How to Make Your Restaurant More Profitable
Are you looking for ways to make your restaurant more profitable? What if I told you the first step in that direction has less to do with increasing sales or cutting costs? Would you want to know what I mean? Let's talk about what I mean.
Depending on how long you've been following me, you may know in the first 18 years of my coaching career, I was known as the systems guy. I could teach you to put systems in place that would drop your restaurant prime cost by an average of 23 points, no problem. But with the sale of my original company and the publication of my book, Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do, (found on Amazon), I learned that systems are just tasks and that there's one thing that comes before all those systems that is a key indicator of your success: a growth mindset.
First, let me say my most successful members, who I wrote the book about, have two personality traits in common, which I have found to be consistent in the most successful restaurant owners I coach today:
1. A passion for hospitality
To be a successful restaurant owner, you must have a passion for the restaurant business, for creating memories and offering hospitality. And if you needed any indicator that you have persistence, if you have survived the pandemic, if you survived the labor shortage, if you're surviving inflation and dare I say, recession, you are persistent. You're already going down the right path.
However, the key indicator of success is a growth mindset. Before I explain a growth mindset, let’s talk about the opposite, a fixed mindset.
People with a fixed mindset see challenges as roadblocks. Negative things happen to them all the time. They can't overcome them. If their food cost is high, they blame their vendor. If Yelp reviews are low, it must be people who aren’t their customers, sabotaging their restaurant. Everything's happening to them, coming at them, and there's nothing they can do to overcome these challenges.
People with a growth mindset have those same challenges. Same food costs, labor shortages, you name it. But they see them exactly as that: challenges. Obstacles to overcome. Demolish, move, defeat. They know they can outwork and outlearn. They can outspend these challenges. They can get by the challenges. They will not allow anything to stop them dead or in their tracks. They don't throw up excuses on why something can't be done
Every time you say things like, “You don’t understand; my restaurant is different,” you cast a vote for the restaurateur you are. Instead, when you start thinking positive and focus on the things you can do, you start casting a vote and taking actions for the restaurant owner you want to become.
People with a growth mindset realize they don't know what they don't know, and they're always looking to learn new ways to do things. Growth mindset people remain positive and lead their teams. Growth mindset people see the glass as half full even when there's a leaky glass.
You will not have success with leading your team, implementing systems, being open to learning new things, being able to hold your managers accountable, or take action to move your business forward unless you have a growth mindset.
If you want to make your restaurant more profitable, you must start with improving your mindset. I know that sounds crazy, but I've seen it over the years, time and time again, it starts with you and your mindset.
If it makes it easier for you to digest what I'm saying, let's change mindset to improving your attitude. My father was a motivational speaker – the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess – and in his speeches, he talked about a rainy day and how people see the rainy day differently. Some people who say, “Oh, it's raining outside. My day is ruined. Oh, it's awful.” And now they're sad. They chose to be sad.
Then there are people who look outside and say, “It's raining and you know what? It's going to rain. It's out of my control. I can choose to have a great day. I can choose to be happy.”
To make your restaurant more profitable, you need to choose your attitude. Shift your mindset. Practice focusing on the positive. Learn every day and look at your business through the lens of a growth mindset, because that's how, when you implement systems, they start to take, really hold and make huge changes in your business. But they don't if you don't come at it with a growth mindset.
Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.