Restaurant Management Systems for Independents Explained

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Restaurant Management Systems for Independents Explained

As a restaurant expert and restaurant systems pusher, I want to take a minute to explain why restaurant management systems for independent restaurants are so important. In this video I’ll explain what systems are, why they’re so important and how they affect your life as a restaurant.

First, what is life like without systems? You have to be in the restaurant all the time because:

  • You are the superhero, the only one who can order or schedule.
  • You're the only one who can make sure the restaurant runs properly.
  • You're the only one who knows where the plunger is.
  • You serve your guests, you order food and you close properly and the money makes it to the bank.
  • Your managers are great babysitters, but not super reliable for making sure everything is getting done.

Life without systems means you miss your financial goals, if you even have any. You might take a quick look at a profit and loss statement, but you aren’t able to take any action on it because you’re too busy running the business. There is no proactive planning and no targets to shoot for. If you have them, they are probably national averages, which aren't right for your specific restaurant because you aren’t average.

Now, let’s talk about systems. What are systems? To start, for everything in your restaurant there's a way to doing it right. It’s a process to follow every single time every task is done in the restaurant. It’s done the same way and that’s the way you want it done – your way.

Whether it's counting out of a bar drawer every single time, the same way, or it's something as advanced as dollars per labor hour worked, you have a system, a process, your way.

These systems are key in training. When you train a new employee or someone who has been promoted, you teach them the only way to do things and that’s following your systems, the step-by-step method for every job in the restaurant.

This is huge because it means that when an employee leaves, you don't lose all that knowledge. Instead, the systems are documented and taught to replacements. You don’t have to worry about firing a manager and losing their knowledge.

The biggest advantage to restaurant management systems is they allow you to impose your will without being there because everyone is trained according to the same systems and managers are in place to make sure everything is done. It’s as simple as following a set of checklists, which are the start to building restaurant management systems in your restaurant.

Systems allow you to hold your management team accountable because you train them what their job is, how to do it, how well it should be done and more importantly, by when it should be done. You take accountability from a negative to a positive. When you’ve trained an employee or manager exactly what their job is, how to do it, how well it should be done, and by when, and they demonstrate they can do it, that means they know what their job is. And every employee decides every day whether to do their job. If they don’t, the consequences are clear because the systems dictate how well a job has been done or if it’s been done at all.

When you put systems in place, you're giving your managers and employees a clear expectation about what you want done, how well and by when. Either it’s done to your standards or not. If not, consequences follow.

With restaurant management systems in place, owners are going to be able to work on their business instead of doing the tasks, like flipping the burgers. You can work on budgets, marketing, developing your team, holding them accountable, leading your business forward.

Life with systems means you have freedom to come and go as you please. Actually, go see your kid's sporting event. Go on a date with your significant other. Take time away to go fishing, bowling, you name it. Whatever makes you happy. Having systems in place means higher profits and stronger cash flow. Instead of worrying about where your next dollar is coming from and whether you’re going to be able to pay your bills, you can see your bank account rise because you have a plan for success.

Finally, you get to experience what you've always wanted, and that's joy in your restaurant and passion for the business.

For great hospitality, yes, you must be persistent because there are challenges all the time, but your mindset changes from a fixed to a growth mindset. You now look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn something you can overcome, and your restaurant becomes easier to run every single day, giving you the life you always imagined and the financial future you always imagined.

Whether you're new to my channel or you've been following me for two decades, I want to remind you this is exactly what my coaching program is about.

If you would like to learn how to own a restaurant that doesn't depend on you being in it to be successful, watch this free video course that teaches you three key principles to running a successful restaurant. If you're ready right now to make some serious changes in your restaurant, you can also book a 60-minute call with me where we talk about your challenges and figure out exactly what is holding you back from having a restaurant that doesn’t depend on you being in it to be successful. 

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

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