Restaurant Solutions for a Foundation of Great Guest Service with Darren Denington

To achieve restaurant prosperity, you have to follow a very specific formula made up of leadership systems, training, accountability and taking action. Today I’m excited to talk to a good friend of mine and fellow restaurant systems supporter.

Now, I want you to tune in to this episode of the podcast so you can hear from Darren Denington. He has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has an extensive background as a food and beverage director, executive chef, general manager, restaurant owner, staff trainer, restaurant coach and consultant. He holds the most prestigious certification available for a hospitality professional being a certified food and beverage executive. 

Darren is the founder of Service With Style Hospitality Group, a hospitality firm offering secret shopping, restaurant coaching and team training services.

This discussion is helpful for restaurant owners because we really get down into the nitty gritty of restaurant systems and what we really mean by restaurant systems.

When it comes to restaurant owners looking for restaurant solutions or restaurant systems, there is a bit of confusion. The restaurant systems Darren and I both teach are not the same as a piece of hardware like a POS system. A POS System is the number one most important piece of equipment you'll ever buy in a restaurant. Its data is critical to your business. And it plays into the systems I teach. But what I really mean when I say restaurant systems is there is a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your restaurant. This is as basic as counting out a bar drawer to $300 the same way every single time to advanced things like dollars per labor hour worked.

Darren’s specific area of specialty when it comes to restaurant systems is for employees and for service levels.

Definitely tune in to hear:

  • Darren tell one of my favorite stories about how he systemized everything in his restaurants, right down to light bulbs.
  • Why restaurant owners don’t have to be superheroes and why delegating is key to restaurant success and restaurant prosperity.
  • The three foundational building blocks you must get right to be a successful restaurant (leadership, systems and staff).
  • How checklists help restaurant owners delegate and trust the work is done how they like it done.
  • How to use a responsibilities list to increase accountability and decrease miscommunication.
  • The importance of training employees the right way and the benefits to the restaurant owner who does that.
  • Why Darren offers restaurants and other hospitality businesses a secret shopper service and the benefits of using a secret shopper.
  • How and why to spend time on service as a focused topic with managers, in meetings and in training.
  • Why, when you're pivoting due to COVID-19 and opening up new revenue centers and trying to keep your business alive, the guest experience is still critical.

Combining leadership and taking action with systems and training – then holding people accountable – puts your restaurant on the way to creating prosperity for you and your restaurant.

Darren would like to offer listeners to this interview a special offer. Visit to schedule a demo with Service With Style and get the new “10 Steps to Great Service” manual.

If you want to know how systems can help you, complete a free restaurant evaluation. It's a great way to identify immediate opportunities where you can make things better in your restaurant. Take 15 minutes and download your 25-page custom report and it will show you every gap and what you need to do to make the money you deserve.


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