3 Things Restaurant Owners Taught Me

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3 Things Restaurant Owners Taught Me

I've been coaching restaurant owners since 2003, and I can tell you I learn every day from my members. I coach restaurant owners one on one and in a group setting. What is amazing about group coaching calls is the masterminding that goes on and how each restaurant owner helps their fellow restaurant owner. It's not just me giving advice because they all share their own experiences and resources. They teach me things all the time, and I thought I would take a few minutes to share with you three things that restaurant owners have taught me on a few of our recent group coaching calls.

I'm not sure if you know this, but you, restaurant owner, are a wealth of knowledge. You've experienced things nobody else in the world has ever experienced before. You've experienced your share of challenges and triumphs. You have a lot to offer. When I started coaching back in 2003, I was confident I knew everything I needed to know about running profitable restaurants and how I could help restaurant owners with that knowledge.

The first thing is, did you know that the Humane Society has a working cats program to help control rodents? That's right. I have a member who's in the Pittsburgh area and had a rodent issue. You can contact the Humane Society, and they have feral cats they’ve neutered they will relocate to your restaurant’s back alley, or wherever, and they’ll work to control the rodent population. It’s a great solution with a humane benefit. I thought that was pretty cool, and I didn't know there was anything like that.

The second thing I want to share with you is we often get into tip pooling and tip sharing and whether we should go that direction. Every few months, a new group of owners come into my group, and that question comes up: how should we manage tipping in our restaurant and/or how can we manage tip pooling?

If you've been following me on my channel for any length of time, you know I used to be against tip pooling. The restaurant owners in my group have changed my mind because things have changed in our industry. But it comes with an immense recordkeeping issue for tipping because you're collecting it all, and you have to divvy it up. One of my members shared a website called TipHaus: www.Tiphaus.com. I am not affiliated with them, but this member is having a good experience with the tool, so I wanted to pass it on for you to check out.  no affiliation with them. According to their own marketing materials, it's a software solution that makes tip pulling automated, personalized, transparent and efficient to use.

The third and final thing restaurant owners have taught me is a creative customer feedback method. Knowing what your customers think and what you can change to improve their experience is essential in growing a restaurant. The story kind of goes like this: years ago, after taking over the business, my member’s restaurant sales had dropped. Customers weren't coming back. It was puzzling, and they didn’t know what they were doing wrong. Was it service? Was it price? What was it? As much as they tried to figure it out, they weren’t getting any answers. So he gave his entire staff one thing to do: go find five people that they know would not come back to the restaurant and ask them to complete a questionnaire. Iif those people filled out the questionnaire anonymously, they get a $20 gift card. basically again telling the owner why they wouldn't come back. And if they did that, they'd have the opportunity to give a questionnaire to five other people and go through the same process to find out why customers weren't coming back to his business. All they had to do was tell him why. He gave out more than 500 gift cards because that's how many responses he got. He went through all the data and figured out what was really going wrong in his business and what was really important to his customers.

He learned it's not always what you think the problem is; it's what they think the problem is.

The list of what restaurant owners have taught me is lengthy because I have almost 20 years of working one on one and in group situations with restaurant owners just like you. The knowledge that comes my way, the data points that are in my brain that you all have shared with me is amazing. Yes, it makes me look smarter, but the truth is you all teach me so much.

The other thing I want to point out about those three things I shared with you are examples of the breadth of knowledge that restaurant owners like you have. It shows the subjects and topics that are covered ­– uncovered – in a group coaching call.

When you get on a Zoom call with other restaurant owners and implementers just like you who want to make change in their business and are willing to share what they know because you're not a competitor to help you, I'm going to tell you right now it's the closest thing to restaurant magic.

If you would like to learn how to own a restaurant that doesn't depend on you being in it to be successful, sign up for my free video course that teaches you three key principles to running a successful restaurant. If you're ready right now to make some serious changes in your restaurant, you can also book a 60-minute call with me where we talk about your challenges and figure out exactly what is holding you back from having a restaurant that doesn’t depend on you being in it to be successful. 

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

If you're ready right now to make some serious changes in your restaurant, you can also book a 60-minute call with me where we talk about your challenges and figure out exactly what is holding you back from having a restaurant that doesn’t depend on you being in it to be successful. 

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