Embrace The Suck Blog

5 Things That Are Really Killing Your Restaurant

operations Dec 06, 2017

There is a strange duality of restaurants. The restaurant industry can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding. There are times when you will be over-the-top and never question why you choose this path.

On the other hand, the restaurant industry can also be relentless and merciless. There are times when you will feel like the weight of it all is crushing down upon you and you might even want to quit. Don’t. When the weight of it seems heavy, examine these five keys areas that could be causing this pressure and here’s how to break free from it.

1. Your Social Media Marketing

Social media is here to stay. Embrace it and use it to keep your brand top-of-mind. The problem with most restaurants’ social media tactics is that they use it to sell. They post the same boring stuff, usually their specials. The problem is that every other restaurant in your market is posting the same thing: their specials. If you don't dare to stand out in your market, you will blend in with the...

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The 80/20 Restaurant

I've received quite a few emails from managers asking about the Pareto Principle, and the ways that it can be applied to their restaurant. I’ve touched on it before with regards to where profits come from on your menu, but I’ll give a quick refresher. Here we go….


The Pareto principle is named after an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. Way back in 1906, he discovered that 80% of Italy’s land was only owned by 20% of the population. Soon after, he observed that 20% of the pea pods in his garden were producing 80% of his peas. After conducting surveys of several other countries, he found that his 80/20 observation actually held up.

This concept has since gone on to show itself applicable to all manner of situations (and was named after Pareto after the fact).

Wikipedia defines it like this: for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Which works well enough for me. Another name for this idea is...

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3 Things Holding Your Restaurant Back

leadership operations Dec 03, 2017

Great restaurants are rare. That’s not meant to be mean, just the truth. Many live alongside a road named Average. The thing to remember is the road of Average leads to a town called Mediocrity. Nothing ever happens there, because the residents are too complacent to change.

To get out of where you are, you need to shake things up! Whether your restaurant is struggling and you want to get out of survival mode into thriving, or your restaurant is doing well and you fell like it would probably be better, it’s the classic mode for motivation: you need to be either in desperation or inspiration.

So, what separates the great from the average? Here are three key items to put on the front burner and think about:


Restaurants are 80 percent psychological and 20 percent systems (and strategy). That being said, you would be shocked to know that most restaurants don't have a really good grasp on systems and how to use them — and here is the key — effectively....

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Will the Real Leader PLEASE Stand Up



These are words thrown around our industry as if they are one and the same. Let's be clear that they are not. Actually not even close. One works on push and the other pull.

Don't misunderstand, there are times you need to push people to get things done, and for that being in the role of manager would be appropriate. However, if you want to break free from the cult of average and really take your restaurant to the highest level, then the real leader must stand up. Leaders pull people forward by being the example. By being a positive example. You can't sit on the sidelines and bark orders; leadership requires being out front. At its basic level, leaders lead the vision, while managers manage the shift.

How do you step up to be the leader? Here are five steps you can take to get you going in the right direction.

1.     Your Emotions Induce Emotions in Others.

You must understand that your restaurant is a reflection of you as the leader. You know...

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Is Your Culture a Monster Out of Control?

culture operations Nov 19, 2017

Whether you know it or not, your restaurant has a culture. Culture is one of those business elements that are created either by design or default. Culture can be like a subtle song playing in the background or it can be a booming cinematic soundtrack that blasts throughout your brand. It’s there. Have you noticed it?

Culture and your brand are in a symbiotic relationship, they cooperate and succeed (or fail) due to each other. Your culture is your brand and your brand is your culture. When you started your restaurant, you brought an idea to life. Along with that idea came the dynamic every business and society need to survive…culture.

Think of it like that song mentioned before. If your brand message is the lyrics, then your culture is the beat. You can have incredible soulful words to a song, however, if the music or beat doesn’t provide the right background your tune will not find an audience.  Can you see how they need each other to be a hit? Can you see...

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3 Reasons Why the Restaurant Business Just Isn't For You

mindset operations Nov 19, 2017

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 from the driving force that sustains you. That force is still there, it’s just taking a nap.

This post 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 cowards 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 again why.

You Are Fueled By People

We are drawn to the restaurant industry because we get energy around other people. You probably have felt this magnetic quality that you can’t quite put your finger on....

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6 Time Management Strategies for Restaurateurs That Actually Work

time management Oct 15, 2017

Imagine you look at your watch at 12 midnight. At that one moment in time, you have exactly 1440 minutes until you reach midnight again.

1440 minutes - that’s it. You can't borrow or buy more time.

Time is one of the most valuable resources we have. Yet most restaurant managers failed to utilize time to their capacity. Let’s get this straight: you either learn to master time, or time will master you. This is why you need effective time management strategies.

If you Google up the words "time management" you will get 93,800,000 results. Seems like a lot of people are looking for solutions to manage their time better and basically get shit done.

So why is it so difficult to follow time management strategies? A lot of it has to do with our perception of time management. So here is a breakdown a few of the barriers holding us back.

Truth: Most Time Management Strategies Don’t Work

This is especially true in the restaurant business for one simple reason: most...

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The Formula to Build a Better Restaurant Team

teamwork Oct 15, 2017

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...

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Top 10 Reasons Restaurants Fail

operations Oct 15, 2017

42,000 new restaurants open every year.
By the third year in operation, 50% have close their doors.
81.4% was due to poor management.
Many of those could have been saved if they had just asked for help.

1. You Don’t Know How To Do Every Job In Your Restaurant

Handcuff Management is the Sure Road to Failure.

Never tell your staff you don’t know how to do their job. If you really don’t, then train on every station in your restaurant starting tomorrow! I have managers in my restaurants do a stage or trail on every position in the restaurant for 4 days each…I don’t care if you ran the best rated restaurant in the world! You work every station and learn what it takes to do every job.

- it shows you want to understand what they do on an everyday basis.
- you get to know them on a deeper level than any team building exercise could ever do
- you’ll gain respect. Anyone can come in, bark orders and be “the boss”, if you want to be a...

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The Slow Death of the Restaurant

mindset operations Oct 15, 2017

There is a storm coming whether you want to admit it or not. It's not going to be good for a lot of budding restaurateurs who think that the lure of fame and fortune await them in the restaurant business.

In 2016, for example, there were 620,807 restaurants across the country, down 1.6 percent compared with a year ago. That’s the largest decrease since 1998. That decline amounts to about 9,998 restaurant closures year over year, and most of them were independent restaurants. The overall count included 221,810 full-service independent restaurants in fall 2016, marking a decline of 3.7 percent year over year for that segment specifically. That translates to a loss of 9,784 independent restaurants.

For smart operators that have their act together this is a perfect opportunity to rise above as an economic survival of the fittest will see the closure of more restaurants in the next two years than ever before. The restaurant bubble is about to burst and you'll want to make sure your...

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