Embrace The Suck Blog

Before You Reopen Your Restaurant...Think About Your Staff

covid leadership mindset Jul 21, 2020

We all want to get back to “normal,” whatever that means now.

Honestly, normal wasn’t very normal in the first place so, let’s look at this as a plot twist!

This time around is your opportunity to do things better than you did before. COVID-19 isn’t your fault, but how you ran your restaurant before is. Now, if that upsets you a little bit, then read on because there are a few things we must discuss. 

As the bills pile up and the PPP money runs low, you’ll want to jump back to full operating mode as soon as you can. Now, before you jump in headfirst into cloudy COVID waters, let’s have a little talk about your team.

Not All Team Members Are A-Players

This is just you and I talking here and if we are honest with each other, you know there are a few people on your team that you should have let go. Maybe you felt sorry for them or was trying to be the “nice person” and try to change them. Please write this down: It’s...

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The Coronavirus Isn’t Your Fault, But How You Ran Your Restaurant Before Is!

The Coronavirus Pandemic is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Times like these bring out the best in some people and the worst in others (a shout out to all the toilet paper hoarders out there). Now, it’s easy to blame your restaurant closing down due to the Coronavirus. Don’t get all upset (not quite yet), because in many states it is mandatory that they shut down dine-in service and are only allowed takeout, delivery, or curbside options.

But how was your restaurant running before this crisis hit? Be honest.

  • Perhaps, not as well as it should have been?
  • Perhaps, you let a few standards slide?
  • Perhaps, you were not the leader you know deep down you could have been?

Okay, here’s the million-dollar question: Are you going to keep running your restaurant that way or are you willing to make the changes you know you must make to ensure that your restaurant thrives and not just survives?

If you said you’re ready to make the changes you know you must...

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Being Obsessed is the Way!

leadership mindset Mar 29, 2019

“You’re obsessed!”

If someone said that to you right now, how would you feel?

Uneasy? Pissed? Shocked? Relatively pleased?

The word obsession gets a bad rap. Granted that obsession can be destructive if taken to extremes like anything. However, when it is focused like a laser it will give your brand an edge that few can touch. Obsession is the cure for mediocrity. Obsession is the path that few will travel down. Obsession is the only way to break out of the red ocean of competition and sail into the blue ocean of market domination!

You want some obsession in your life starting today!

People will say that you need to be more focused. They will say you need to take more action. They say you need to be more consistent. Well, when you adopt the obsession mindset, all of those traits get rolled into one! Obsession is your way out of a town called Averageville (population 90% of the world). Let’s plot you a map to get you out of this Godforsaken place once and...

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5 Delusions Managers Have About Leaders

leadership mindset Mar 23, 2019

So, what is your title? Are you a manager or a leader?

Before you jump on the “I’m a leader bandwagon”, we should have a talk. You might be suffering from Leadership Delusion. It’s fairly common in this industry. We have a lot of preconceived notions about what a leader really is.

Look up the definition of what leadership is and it’s a little vague:

The action of leading a group of people or an organization.

The state or position of being a leader.


guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision

That being said it seems that leadership is classified as a noun, when in reality it should be a verb.

Leadership is an act.

It’s action.

It’s responsibility.

It’s accountability.

True leadership is not what you do, it’s who you are.

Let’s take a few to look at some of the common misconceptions that most managers have about leadership:

 1. Saying You’re a Leader Makes You a...

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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 ​

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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