Recapture Your Time: 3 Tips for Restaurant Owners

job of a restaurant owner restaurant owner
Recapture Your Time: 3 Tips for Restaurant Owners

Are you a restaurant owner in search of how you can get your time back? Are you looking for time to spend working on your business rather than in it? Looking for time to spend with your family or doing something you love other than run your restaurant? Well, then you're in the right place. I'm going to show you how to recapture your time with these three simple tips.

As a restaurant owner, you're pulled in a million directions. You're a procurement officer, purchasing product, food, booze, equipment, small wares and glassware, you name it. You're also a marketing person, figuring out how to get butts in seats You're a compliance officer for the government, from human resources to any of the major laws from ADA to sexual harassment. You are an HR person, hiring, firing, developing training systems and so on. You do all of this and more at the same time. If you try and do all these things yourself, you're never going to get your head above water, and you're never going to make time your own.

This can make your business sometimes feel like a prison. You only have so much time and the restaurant can suck all of it away from you. You’re probably missing out on a lot of life's events, and you can't get them back. You can't see your kid's first birthday again. It happens once. You can't go back and see the state championship your daughter was in volleyball. You can't go backwards and go back and see the 80th birthday party for your grandmother. You can't get back that time. You have one shot to do it.

This makes it more important today than ever, if you want to have a life outside of your business, to find a way to get that time back. Not the time in the past that's already gone, but the time that's about to be stolen from you if you keep doing what you've always been doing. You know the definition of insanity as Albert Einstein explains it is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. How is it working for you?

If there's one major aspect that I focus on in my group coaching program it’s time. It's less about profitability with me and more about your time. Because, by the way, if you have time, you have a management team doing what you need done without you being there. You are making money. So how does a restaurant owner recapture their time?

Let me give you three tips to help you start getting your time back.

No. 1: Do less and lead more. If your restaurant’s daily operation is dependent on you being in it, then you’re filling the wrong role as an owner. You’re showing up as a doer instead of a leader. Burning the candle at both ends is not the secret to a successful restaurant. The secret to running a successful restaurant is for the restaurant owner to lead the team to success. All you’re doing is burning yourself out and driving out your best employees. If you are tired of being a prisoner to your business and not making the money you deserve, you have to start leading your employees instead of doing their jobs for them.

No. 2: Learn to delegate and trust your team: The truth is that by trying to do everything yourself, you’re actually costing yourself a lot of money. What is it costing you to do it all and not trust and not delegate? You’re leaving money on the table each year, you likely have a high turnover rate, you aren’t growing, and it’s costing you in quality of life for yourself. To have freedom from your restaurant - whether it’s financial, physical or mental - you have to have people who do the work. And to have people who do the work, you have to stop doing it for them

No. 3: Let the systems lead you: Here is what I know that not everyone wants to admit. You don’t actually have to be a natural leader to be a great leader. But you do need to become a leader to accomplish those things AND be profitable without burning yourself out. So what are the not-naturally-leadership-oriented people to do? How do you become a great leader so you can give your customers what they want and get what you want in return? SYSTEMS! When you document whatever task needs to get done, you suddenly become in control of everything down to the smallest detail without having to lift a finger to do it yourself.

This is a people business. The systems part is easy; the people part is the challenge. And that's what's going to separate you from every other restaurant. That's what's going to separate you from being a good operator to being an excellent operator. Break your old habits. Change your mindset. You have to take action and change. It's one thing to recognize you need to change, but you actually have to do something. You have to get uncomfortable, put yourself out of your comfort zone and do something different. You have to commit to the whole process because this is not going to happen overnight.

There is no such thing as a quick fix. We're talking about six months to a year to get yourself in a position where you don't have to be in your business every single day, where I could guarantee you at least two days off in a row every week.

I have some members who go in two, three times a week just to have manager meetings and ensure things are getting done their way. They don't have to be in their business at any given time. And they all started where you are, working the pizza oven, working the front to seat guests, rocking a knife, doing everything themselves. This is exactly what I help restaurant owners do on a daily basis in my group coaching programs.

If you want a guaranteed way to recapture your time, to get your life back, to have two days off or more in your business every week and change your role to being the leader your restaurant needs, then follow these three principles.

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

If you’re ready to finally get the relief you need so you can stop living in your restaurant and finally have the life you’ve been working for—
let’s get started.

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