Restaurant Managers Are Accountable to Your Culture

If you’re wondering, how do I hold my management team accountable? Let’s instead talk about why holding your restaurant management team accountable is not an option. It's a requirement. To review the pitfalls of not holding managers accountable and then learn the benefits of holding them accountable, watch this video, or continue scrolling to read more.

When you take on the job of putting systems in place in your restaurant, the best reason to do it is to allow you to impose your will without being there. It's freedom from your restaurant.

Examples of systems range from checklists to how to count out a bar drawer to scheduling on budget and ordering on budget, recipe costing cards and shelf-to-sheet inventory.

It takes a lot of work to get these in place, but so often a restaurant owner doesn’t hold their management team accountable. If you’re not holding them accountable, they won’t follow the systems.

Why is that bad? Here are the pitfalls of not holding your managers accountable.

First pitfall is things don’t get done right. Work doesn't get done. You tell your chef you need recipe costing cards developed by the end of the month, you get a nod of confirmation, but then at the end of the month, no recipe costing cards. Why? Because you didn’t check in, encourage, ask for examples. If your recipe cards don’t get done, you can’t measure your food cost properly, you can’t take steps to lower it, and you can’t make any changes on your menu. All of the things that your managers don't do because they don't follow the systems because you don't hold them accountable means you don't get results.

Another pitfall is this affects morale, making employees feel discouraged or without a purpose. When you don’t follow the systems, your managers are left to their own devices. Some managers are jelly fish and their employees walk all over them. Others play favorites and grant leniency to some and not others. Systems don’t allow for that. Either the system is followed and the work is done right, or it isn’t. 

The third pitfall when you don’t hold restaurant managers accountable is an inconsistent experience for your guests, which then leads to those crappy Yelp reviews. When you don't hold management accountable to your restaurant systems for ordering, quality, service levels, etc., it trickles down. Nobody else does their job the way it should be done. Your guests have a crappy experience, and they share that experience out in the world.

The fourth pitfall is you become a prisoner to your business. You feel like you have to be in the restaurant because if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That’s the point of systems! You’re teaching your managers and employees how you want things done. But if you don’t hold them accountable, they don’t do it your way.

The final pitfall is you won't make the money you deserve. Think about it. Why did you put the systems in place for prosperity, freedom for your business and financial freedom? And without the systems, we are winging it and winging it doesn't work. Our profitability is disappearing by the day with COVID-19. We are seeing our sales drop because of our new business restrictions, changing our business models. We're seeing our costs go up, making it extremely difficult to make money. But if you don't follow your systems, you're going to bleed to death. You can no longer operate your business that way. You must put systems in place and hold your management team accountable

Now let’s switch to what you can do to hold your managers accountable. What are some of the things you must put in place in order to change your culture to where the details matter?

Well, it starts with one thing that most restaurant owners never want to do because they don't think they have to. They think it's a big corporate thing. You have to define your core values. Your core values are who you are as a person. They almost never change. For example, if you're a disgustingly honest person, like so honest that you would chase somebody down because they dropped a penny, or when somebody calls you a liar, you get angry, that’s a core value for you. It's visceral. It's who you are as a person. 

You must determine those core values and use them in your business because it teaches your team members what they’re representing. Define what is important to you. Is it only the best quality product? The best service levels? Do you want 100 percent guest satisfaction? You define that excellence to guide your managers and employees decisions for your restaurant. If you run out of steaks, your manager should know, based on core values, if they’re buying Kobe beef or cheap skirt steak at the grocery store.

The next must-do is to get Restaurant 101 right. We're put on this earth to provide an incredible memory, a guest experience, hospitality, and that's hot food hot, cold food cold, a clean, safe work environment for the guest and employees, WOW customer service and an incredible product. Systems ensure the steps of service are followed, that the plate presentation is right, that the portion controls are there, that every time I come in, if I love the dish, my first visit with you, my hundredth visit, it's the same dish, and I love it every time. It should always be clean, no dust bunnies and no dead bugs. Your customers should only notice the guests they’re there with. Get a complete rundown on Restaurant 101 here.

The next must-do items are to define your standards and implement your systems. There is a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your business. So it's as simple as counting out a bar door to $300 the same way every single time or something more advanced like dollars per labor hour worked. Define what those standards are and then create a system for it and implement that system. Teach your managers what their job is, how to do it, how well it should be done and by when.

And last but not least, you ultimately have to hold your managers accountable to those systems. If you don't hold your management team accountable, then all the pitfalls I just covered come into play. You aren't going to make the money you deserve. You're not going to have freedom from your business. You're going to have crappy Yelp reviews. Nothing will get done, your numbers won't align and so on.

The truth is it’s hard. It's the people part of the business that is difficult. The more you define your systems, the more you train managers and employees to the systems so they know what the job is, how to do it, how well it should be done and by when, the easier it is to hold your management team accountable because they know what their job is. Then they make a decision to do their job or not do their job and then be held accountable to the resulting consequences. Either did your job or you didn't.

That's the power of systems. That's why they're so important. If you really want to make change in your business, you have to change your mindset that if you want prosperity, freedom from your business and financial freedom, you must hold your management team accountable. It's not an option. It's a requirement.

For more help with your restaurant managers, sign up for my free webinar, The Secrets to Holding Your Restaurant Managers Accountable."

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