How to Manage a Restaurant - 5 Tips from Successful Independent Owners

How to manage a restaurant is a common search term on the Internet. Restaurant entrepreneurs tend to always be learning new things and trying to improve their businesses and this is true in running a restaurant. In my experience, the most successful people I've worked with are always trying to become better. They want to do things better and get the best results possible. Watch this video or keep scrolling to read five tips I’ve gathered from the very successful restaurant owners I’ve coached.

Start with just one system. What do I mean by that? I don't care what that system is. Pick any system, any system you can handle, whether it's standardizing how you count out a bar drawer or you're working on recipe costing cards, shelf-to-sheet inventory, scheduling on budget or heck, looking at ideal versus actual product usage, implementing a new software package. It doesn't matter. What system do you want to work on? Pick the one thing.

In my coaching with restaurant owners I provide a 23-stage track to achieve the Restaurant Prosperity Formula™. I can tell you exactly the path I want you to take, but it doesn't matter what I want. See, if I overwhelm you or anyone tells you this is where you need to start and you feel overwhelmed, most people stop dead in their tracks. So, the key is picking the one system. Start there. Take action. It really doesn't matter what system you choose because you will get results.

Number two, find a person in your restaurant who can help you get this done. Somebody who will hold you accountable and others accountable to the process, to the plan. Yes, you're the owner, you're the GM. You're the person to hold people accountable and makes sure everything gets done. But have you ever noticed, sometimes it feels like we’re on an island and no one can help us get anything done? The fact is you need some help. Everyone needs somebody to say, hey, shouldn't we be moving forward? What are we doing tomorrow? What's our next step? You have to find that person. I call that person the Implementor. This is somebody who – excuse my French – who gets shit done.

See, most restaurant owners have a hard time focusing on one thing and staying focused on it. The nature of running a restaurant is very hectic and requires dividing your attention among many different people and projects. Restaurant owners want the next thing. You want to work on sales and company growth, or the new menu item. The new. The new. The new. But the truth of matter is some of the things that you have to get done are mundane. They’re tasks, systems and processes. And it's the same way every single day. So, if you can find that one person on your team who can help you get things done, then you can move your company forward. You can lead that process.

Number three, make sure you’ve got Restaurant 101 mastered. These are the things you promised for your customers and your employees. It’s great service, great product and great hospitality. Make sure you are delivering that, that you're training that, that you are making sure the guest has the best experience possible, because no matter what systems we put in place, it doesn't matter if your restaurant sucks. So those systems start with steps of service, cleanliness, all the things to make sure your guest gets the same experience every single time.

Number four, have a system for everything in your restaurant. Make sure you fall back on your implementor and your management team to keep them going because there is a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your business. That's where the chain restaurants kick our ass. There is only one way to do everything in their business – their way. We can learn from the chains that there is a system, a process, a way for everything in the restaurant, from counting out that bar drawer to how to conduct inventory. Everything you do in your business requires a systems because that way you ensure no matter who's working, what shift, it's being done your way.

And number five, do your best to get out of the day-to-day. I want you working on your business instead of in it. This gives you a chance to lead your team. Instead of being in the trenches, you know, flipping a burger or spinning the pizza, making sure things are done. When you are truly paying attention on the business, you get to grow your communication skills. You rely on your systems to make sure things are getting done. That you don't have to manage somebody's personality. They either did the job or they didn't. See, this is how we get change in our business. When you truly want to manage your business, not people, but business, you need systems in place and somebody to help you get there.

If you want to become a member of the most successful restaurant owner category, start with these five tips.  

I cover Restaurant 101, putting systems in place and more in my book. Order your copy of  Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do here

You can also complete a free restaurant evaluation. It's a great way to identify immediate opportunities where you can make things better in your restaurant. 

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



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