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Transcript: Restaurant Management Tips for Independent Success in 2021

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DSP: Hey there, restaurant pros, it's David Scott Peters and welcome to Episode 12 of the Restaurant Prosperity Formula. I've been coaching restaurant owners since 2003 and the Restaurant Prosperity Formula™ is based on what the most successful restaurant owners I've worked with do on a daily basis to achieve their success. The basic premise of the formula centers around achieving prosperity, freedom for your restaurant and the financial freedom you deserve. To achieve prosperity, you have to follow a very specific formula made up of leadership, systems, training, accountability and taking action. Today's topic centers around the key to moving your business forward and working toward transforming your life and business.

This episode will reveal the secret to your success that the so-called experts don't want you to know. It will also reveal how you can springboard the implementation of systems in your restaurant without having to be the one who does the work. Let's get started.

But first, a word from our sponsor.

This episode is being brought to you by The Catering Coach. If you are a restaurant owner, now more than ever, you need catering as a profitable, proven, multiple revenue stream. But right now, who has the time to establish all the checklists, systems, packing lists and proven methods to grow your catering business? And who are your catering customers when there are very few catering events? You need The Catering Coach, Sandy Korem, The Catering Coach, and her team will show you the path to immediate catering profits by taking out all the guesswork of what works right now in this ever-changing world. Catering is not what it was last year, but catering is still profits, profits, profits. Learn the systems, learn the checklists, learn the out of the box methods that successful restaurateurs are using right now to be catering profitable. Just visit

Happy New Year if you've tuned in to this podcast as it's released. Isn't it a good feeling to have 2020 in our rearview mirror? What a shit show that was for many of us in the restaurant industry. Now, what I teach my coaching members is you can't change the past. So, this episode, I want to focus on the future, 2021 and beyond. To do that, we do need to first talk about the state of our industry. In 2020, when the pandemic first hit, the restaurant industry was on pace to have a banner year. Sales were soaring for almost every restaurant operator in the U.S. Yes, it also brought on rising minimum wage across the country with 15-dollar minimum wage, starting with much of the West and East Coast states. Then in late March came the business restrictions and for some total shutdown. I believe that after the first two weeks, 25 percent of all independent restaurants shut their doors because they only had two weeks of cash flow in the bank. Then months in industry publications talked about 30 percent of restaurants closed their doors, most forever. During the shutdown food prices soared. When the second major wave of covid made a push across the country and restaurants were being constricted once again, it's my feeling that 40 percent of restaurants were going to be closed by the end of 2020. Now, initially, the U.S. government tried to help, even though we never really knew the rules until it was too late. They did provide many with EIDL money and PPP funds. Then at the 11th hour, they came up with more PPP money at the end of December. While none of these programs are perfect, everything helps. So, I hope you get your name into your bank and get the new PPP funds for your restaurant as fast as you can. The three months of PPP funds buys us more time as many restaurants are already on life support.

Now, for the positive part of the message. Over the last several months I've shared with you in my podcast, interviews with members I work with that made incredibly positive change in their restaurants due to and during the pandemic. If you haven't listened to these stories, you really need to. Their stories are real and inspiring. And there's no better time to get motivated than now to change how your restaurant operates, to get yourself back on track to transforming your life and your business, to give you back your personal time and provide you and your family financially. To do this, yes, you have to implement systems in your restaurant. But what most experts don't tell you is that systems aren't a magic pill. They take work. And I know with almost 20 years of coaching independent restaurant owners under my belt, you will not do the work. Now, before you get upset with me, let me explain what I mean by that. Look, restaurant owners, I call them ADD restaurant owners. They love to focus on change. They love to focus on what's new: marketing, growing locations, meeting with the guests, creating a great experience. What they're not really good at is what I need my general manager to do, is to get my management team to give my guests the same experience every single day, that we follow checklists, that the portions are the same every single time, the lighting's the same every single time, the cleanliness, like every service step is followed because that's how we win the game by giving our guests the same experience every single time. So, for many restaurant owners, that's like, you know, they'd rather stab themselves in the eye with a pencil than sit there and do the same job every single day. So, there's a very big difference between owners and our management team. Now, your job as an owner is really to provide leadership for the team. Right? Keep everybody moving forward. To work on your financials, that's your budgets, your P&L's, looking at your budget variance reports. All the financial tools we put in place, the systems. That which we measure improves. That's your job. Marketing is your job to grow the company, to develop your team. That's your job as an owner. So, when I say you're not going to do the work, you're not really built for it in the first place.

So, here's the secret nobody wants you to know. You must have an implementer. Now I learned this a long time ago. It was probably about two three years into my coaching practice when I finally had one of my best members. I'm like, "Sandy, you need an implementer." I'll admit this woman is so high energy. She was just a real incredible leader, got shit done like there was nobody else. But there's only so many hours in a day she couldn't get it all done. She tried to do everything herself. I said, "Sandy, you need an implementer." I used to call it, I called it the damn implementor. Well, she got her implementor and things changed. And as I learned in my coaching practice, year after year after year, we needed to truly make sure that I understood I can't get you to do the work. I can get you understand the work. I can get you to understand why it needs to be implemented. I, I can make sure that you make sure it's getting done. But you need an implementer to truly get the process going to do the work. So, who is that implementer? Well, it's somebody who gets shit done. It's a right-hand person. You can count on that when you learn a system, will actually learn it with you and then put it in place for you, will teach the other managers, will help you hold the other managers accountable. It's someone who helps you get shit done, because as I always say, shit happens, I change it to restaurant happens. There's always something that pulls our attention away. So, we need somebody focused on keeping our processes moving forward. Now, why is an implementer so important? Because you won't do the damn work. You will find every other reason to do something else, like grow your company, work on sales, develop your management team. That it's very difficult for you to focus. Maybe you're not the most organized person in the world. Maybe you're not the one who loves do the same thing every single day. So that Implementor truly helps. So, you need an implementer because they get the process moving and they take it off your shoulders.

Now if you don't work on your business and really not in it, you need to find an implementer. Now, while I teach a step-by-step method of really finding your implementor, I teach this to my Restaurant Transformation Intensive membership program. There is a piece of selecting that person that is based on your gut feelings. So, I'm not going to go through the step by step on how I would pick that implementor. What I want you to do is I'm going to shortcut this and kind of use your gut. I'm going to share with you that on a personal level for me, though, that if I were to summarize it in just a feeling side of things, I feel you're looking for somebody who has your back and dammit will go get it. Right. Think about that. Well, on a group coaching call last month, the question from a new member was, how did the people on the call, how did they choose their implementor? How do they choose who that was? While I wish I could share literally the whole conversation with you, the recording. It was really amazing. I do want to share with you some of the highlights, let me give you some insight into the process and what you can do.

Let me first tell you about Gina. Well, Gina, has a family business been around a long, long time. She I believe is second generation and taking over the business. I said, right, like everything we make, you get an implementer in our program. Well, she chose Emily and I asked, "Why did you choose Emily?" She said she was "Looking for somebody who took direction well. She wanted to make sure that whoever she got had respect from the rest of the team. Somebody who's a complete go getter and one of the reasons why she picked her was not only did she check off all those boxes, but she said she chases me with ideas all the time. She's a real proactive thinker." Then I talked to Mike who has two restaurants. And he chose his implementor as Kristie. I said, "Mike, why did you choose Kristie? Well, he kind of said he was very, very quick about it, he says, "Look, she was already kind of the implementer. She was already somebody who did the hard work, got shit done, but she was trustworthy." And here's my favorite. "She's a real badass." I mean, true story. That was the description already kind of the implementor, trustworthy and a real bad ass. So, do you have a bad ass on your team? Like that was a great sum up, right of what you're looking for now. I asked Brian, "Why did you pick Hannah as your implementor?" Right. And he said, "Well, first of all, she definitely earned it." So, through example, by working hard, doing all the things that expected over the years, she had already kind of earned being that person. Right. It was quick for him to identify. Now, he talked about she comes to him with great ideas, had the respect of her peers, more importantly, she had his respect and last but not least, she communicated well with the staff, which is something that as a generational thing, he has a little bit of a challenge. Now, talk to Aaron and said, hey, Darren not. "Aaron why did you choose your implementor, Katie?" Well, he said "She's always been great." Like to have that person in your mind who is just always great. He said "She was a real go getter. She kicks ass on everything that she's been given and she's more than capable." Like, again, notice a theme on these people. Now, Patrick, I asked him as a family business, and "Why did you choose Kat as your implementer?" We'll he started off with "She's extremely organized, which is the opposite of him." It's like that was truly a skill set he needed. But he said, "She was great with communicating with the staff." Even though he was only five to eight years older than most of the most of the kids working in his this place. He felt there was a little bit of a generational issue with him communicating. And the bottom line, he said, "She's great at whatever she does." I believe the quote was "she's awesome." Last but not least I asked Stacy. Now, I'm not giving you every member on the call, but these were things that stuck out to me. I said, "Hey, Stacy, why did you choose your implementor?" Another family business, been around like 73 years. Well, she said "She felt like Sonya was a part of the family. She'd already been in the restaurant for 20 years." Not all of us have been open that long, let alone have an employee, a key employee who's been around for 20 years. She again said, "She was a go getter, always wanting to improve herself. She worked well with the family and the culture." Which, as you know, in family business, sometimes when you're not a part of the family, understanding how to kind of make your way through and navigate through the churning waters is not always easy for people. But she was good at that. She buys into the systems and she said, more importantly, "She has the same goals in mind when she moves forward, when she does the things, I want her to do." Now, can you picture in your mind somebody on your team who possesses these qualities? Now, I don't care about their age, their gender, none of that, I don't care if they're currently on your management team, they just need to be in your four walls. Someone who knows your business, fits your culture and wants to do more.

Look, if you want to make 2021 and beyond the best years of your restaurant, you need to implement systems. To implement systems, you must start off with an implementer by your side. To recap, this is someone who has your back, a real go getter, communicates well with the team, has the team and your respect, full of ideas, organized; someone who gets shit done. On a side note, if you need help with systems and or need help in developing your implementor, make your way to my Website,, and book a Discovery Call with me, because this is exactly what I know you need to be successful.

Hey, that was an awesome episode. I want to thank you for taking the time to take action on building a better, more prosperous restaurant. Before you go, I want to give you these three thoughts. One, by combining leadership and taking action with systems and training being checked by accountability, you are on your way to creating prosperity for you and your restaurant. Two, I have something I need from you. Please leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you happen to listen to podcasts. By leaving us a review other restaurant pros seeking out this information are able to find it. I read the reviews and hearing how this information has benefited you does wonders for me. And three, if you find any of the discussions helpful, share them. The more restaurant pros who have access to them, the better we become as an industry. For more restaurant resources or to get in contact with me, connect with me at Be passionate about what you're doing, be persistent, but more importantly, become better and help everyone around you become better and your restaurant is going to kick some ass.

If you're tired of not being able to leave your restaurant because no one else knows how to run it, I want to make sure you know it doesn't have to be that way. You can leave your restaurant. It is possible to build a team of people who know how you want the restaurant to run. With these trained and responsible people in place, you can give yourself time away. What would you do if you had time away from your restaurant? Would you sleep better? Would your relationships improve? Would you feel more relaxed? These are all things you deserve to experience as a business owner. It's why we own our own businesses. If you would like to learn how to own a restaurant that doesn't depend on you to be successful, click the link in the description to watch a free training course that teaches you exactly what you have to do. Also, be sure to subscribe to get my weekly tips and watch these two videos to get more information and guidance for running a successful restaurant.