What a Restaurant Coach Should Do

restaurant coach
What a Restaurant Coach Should Do

What is a restaurant coach and what should you expect from a coach? Why do you need a coach in the first place? Back in 2003, when I first started coaching independent restaurant owners, I viewed myself as a sort of corporate officer for independents, much like how franchisees have a corporate office. I was a hub for independent operators, teaching them systems and providing support. But as much as I taught them the ins and outs of running a restaurant, there were so many who couldn’t get it all to work. That’s when I became a coach. Watch this video or keep scrolling to read what I changed and how it benefited the restaurant owners I coached.

When I first started coaching, what I didn't consider was the individual behind each independent restaurant. Sure, I could teach them the systems to follow. I could teach them the formula for calculating food cost and labor cost. But there were still so many independent owners who couldn't get their systems to work, and I couldn't figure it out. Then I started noticing incredible success with my first mastermind group.

I had a group of 22 restaurant operators who started with the same challenges and struggles every restaurant operator has. We got together on a quarterly basis for a two-day meeting where we focused on their challenges. We followed up with monthly coaching calls. We focused on them. See, I was coaching them on their individual problems, and they were developing stronger business and management skills. One day the light bulb went off:

  • I needed to coach my members on leadership
  • I needed to coach them how to communicate their expectations
  • I needed to show them that their team members could be trusted
  • I needed to show them how to get out of their own way

You see, in a chain restaurant, if a manager doesn't follow a system, if they can't follow the systems or get you the results you want, you just replace them. There's a district manager saying, this is what I need you to do, put that number in there. And that manager doesn't have to understand the numbers. They don't have to implement anything. They have somebody above them that interprets and holds them accountable.

This doesn’t work in an independent restaurant. You can't replace you. You can't clone you.

When I figured this out, and I increased my attention on coaching my members, not just teaching the systems, their success skyrocketed. Their results with systems went through the roof because:

  • They got out of their own way
  • They learned how to communicate
  • They learned how to set up their expectations
  • They learned to let go without giving up control and ultimately how to trust their managers

This means a restaurant coach is someone who teaches you how to:

  • Communicate with your team
  • Set expectations
  • Use systems to impose your will without being there
  • Let go without giving up control
  • Trust but verify things are getting done your way

A coach is not your savior. While a coach should be nurturing and supportive, they should also be willing to be hard on you, expect more from you and help you make changes in your life and restaurant, not actually do the work for you.

The most successful athletes have a coach. Some of the most successful Fortune 500 CEOs have a coach. While many of these elite performers know what they need to do, a coach helps them achieve success faster by keeping them on course, pushing them to hold themselves accountable and to continue learning. They give you that push to be successful faster.

If you're tired of doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result – the definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein – you need to find a coach that ticks off the right checkboxes for you. If you're ready to make change in your business, if you want to get there faster and you want somebody to hold you accountable to that path, then you need a coach.

When selecting a coach, look for someone that fits your personality, someone who ticks off all those checkboxes and doesn’t just do the work for you. Ultimately, if they do the work for you, you’re not building buy-in on the team. Nobody understands, and you don't change your company culture and it's gone when the coach or consultant is gone.

A coach teaches you the systems and the skillsets to become the leader that your restaurant needs. You want to push yourself, push your business and get to where you have restaurant prosperity and freedom. As a restaurant coach, that's exactly what I help you do.

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. 

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