Restaurant Success: Expectation vs Reality
Before you opened your restaurant, you had a romantic idea of what life would look like and then you actually opened it. Unfortunately, for most restaurant owners, the expectations don't equal their reality. But it can! Let’s talk about restaurant success: expectations versus reality.
You had a dream to open your own restaurant. You were so excited every step of the way you had to pinch yourself that this dream was becoming a reality. Even when there were roadblocks that delayed your opening or even stressed your original budget because that stuff is inevitable.
Then when you open up you have happy guests, great reviews and hardworking employees. It seems like all your dreams are true.
But after a few months of working seven days a week, about 80 hours a week, balls start dropping here and there, causing your sales to drop. Employee issues started stacking up and you became tired of the nonsense. Your bank account became a cash flow nightmare, and you found yourself further in debt.
This story is played out over and over and over again in the restaurant business. This doesn't mean you don't have a successful restaurant. It just means the restaurant has taken over your life instead of giving you the freedom you thought entrepreneurship would give you.
The good news is you can still make your dream of a successful restaurant a reality. How? By following my restaurant prosperity formula. This is something I developed over my first 18 years of coaching a group of restaurant owners.
In this mastermind group we met on a quarterly basis. I watched them change their lives from not profitable to killing it, to vacations and second homes and cars and time with their family and prosperity. See, restaurant prosperity equals freedom for your restaurant and the financial freedom you deserve. The formula consists of leadership systems, training, accountability and taking action. Let's break it down for you.
Prosperity: A thriving, profitable restaurant that gives you the freedom to leave with a management team that knows their job, how to do it, how well it needs to be done, and by when. See, the key is having that management team to give you the freedom that is critical in this process. You're only as successful as your managers are strong. So to have that prosperity, it starts with leadership. And a restaurant leader makes decisions based on the systems and the numbers and leads their team with strong communication skills.
Systems: You need a way of doing everything that needs to be done to run a successful restaurant, no matter how small or large, which allows a restaurant owner, or even a manager, to impose their will without being there. See, with your system, your process, your way, you can train people what the job is, how to do it, how well it should be done, and more importantly, by when. Once they can demonstrate they've got it, you have freedom to leave your business because the systems allow you to impose your will. With systems people are doing it your way when you're there, but especially when you're not.
Training: When you use you systems, training is extremely important. The ongoing information gathering, the education and instruction of your restaurant managers and team members towards constant restaurant operation on financial improvements is critical.
It starts with you learning, understanding. You don't know what you don't know, learning it, but if you know it, you're still a prisoner of your business. You need to share it with your management team who share it with the employees at their level of responsibility. You always have to be learning and training your team to become better. That's how we have better restaurant operations and better financials.
Accountability: You can have all the systems in the world. You could have the greatest training in the world. If you don't hold people accountable, you have nothing. And that's where accountability comes in. The acknowledgment of your responsibilities, decisions and actions, and how you're answerable for the resulting consequences. Do you understand that? You get to know what your job is, you decide to do your job and you're answerable for the resulting consequences. What's beautiful about this is when you teach your system, your process, your way, and they demonstrate they've got it, when you hold someone accountable, it's really you holding them answerable.
Once they've executed on their own, week after week after week, when and if they don't do something, you’re calling them out. There is no conflict because you were so clear and you spent the right amount of time to ensure they could do things on their own. That brings you the success.
Take action: Ultimately the magic in all of this is taking action. See, taking action means to take responsibility for one's success by consciously performing acts that move you towards your goals of running a profitable restaurant and getting your life back. You consciously have to make a decision to execute on this plan. It doesn't matter what kind of leader you are, what systems you have in place, training and accountability, if you don't take action on all of those, that takes a conscious decision on your part.
As the restaurant owner, that's the tough part about this, is who holds you accountable. That's where things like my coaching program, seminars, workshops, friends, family, confidants are important in your life to help hold you accountable.
How can get your hands on this proven formula for restaurant success and make your restaurant expectations a reality? Pick up a copy of my book.
If you would like to learn how you can add 13% to your bottom line and get 2 days off per week from your restaurant – guaranteed – click to watch a video training I put together for restaurant owners: https://dsp.coach/3-Principles.
Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.