How to Rediscover the Spark for Your Restaurant Business
Challenges in the restaurant business are a given, but sometimes there are so many in a month, a week or even a day, that you find yourself feeling fed-up and burned out. Losing your passion for your restaurant is the worst thing that can happen to it and everyone involved. If you feel like you are starting to lose or have already lost your passion for the business, that motivated and able to push through the challenges that would stop any normal person, it’s time to rediscover your spark!
In this episode of my podcast, The Restaurant Prosperity Formula, I’m going to show you how, so you are running a restaurant that gives you the life you wanted, full of freedom to do what you like when you want to and makes you the money you deserve. When you follow the steps I teach, you’ll find that everyone around you will feed off your new-found energy, and your business will catch fire – in a good way!
How do you make this dream a reality? It’s a simple answer that allows you to impose your will, even when you are not in the building. Add systems into your business for everything you do. Systems ultimately allow others to run shifts the way you want without being there, so you can work on your business rather than in it.
Now, adding systems to your restaurant will only work if you have two things in place:
- Restaurant 101: this means you’re executing service and food at an excellent level. Hot food is hot, cold food is cold, you’re delivering WOW customer service in a restaurant that is clean and safe for your guests and your employees, and you provide an incredible product.
- You have cash controls and checklists in place: every penny makes it to the bank and every task is completed every shift, which you’re able to communicate and track with checklists.
After these two things are taken care of, you are ready to implement systems in your restaurant operation.
When I say systems, I mean there’s a system, a process, a way to do everything in your business, and I mean everything. The systems are trainable. The systems allow you to hold people accountable and ensure things are being done your way.
You got into this business because you were built for hospitality. True restaurant professionals realize it's their job to create lasting memories for the guests. They do this when they create a restaurant that's comfortable, pleasing to the eye, operating basically in an operating-room clean environment. They create food and drink recipes that delight guests and keep them coming back. They invest in customer service trainings to deliver on the promise of great guest experience.
Ultimately, restaurant owners, you, do this because you love the restaurant business. But you know what? Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by getting hit by so many challenges. In fact, you can lose your passion for the business quite easily because there are so many challenges that hit you on a routine basis. Now, look. If you feel like you're starting to lose or have already lost your passion for the business, that inner spark that keeps you motivated and able to push through all the challenges that would stop normal people (COVID business restrictions, the rising costs of food and labor, the labor shortage and now high inflation), you need to rediscover your passion. You need it because it's that inner spark, that flame that keeps you going.
Here is a sample list of systems you can put in place in your restaurant, just in the kitchen:
- A waste tracker to increase awareness about dumb mistakes that lead to waste.
- A key item tracker to prevent theft.
- Receiving procedures with a receiving checklist.
- A food and supply ordering system with par levels.
- Purchase orders to track what is ordered and delivered.
- A daily prep system.
This is just a sample of systems and just in the kitchen. You also need systems for labor, front-of-house operations, training, financial, management and operations.
You need a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your restaurant. This means there are no systems that are too big or too small. By systemizing your business, you'll be able to have a trainable financial result. You'll be able to give up scheduling and ordering without giving up your checkbook. You'll be able to give up training and day-to-day operations and feel comfortable things are getting done your way. You'll be able to have managers who know what their job is, how to do it, how well it should be done and by when. You'll be able to hold managers accountable. This frees you up to do what's important for the restaurant owner such as budgeting, marketing, developing your managers, training your managers, holding them accountable, leading your business forward to success and becoming the leader your restaurant needs.
When you have systems in place and managers executing those systems your way, there's still going to be challenges. People can make mistakes, and you can still deal with labor issues and costs of goods sold. But you have a path to make change. And because you have that positive proactive path to change, because there is a system, a process, a way to proactively run your business, you'll be able to keep your passion for the business. You won't be taking so many beatings that just want to give up. It’s easier to keep a positive attitude when things are challenging when things are managed with systems.
Yes, there are challenges, but you can out learn them, outwork them, outspend them and find your way around the challenges so you’re never living with burnout. You’ll have your spark for your restaurant business at your fingertips.
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