Master the Art of Delegation to Gain True Freedom

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Master the Art of Delegation to Gain True Freedom

Are you a restaurant owner who dreams of gaining freedom for your business? Do you find yourself frustrated because it feels like you're the only one who knows how to do everyone's job? Well, my friend, you're not alone. I'm here to tell you that there is a way out of this never-ending cycle. Let’s talk about how to master the art of delegation and gain true freedom.

Picture this: A restaurant where everyone knows their role, where tasks are executed flawlessly and where you as the owner can focus on the bigger picture. It's not just a dream; it can become your reality.  

First, let's talk about why delegation is so important. Delegation brings a multitude of benefits to your restaurant. It brings you increased efficiency, reduced stress, and fosters better teamwork. Trust me, I've been there. I know how overwhelming it can be when you find you're the only one who can do the job, and you're all on your own. Delegating tasks allows you to free up time and energy to focus on strategic aspects of your business. Delegation is a pathway to growth and success.

What to delegate

Identify the key areas where you can delegate tasks:

  • What are the tasks that chew up your time?
  • What are the tasks you wish you didn't have to do on a daily basis?
  • What are the tasks you wish you weren't the only person who knew how to do them?

In the kitchen you could assign specific roles to your line cooks, prep cooks and dishwashers. Let them take ownership and excel in their respective areas. This could easily be things like taking inventories for food, small wares and glassware. They could take ownership in maintaining a clean and organized kitchen and walk-in. They could follow checklists to do any task.

In the front of house, you can do the same thing. Front-house responsibilities can be delegated to empower your hosts, servers and bartenders to handle their tasks effectively. These could easily be things like managing the restaurant to ensure there are no lights out and everything is in its place. Train employees to be empowered to take care of small guest complaints on their own and maybe even input information into your restaurant management software. They can follow checklists for any area of the restaurant.

Don't forget about administrative tasks, the things you really want to get off your plate so you can focus on the business. Delegate bookkeeping or outsource it. Marketing and human resources can be outsourced. You don't have to be the one to do it all. You don't have to be alone. 

Create a list of tasks that you don't like to do and think about what you're good at. Think about what needs to drop off your to-do list for you to focus on the important things like working on budgets, growing your business, developing managers, holding them accountable and working strategically on your business.

How to delegate

Once you identify these tasks, here are some effective ways to delegate.

Communicate your expectations. Explain what the job is, how to do it how well and when you wanted it done. Provide detailed instructions. For example, don’t just tell someone to take inventory. Outline the 8 million steps that go into it, down to the literal step-by-step process.

Invest time in training your staff. You have to train them what their job is, how to do it how well and when you want it done. Take the time to demonstrate the right way to do it. Then you can empower your team members to make decisions within their roles. When your team feels confident knowledgeable, amazing things happen.

Create accountability by implementing systems. Remember, there's a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your business. You can use systems to track activity and progress because you know what's supposed to be done, how well is supposed to be done and by when. Then you can provide constructive feedback. It's important to recognize and reward your team for their efforts, whether they've done a fantastic job or knocked it out of the park or they're really putting an effort in their learning.

Build a strong team. This is crucial for effective delegation because you can't do this alone. Start with hiring the right people. That's a lot easier than it sounds, I know. To help make it easier, start by defining what your ideal team member looks like. Create a profile from personality to what they're good at, breaking it down by role. Use these standards when recruiting and hiring new team members. Do they fit into the ideal candidate character? Do they fit with your company culture? There are services that will help you develop the characteristics of the ideal candidate as well.

Foster positive work culture where open communication and collaboration are encouraged. Create an environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to contribute to do their best. Promote professional growth within your team. Not everybody wants to grow but for those who do, opportunities can be motivating factors. Offer opportunities for training, mentorship and advancement. When your staff sees a clear path to growth, they're more likely to invest in their roles.

Delegation may come with its own set of challenges.

As a restaurant owner, it can be difficult to trust and let go. Letting others handle tasks that you did for so long or in the style you valued can be tough. But delegation is about empowering your team and allowing them to shine. If they can do things 85% as well as you, you've hit a home run.

You're never going to be fully giving it up, but it's so much easier to just make sure they're on task and fix little things than have to do those things over and over and over again and be a prisoner to your business.

It's also important to let go of perfectionism. We're not going for perfect. I can tell you that was one of the toughest lessons I ever learned because I was very stuck on everything had to be perfect but aiming or expecting perfect makes paralysis. Understand there are other ways than the way you do something to get things done.

It's your job to make sure they don't hit a wall. Imagine you put somebody down a path and you know that it's a straight line from point A to point B. If they veer off to the left or the right, as long as they get to the final destination, who cares that they went a different direction. Mistakes are a part of the learning process. It’s your job to guide, train and support your team. Embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. Support your staff through their learning curve and provide guidance when needed. With time and practice delegation becomes more effective and more efficient.

Let's talk about implementing and refining your delegation strategies:

  • Start small and delegate low-risk tasks initially and gradually increase the level of responsibility.
  • Once they master a task, move them up. This allows you to build trust with your team while gaining confidence in their abilities.
  • Continuously evaluate and adjust your delegation strategies.
  • Monitor the progress of your delegated tasks.
  • Provide feedback and make necessary adjustments along the way. Delegation is a dynamic process that requires ongoing refinement.
  • Be patient. Delegation takes time and practice. It's a skill that you and your team will develop over time.
  • Embrace the journey and celebrate the milestones along the way.

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

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