need to have had previous restaurant experience.
The O’Hagan’s Irish Pub & Grill Company will employ the best staff available.
The O’Hagan’s Irish Pub & Grill have job descriptions for each member of staff.
PERSONNEL FOR A TYPICAL UNIT
Kitchen Manager / Sous chef
Bar Tenders (+/- 6)
Flat Top Grillers (2)
Flame Griller (2)
Cold Kitchen Staff (3)
Scullery staff (3)
Waiters/waitresses (+/- 20)
RATES OF PAY COMPARED TO THE INDUSTRY
All pay-scales will be researched regularly by The O’Hagan’s Irish Pub & Grill Head Office and will be industry related, albeit that franchisees will have independence in this regard.
FOOD & MENU MANAGEMENT
Menu Management is often neglected by operators and can lead to consumer boredom, high food cost and unnecessary labor cost. Where we used to see trends like rising food costs, eating habits and tastes happen over longer periods, we now see these trends occurring with great speed. You need to be on top of what’s happening and aware of how they can impact our profitability.
Menu management is not something to ignore or assume we can change once a year. It’s a living, breathing way of tweaking our offering for the benefit of both our guest and your wallet.
MENU MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
Here are the golden rules for keeping our menu interesting for our consumers while remaining profitable, minimising your kitchen labor cost and keeping inventory tight:
Change our menu twice a year. Track our menu item mix so we know every week what’s selling and what’s not. Run weekly features and track how they sell so we can use them in our menu changes knowing they will sell.
We must not go more than 35 to 40 items for our menu. Fact is, 75% of our food sales menu will be generated by the 25% of our menu that is popular with our guests, mainly the traditional dishes. Most of the other items will be steady but slow sellers.
We will try to duplicate proteins across categories. For instance, we can use chicken breast for a Chicken Pot Pie, a hot Chicken Sandwich, a Chicken Salad, a Chicken Tender for kids and a Chicken & Bacon Boxty. It’s an efficient and cost-effective way of managing your menu items.
Observe the trends in your industry. Not all our starters have to be fried and some items should appeal to healthier eating habits. Fish & Chips can be offered as an option of deep-fried or grilled. Burgers might include a great turkey burger. Salads should be interesting, different and plentiful.
We will implement basic menu engineering and understand where item placement on our menu will get best results. Always remember that we are trying to generate high-volume sales from low-cost items. A Shepherd’s Pie will be one of our best sellers but the cost to make it is relatively low.
We will watch what’s happening with food commodity cost. We live in a time where we are seeing unprecedented rise in the price of meat proteins in particular.
Plant based food is growing in popularity.
Consumers are more health conscious now than ever.
You can use technology very effectively to run your pub, depending on your budget. Our rule of thumb is never to employ more technology than you will actually find time to monitor.
For instance, if you are going to invest in software and hardware to measure the exact yield from each keg of beer, understand whether this is going to be critical information during your opening phase or whether it’s something you would like to look at in six months. Our advice would be to invest in the basic technology but set it up so that you have the option to add functionality over time.
So what technologies are you going to be looking at to help you run your Irish Pub more effectively?
Here’s a fairly comprehensive list:
1. Point-of-Sale System
2. Closed Circuit TV System
3. Music and Audio-Visual Systems
4. Draught & Liquor Control Systems
5. Lighting & Heating Control Systems
6. Security and Alarm Systems
7. Back Office Accounting
On the following pages, we’ll try to guide you through those systems and what elements of them you should probably consider.
1. POINT OF SALE SYSTEM
Without a doubt, the most important technology you will purchase for your pub and one that will deserve a lot of research and trial from you. These POS systems come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of boasts about what they can do. However, even if the POS vendor is passionate about how their system is the only system in the world to have retina-scanning clocking in for employees, don’t get distracted by the bling just focus on the essential elements and consider the glitter when you’re short listing.
First things first, identify the size of system you’re going to need for your pub.
How many terminals are you going to need behind the bar?
How many servers do you expect to have on duty at your busiest time?
How many remote ticket printers or screens will you need for the kitchen and bar?
These questions will begin to determine your needs for static terminals, hand-held units, bill printers, ticket printers, screens, back office, cabling, routers, wireless hubs, software licenses and the many other components that form a POS system.
With the ready availability of reliable wireless technology, the opportunity is there to move away from static terminals and equip your servers with handheld units such as Ipad, Ipod Touch or b-proprietary units. They reduce the amount of time your servers need to spend waiting at a static terminal, speed up the transmission of orders to kitchen and bar, allow quick management amendments to checks where needed and are now PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant so that they can swipe credit cards and process payments quickly and easily.
If your building is on multiple floors or has concrete walls, losing signal may be an problem. If you are leaning toward this kind of system, interrogate the vendor on other installs similar to yours and then go visit and talk to the owners of restaurants where they are being used.
Traditionally, remote printers at the bar and in the kitchen have been the way of communicating orders. However, printers just print out one-time tickets, and it’s virtually impossible to track important items such as ticket times. Screens (at least for the kitchen) are an alternative and should be looked as a very efficient way of tracking ticket times and kitchen performance.
Whichever direction you go, get your rough specification together, choose three or four vendors and ask them for quotes. When you receive them, carefully dissect the information and put it in a spreadsheet so that you can look at an ‘apples for apples’ comparison. Guaranteed, the information will be given to you in a number of different presentation formats and it’s essential you break them down so you can better understand what you are buying.
The prices shown on this comparison are not guideline, simply examples. Also, please remember that unless you ask them, POS vendors will not quote you for the materials or labor for cable installation. This work is best done by your electrical or general contractor who can do the work along with the rest of the cabling, while ensuring that the sensitive POS cabling is well-insulated from other wiring.
In looking at POS system vendors, always look at the track record and always take testimonials from other clients in your area. Cheapest is not necessarily best when it comes to POS systems, nor is most expensive a consistent indicator of quality. Most national POS companies operate through networks of resellers, some good, some not so good. So, while the underlying hardware and software is usually going to be robust and reliable, your concern should be about on-time delivery and install, quality of training and training resource, ‘go-live’ support and quality of support and efficiency of the database build. You will derive confidence in these elements by asking to speak with their other clients in your area. If they are reluctant or evasive in providing you with this information, no matter if they are the biggest name in the country, don’t use them.
A word about service contracts. For the first year, your warranty and telephone/online support will likely cover you for any problems. However, if you are offered a service contract, look for the one that covers you 24/7/365. Now that your vendor has sold you the system, they are out of the loop and you are dealing directly with the contracted-out online service team. They are not in your area, they are a disembodied voice who will be able to help if you have the right service contract but who will not be able to revive your dead system if you don’t.
Finally, if you’ve worked with POS systems in the past, you won’t have any problems adapting to a different system. However, if this is your first time using a POS system to generate reports, track financial information etc. don’t expect to get to know it all from your one-day training session in the vendor’s showroom. Don’t panic, learn the basics that help you to help servers and the rest will come to you as you work through it.
2. CLOSED CIRCUIT TV SYSTEM
An almost essential system to have in your pub, CCTV ensures that you have the following:
A deterrent against theft or pilferage
A video record of any disturbance, accident or incident that occurs on the premises
A tracking system for reviewing any issues that are brought to your attention days after the event has occurred.
A way of going online from anywhere in the world to see how your pub is doing at any time of the day or night and to monitor performance
A way of proactively looking at employee performance across a range of tasks
CCTV is not that expensive relative to the money it might save you. Typically a 3,000-4,000 square foot establishment might need between 6 and 12 cameras. These would include key locations such as front door, back door, bar terminals, kitchen service line, office, storage rooms, dining space and patio. The cameras are channelled through pieces of equipment called multiplexers and multiplexers can be purchased in configurations of 4, 8, 16 and 32 channels (camera inputs). As of 2013, a, 8-channel multiplexer with 8 cameras, monitor, associated cabling and install would probably cost you in the region of $2,500 to $3,500.
3. MUSIC AND AUDIO-VISUAL SYSTEMS
You will probably know what you want in this category. However, some things to look out for are as follows:
Consider having the stage system tied in to your sound system to avoid bulky band gear and bad acoustics. Also, so that you can tie in a DJ easily.
Have your vendor understand that you may want to crank the sound up substantially on a Saturday night, so it’s not a normal restaurant install.
Think about going with an online music delivery system that rolls in the Music Licensing Rights cost.
Get your designer to ‘design in’ the TV’s right from the get go.
4. DRAUGHT & LIQUOR CONTROL SYSTEMS
We believe these are great systems, but as with any system, they need to be managed. If the vendor can convince you that during the initial months of your opening you will not have to spend hours each week monitoring and learning the system, then it might be worth looking at during development. Otherwise, consider it at a later time when the operation is more mature.
5. LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEMS
When talking with your electrical or lighting contractor have a discussion about automatic controls for your lighting. Have you ever walked into a restaurant at night when they’ve forgotten to dim the lighting? Automated lighting controls pre-set the level of light and ambiance for all or part of your pub so that exactly the right levels are present at any point during the day or any point during the year. It’s one of those ‘set it and forget it’ systems that you never have to worry about management forgetting or setting lighting at inappropriate levels.
6. SECURITY AND ALARM SYSTEMS
Check out whether you can tie in your walk-in coolers and freezers to the system. If you have a company monitoring the system, they can alert you if there’s a problem with temperatures and even prevent management from entering the security code to leave if the refrigeration is not working correctly.
7. BACK OFFICE ACCOUNTING
Ensure that your payroll and/or accounting system is compliant with your POS system. Use a separate computer for your back-office accounting, as you not always be able to use the computer running the POS.
Your original decision to open an O’Hagan’s rather than a Sports Bar was a strong decision. Over time, it’s easy to forget the reason you did it, but that’s the reason you should keep consistent with your original idea. The ethos of the Irish Pub is to become a distinct but integral part of the community, something that consumers adopt early and adore forever.