Restaurants face a number of challenges when it comes to marketing and management. The key to success is to determine your business capability and optimize operations to better align your marketing and management for success. 

But how do you determine your capability? How does business capability mapping work, and what are the benefits? Let’s take a closer look at the process.

Understanding Business Capability

Business capability refers to the abilities or capabilities of a business, or in your case, your restaurant. 

business capability model

It establishes:

    • What your restaurant can do now 
  • Your restaurant’s potential

It looks at things like your capacity and expertise to define what your restaurant does and can do.

A business capability map is a visual representation of these capabilities. 

What Is a Capability Map?

Business capability mapping helps you understand your operation’s current capabilities and how you can integrate or align marketing activities to help you realize your potential.

For a restaurant, this may mean mapping out how you can add:

  • Delivery services
  • Online ordering
  • Loyalty programs

Creating a capability map seems simple and straightforward, but it can be challenging to determine what is and what isn’t a true capability.

Performing a Business Capability Analysis 

Before you can start building your business capability roadmap, you need to perform an assessment or analysis to define your capabilities. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Capabilities Describe the “What” and Not the “How”

When looking at each potential capability, ask yourself whether it’s describing “what” something is or if it’s describing “how” something is done.

For example, online ordering is “how” something is done and not a capability. Order management, on the other hand, is a capability.

Capabilities Will Have Outcomes

All capabilities have outcomes because they describe “what” things businesses are doing. Order management, for example, improves customer satisfaction and the efficiency of your restaurant.

Capabilities Should be Clearly Defined and Have a Unique Intent

All capabilities should be clearly defined, so there is no confusion. If order management is one of your capabilities, then you need to define “order” and “management.”

Each capability should also have a unique intent. So, you may have two capabilities that are related but have different intentions. 

Capabilities Can be Intangible

Capabilities don’t necessarily have to be tangible. For example, some businesses are aligned with Agile principles, and this would be considered an intangible capability. It’s something the business does, but it’s not something you can hold in your hand. 

These guidelines can help you better understand what exactly a capability is, how to define it, and start building your map.

The Benefits of Capability Management and Mapping

Many restaurant owners question the need for capability mapping and whether it’s worth the time. But there are many advantages of building a business capability model or map, such as: 

Gives You a 360-Degree View of Your Restaurant

Creating a capability map will give you a complete overview of your restaurant, including its resources, capabilities, and processes. It also helps you understand how all of these things relate to each other. 

When you have a big-picture view of your operations, you can make more strategic decisions when it comes to marketing and implementing new technologies. 

Helps You Find Viable Improvements

Capability modeling can also help you identify viable improvements for your restaurant and how to optimize your current strategies to support efficiency and sales.

For example, a capability map can include your current inventory of technologies, like digital menu boards, digital signage, POS system, and more. Using your map, you can identify challenges with these technologies, assess their scalability or find opportunities to implement new or improved solutions. 

Identifying areas for viable improvements will help your restaurant grow and, hopefully, improve profitability along the way.

How to Create a Business Capability Map

There is no one-size-fits-all process for creating a capability map. The process you use will depend on your industry and individual business. Many restaurant owners use professional services for their mapping because the process can be complex.

But the guidelines below will help you get started.

business capability mapping

Look at the Value Chain

Start by looking at the value chain, which includes all of the processes and steps involved in going from farm to table. The value chain will give you a great starting point for defining your capabilities and how they align with your business activities. 

Industry and Your Vision

Next, look at what drives your industry, your restaurant’s strengths, and how they align with the vision for your restaurant. For example, consider the following questions:

  • What value is your restaurant creating?
  • Who is interacting with your customers?
  • Which customers are getting the most value from your restaurant?

Once you have a better understanding of where your restaurant fits in the industry and how it aligns with our vision, you can start outlining your capabilities.

Outline Your Capabilities

The next step is to outline your capabilities from the top down. To find your capabilities, look closely at:

  • Your customer-related activities, such as service, payments, retention, etc.
  • Your employee-related activities
  • Your technologies and infrastructure management

Once you have a list of capabilities, break them down into subcategories and further refine these capabilities. Next, take a look at how they relate to each other. Doing so will help you identify which areas can use improvements to boost efficiency, sales, and customer satisfaction.

Review and Make Adjustments

Now that you have a better idea of your capabilities, it’s time to review everything and start making adjustments.

Look for gaps and redundancies. Identify capabilities that have the highest customer value, and make these a top priority. Continue down the list, making adjustments based on priority. Finish with the lowest priority capabilities.

It’s a good idea to revisit your capabilities regularly to see where you can continue growing, evolving, and finding new solutions to provide better service and food to your customers.

Final Thoughts

Understanding your business capability can help you improve your marketing and optimize the efficiency of your restaurant to ultimately boost sales. Performing an analysis and building a capability map will give you a clearer picture of your abilities and how you can move forward to reach your goals.