Embrace The Suck Blog

Using Science to Get a Better Restaurant

My girlfriend is a badass scientist (I mean a real badass). What lights her up is when she is talking about her passion. If you listen to passionate people talk about what they love, it’s contagious and inspiring. Great conversations get that one pound piece of grey matter sitting on top of your head fired up with ideas. Then it hit me: Newton! No, not fig newtons you food freak, Newton the scientist.

Way back in 1686, Sir Isaac Newton developed three laws of motion. The first law is often referred to as the Law of Inertia. The law states that every object will remain at rest or continue in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.

In other words, things stay the way they are unless something comes along to disrupt them. This law has the power to make us or break us. And it is at work in your restaurant (and life) all day, every day whether you are conscious of it or not.

When we kick a ball down the field, it heads in a specific...

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Reignite the Fire Inside You

leadership mindset Feb 07, 2019
We have all had times when we question ourselves. Especially if you work in the restaurant industry. Some call it burnout. Some call it a sign to get out. Actually, it’s more like you have been disconnected with your driving force that sustains you. That force is still there, it’s just taking a nap. 

This rant is not to talk you out of being in the restaurant business. What we’re going to talk about is why you love this business so much and how to awaken that fire deep down inside. 
 


Quitting is easy. It’s easy to say, “I’m just not right for the industry.” That’s the coward’s way out. Chances are if you are reading this, you truly love the chaos and intensity of this roller coaster business and now you just have to realize why once again. 

You Are Fueled by People

We are drawn to the restaurant industry because we get energy around other people. You probably have this magnetic...
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Your Restaurant is NOT Special

Let me share with you what I know for a fact from working with restaurants around the globe. Business problems are people problems no matter where you are in the world! On a recent trip to Bogota, Colombia where I was speaking at a conference called Expo La Barra, I had the great opportunity to meet with three different restaurant owners.

The outcomes of each one of these restaurants can be seen in restaurants everywhere. Human behavior is pretty predictable. All humans have the same range of emotions (happiness, sadness, pleasure, pain, confidence, fear, etc.). It’s those emotions that dictate how people run their business.

Let’s call this A Tale of Three Restaurants

Restaurant One - The Local Legend

This is a family owned restaurant that has been in business over 40 years. They have multiple concepts and are well known in the market. Lately their upscale Asian Sushi concept that marries together the flavors of Japan and Colombia is suffering from declining sales.

...

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12 Bullshit Lies You Tell Yourself That Hold Your Restaurant Hostage ‚Äč

I’m sure that catchy title got your attention! You might be saying to yourself right now:
 
Bullshit lies? Who me?
 
Yes, you!
 
Now don’t take it too personally because we all lie to ourselves from time to time. Yes, even I’ve done it too so welcome to the club! When you admit it and don’t let it control you, you can finally do something about it and that’s exactly why you and I are here! I’m not going to give you a pass on your bullshit, I’m here to help you deal with your bullshit. What’s amazing is that in only one paragraph I have been able to say the word bullshit now 5 times (including the title)! Boom!
 
Hold onto something because this is going to get a little rough.
 
You and I are similar in the sense that we have been telling ourselves lies for years. I know I did and if you’re honest with yourself, you know you have as well. The first thing to do is to admit it. The second thing to do is...
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5 Mental Roadblocks Stopping You From Getting the Restaurant You Want

Step into the office and have a seat on the couch. Let’s talk about what is going on in your restaurant. Actually, let’s talk about what’s going on within your own mind.

The precipice of all business problems (at their foundation) are people problems. Those people problems are generally self inflicted from the perceptions we carry around. We can at times be our own worst enemy.

Don’t feel bad about this. You’re human and part of that is understanding all the flaws that make us human. Every New Year we make a long list of “resolutions” that we vow “this year” we are going to do! Then by the end of January we’ve fallen back into old routines and excuses why we couldn’t make it happen. If you want to stop that madness, then pay attention to the following 5 psychological principles that get in your way from getting the restaurant and life you truly desire.

1. The Habit Loop

Problem: You are a product of your habits. Most...

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Become a Better Leader By Being the Real You

culture leadership mindset Nov 23, 2018

Bruce Wayne has Batman. Clark Kent has Superman. Bruce Banner has The Hulk. Kobe Bryant has the Black Mamba. How about you? Do you have an alter ego you can channel to elevate your leadership to the elite level?

You should. 

To find it, we’re going to need to take a trip to your dark side. Don’t think you have a dark side? Let me assure you that everybody has one. Think about the things you crave, the things you lust after, the secrets you keep hidden deep, deep inside. That energy comes from your dark side. The problem is that your entire life you’ve been told those feelings are bad, so you locked them away and hid them from the world.

That’s a mistake: they’re the key to leadership success. It’s time to tap into that power and harness it so you can become the badass leader you are.

Your Dark Side Doesn’t Have to Be Bad

Just because it’s called your dark side doesn’t mean it has to be dark, per se. Batman fought...

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Are You the One Killing Your Restaurant?

We’re all looking for the things we should be doing but what about the things you need to stop doing that are truly hurting your business?

Sabotage is subversive. It’s under the radar. It can come from your unconscious mind.

Restaurant, nightclub and bar success and failure comes down to the habits we have...both good and bad. The trick is being aware of the bad habits that aren’t serving you and taking radical action to change them.

You might think some of these are part of your personality. You know the line: It’s just who I am!”

That’s bullshit—it’s who you choose to be. Now, if these bad habits are working for you then by all means, lace up those shoes and wear ‘em.

However, if you seem to be stuck, if you don’t seem to be reaching your goals, if you seem to drive people away more than you attract them, then take note and make a commitment to make some changes.

1. Talking Smack about Others

You might say that...

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A 5 Step Plan to Build a Better Team Today!

leadership training Nov 19, 2018

You have a problem that we need to address. It’s your service team.

Okay—that’s not exactly accurate. The problem is you for not training your service team enough.

Sure, you trained them…maybe once, maybe twice. But half-ass effort yields half-ass results. Oh, and please, for the love of all that is sacred, don’t throw out the excuse that you don’t have time. You never had time to begin with. 

Things get done when you make a decision and develop the self-discipline to get what you want. If your service is so-so, the effort you placed into training them was at that same energy level. Water truly does seek its own level; mediocrity is attracted to mediocrity.

Don’t think so?

How many powerful or successful people do you know who seem to be friends? Do they run in the same circles? Successful people like to associate with other successful people.

How do you get there? How can you create a service team that just dominates your...

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One, Two, Four: Opening Multiple Locations

Congratulations—Your bar or restaurant is doing so well that opportunities to expand the business are coming at you fast.

But before you get too far ahead of yourself and sign that new lease, there are several things to take into consideration.

Running one bar or restaurant can be a challenge. When you move to two locations, you start to juggle your time, focus and tasks between the two “siblings.” Moving on to more than two can be tricky.

You need to have a few key elements in place before signing the lease on location three, four and five. Let’s take a look.

The Bench

Firstly, you’re going to need a great recruiting plan in place to fill your bench of talent. Having a successful company culture will help you attract talent, and a great training program will help your team continue to grow and engage (funny how they all work in synergy).

When businesses expand without a strong bench of talent to expand with them, they quickly realize their mistake....

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The 7 Habits of Successful Restaurants

leadership mindset Nov 11, 2018

There is inspiration all around if you choose to open your eyes and take it in.

Becoming a better leader, owner, or chef is not bestowed upon a few chosen few. There really is no such thing as a born leader. Everyone can lead if they have the deep desire to step up and take control of the wheel of their restaurant and their life. Most would rather sit in the back seat and just be a spectator but life is not a spectator sport.

Success and failure leave clues behind. If you are wise enough to take the lessons from the failures and the blessings of the successes, you have a great chance to not only reach the top but you can also stay there.

When you study restaurant success (and failure) like I do you start to see what the puzzle pieces are that make a success restaurateur. Carefully put the pieces together and you have a winning recipe to get exactly what you want in life (both professionally and personally).

There is a better way and it does not involve beating your head against...

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