Standard Operating & Operation Manuals


Used in nearly every industry world-wide, Standard Operating Procedures and Operations Manuals provide documentation of operating principles and practices, enabling organizations to control quality, manage performance and deliver consistent results. In a hotel or food service operation, these tools will:

  • Establish benchmarks of standards and procedures
  • Detail specifications for quality control
  • Identify key operational systems and controls
  • Provide consistency from location to location (and within each location)
  • Assist in limiting liability (regarding health, safety, personnel practices, etc)
  • Provide clear accountability for contractual agreements
  • Establish a foundation for training content and design
  • Provide content for conversion to on-line systems

Standard Operating Procedures and Operations Manuals both provide a reflection of your company's mission, values and operating principles. In addition, however, they are two distinct documents designed to meet different organizational needs.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) establish minimum parameters for acceptable operating practices. The document or set of documents used to record SOPs is a static and objective tool; it does not have a "personality," but is designed solely to convey detailed information about company standards (e.g. safety and sanitation in the kitchen). The SOP document reflects minimum guidelines for performance - it seldom delves into variables or situational management. In addition, the SOP document provides a legal foundation of a company's operating procedures and is effective for contract and franchise agreements.

The Operations ("Ops") Manual is the dynamic sister of the SOP. While standards of performance are the same, Operations Manuals convey a greater sense of company culture, have a broader operational perspective and address not just standards but also their application. The Operations Manual may also address variables in controlling operations from one location to the next. While the Operations Manual is not a learning document, like a training manual, it does provide structure for operating within the parameters of the company, established by the SOPs.


Based upon the needs of your organization, our professionals help you determine the format (Standard Operating Procedures vs. Operations Manuals) or format that will best serve your intended audience. We then develop proprietary SOP or Operations manuals that accurately reflect the policies, procedures and operating systems for your organization, not a generic vision of the industry.


Development costs for SOP and Operations manuals depend upon the amount of "research" required to complete the project. Work for your project will generally fall into one of three "levels":

1. Design from scratch
2. Structure and formalize existing resources
3. Update current versions

During an assessment phase, we review the client's wants, needs and depth of resources to determine a plan for the project. Factors such as company size, location dynamics and infrastructure, number of departments/work groups and service expectations can all impact the amount of work required to create a quality product.

After the assessment, we produce a recommendation document that includes the scope of work, a project timeline and a breakdown of costs.

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