We hear it a lot that great restaurants are built with great teams. As more and more restaurants come into the market, it has become imperative to build a team that can help you reach your goals. Long-term success starts with having a solid plan for team acquisition and development.
Today, it’s not enough to just put up a help wanted ad and then hope for the best. Hope is not a strategy you want to invest in. As competition gets tougher, you will need to become outstanding. That means you must stand out in your market.
Failure to do so will keep you stuck in the middle with the average. The last thing you want to be in a competitive market is average. Being average sucks.
Here are three straightforward ways you can build a better restaurant team.
Be a True Leader That Attracts Talent
Look at the word manager. What is the first part of that word? Manage. A manager just basically manages the day-to-day grind and never really gets ahead on tasks. These are the people who allow the restaurant to run them. They are always busy, but they are not very effective in building a team that can thrive. Managers are usually in survival mode.
Now look at the word leader. What is the first part of that word? Lead. That means exactly what it implies… you need to set the tone and the example. True leaders understand that to be a great leader is to first lead yourself. There are way too many people who call themselves a leader, but live a hypocritical double life.
Being a leader is really about making sure you are at your best. That means taking care of yourself so you can be in the service of others. That means putting in the energy to develop your skills. That means learning and growing in your development so you can teach and train others. Think you are a leader? Then answer these questions:
How many books have you read this month?
How many times have you worked out (gone for a walk or to the gym)?
Did you make your bed this morning?
Wait. Make the bed? What does that have to do with being a leader? Actually, a lot. How you do anything is how you do everything. Making the bed shows commitment to a simple yet profound task. It starts the morning off with a completed task and sets your day up for more success.
Your team is looking for leadership. They crave it. They want it. It is your responsibility as a true leader to step up and deliver for them every day. True leadership is not a part-time job; it's every day.
When you develop yourself into a true leader, an amazing thing will begin to happen at your restaurant… you will start to attract talent. Like attracts like and when you become your best self you will attract better talent to your team.
Now, if you are having an issue finding people to work for you, this might be a good time to hold up a mirror and ask yourself this question: “Are you a leader that is attracting or repelling talent?”
If you are honest then that might upset you. Good. Being upset is the first step to change. If you want to become a true leader than you must first realize where you are now, no matter how bad it might appear. Then make a plan and create a vision to determine how you want to be as a leader. Take action every day to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be.
Give Them Room to Grow
Everyone craves growth. It’s human nature. We are wired to evolve. If you do not provide growth and learning opportunities for your team, they will seek them at another restaurant.
Too many restaurants only offer training when people first start. The typical 3-5 day training system is the average. Average training yields average results. We have to do better as an industry if we want to be attractive to younger generations that crave learning. This is not optional any longer. The restaurant industry must embrace, grow and develop their people if they want to be competitive in the quest to hire and retain.
Some big corporations are known for their “perks”. Restaurants would be wise to adopt this mindset in training and personal growth plans for everyone on their team. That is why The Restaurant Coach™ University is an ideal platform to invest in. Small, easy to digest training courses that will feed your team’s need to learn. Y
You can also share articles you read on the Internet and books you have read as a leader (remember that leaders are readers). You will need to talk with your team and craft a personal development plan that keeps them on track for growth.
Growth is not just about getting a promotion; it’s about growing in skills and growing as a person. Too many people think that if they do not have a higher position to promote someone into, then they do not provide growth. That is an inaccurate mindset that is holding you back from making growth and training plans for your team. It’s just an excuse and excuses keep you trapped in the land of average.
Be Grateful and Thankful
There is nothing as powerful as these two simple words: thank you. It’s true. People want connection and appreciation. At our core, we are social creatures. We come together to live in communities and cities due to this need.
Why do you think we visit restaurants? It’s not just about food and beverage. If that was the case people could easily drink and eat at home. We dine out because we want to be seen. We want to be recognized. We want social connectivity.
Your team wants that too. Your team wants to be appreciated. They want to be recognized for the good. Too many times we focus in on the negative things people do and keep reminding them about them. Honestly, it's easy for humans to look for the negative because we are hardwired for it as a survival mechanism. It’s called negativity bias and it can get the best of a team if we do not look out for it. But when you focus on the dark side of things, that energy can spread quickly among your team.
As a true leader you need to always be monitoring your energy and that of your team. When you see it going towards the dark side, it’s your duty to step in and step up to revitalize that. The first step is to create a culture of appreciation and gratitude. That starts with you. You need to be the example.
Here’s an easy way to start: at the end of every shift, walk up and personally thank everyone on your team. Make a sincere compliment and point out something they did that elevated the experience for the guest or helped the team. If you do this every day and are sincere, you will see a change in the energy of your restaurant. You will also see a change in yourself.
It’s easy to build a better team when you start with a solid foundation. Step away from being just a manager and take a step towards being a true leader. Do you want to know the big difference between a manager and a leader?
A true leader uses these three words everyday: I OWN THIS!
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