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...
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.
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...
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?
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...
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.
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...
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.
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....
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...
When you look at your venue and your life, is your attention on the right things? Are you focusing on what's in front of you instead of looking behind you at all times?
Your mind does an incredible job of playing tricks on you. Even when you know your attention should be on the present so you can achieve in the future, your mind can draw you into replaying your past on a loop.
The mistakes you’ve made can become restless spirits that haunt you day after day. They make you question everything and turn your once confident behavior into a game of second guessing.
Living your life and running your restaurant by looking back constantly is never a good strategy. When the past pulls you backwards, you lose your focus on the present and moving forward. You’re stuck in a mental time warp where you replay scenarios and try to rethink what you should have done. The problem is that staying in the past makes you a prisoner. It...
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