Rules, rules, and more rules. Do this. Don’t do that. Does it seem like you spend most of your day like a babysitter at work telling the team more of what not to do? Welcome to management by numbers.
You’ve probably seen that list of rules in your restaurant, and each one has a number next to it.
Rule number one: be here 15 ministers before your shift.
Rule number two: be dressed and ready for your shift.
And so on down the list, they go — each one just a declaration of the proper etiquette we want from the team. No explanation, just the expectation. Well, a very vague explanation and expectation.
Rules tell people the minimum standard for what you tolerate. They lack empathy and motivation. Getting people to follow the rules is a lot like herding cats, and if you have been in leadership for any time (or read my previous post), you know that is one tough job. Motivating other with rules doesn’t work. Sure, a few will comply out of fear. Which leads us to...
What is going on with you? Seriously. Why haven’t you started taking action on those big goals for this year yet?
Here are four words to write down: bullshit, bullshit, and bullshit.
You say you want a lot of new and big changes to happen and then there you are stuck on the big hamster wheel of life running as fast as you can every single day...and getting nowhere.
Would you like to stop that? Since I can’t see your face, I’m going to go out on a limb and imagine you’re nodding your head yes.
To get this journey started, you’ll need to go back to a step many forget in their quest for a budding restaurant and bar empire...you gotta know what you stand for. Oh yes, we’re talking about that main ingredient to all culture recipes: Core Values.
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...
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...
The relationship you have with your restaurant is like all the other relationships you’ve had in your life. They all have their ups and downs. When things are good, you are walking on sunshine. No clouds in the sky. The birds are singing and there is a rainbow in every direction.
When things are bad. They can really suck. People aggravate you for breathing to loudly. You sneer at others that cross your path. Everyone seems to be out to get you and the universe is conspiring against your restaurant's survival. The clouds have moved in and constantly circle your life.
When the restaurant blues come to visit you (and if you own or run a restaurant they will), you need a plan to get out of the rut and back on track.
Just remember that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. Awareness is critical. When you see yourself in a proverbial hole...stop digging! Awareness precedes choice and choice precedes change.
Here are some of the warming signs you...
When your restaurant is running like a world championship team everything is amazing. All the training, all the hard work, all the time fine tuning your team and brand are paying off. You’re communicating, working together for a shared vision and mission. It’s a thing of pure beauty to see a restaurant running at their potential and reaching for more. A recipe for success.
Unfortunately, most restaurants are operating on the other side of this equation. There is not a shared vision or mission. The team has formed small teams within the team and they are constantly bickering with each other. The standards have dropped, the guest now gets inconsistent food and your online reviews are hot and cold. A recipe for failure.
The common thread in this bad recipe is lack of vision and poor leadership. When things are going great it is easy to be motivated and be in love with your restaurant. Then the honeymoon phase is over and the real work begins. Sadly, most cannot deal...
There are some things you just never forget. Your first kiss, your first car, an amazing movie and horrible service. Great service can sometimes be an elusive creature, much like Bigfoot. Incredible service not only is comprised of the mechanical aspects like serving from the left and clearing from the right, it also contains the human element. That's called hospitality. When you combine the mechanical and human together it creates that synergy that today's guests have come to expect.
Here's the real secret to amazing service… It has to be constantly managed and monitored. I'm a big believer that incredible service teams are orchestrated and guided like a well-choreographed ballet.
I eat out to restaurants around 260 times a year. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. When you dine out that much you tend to see patterns in behavior. At this point, I can read the team dynamics much like Neo can read the matrix.
Here's my short list of the 7 things your service team...
Want to be at the top of your game all of the time? Then you really need to learn to embrace change. Most people are averse to change. They like to keep things the way they are; they like to stay in their comfort zone. Remember this:
Restaurant Coach Tip: If you are operating from a comfort zone, you are in the wrong business.
Great people ask questions like, “What’s next?” and “What am I getting better at?”
Here are three ideas to embrace change in your life and career, and three ways to apply those ideas…
Over my years as a chef, I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of great people, both inside my company and at many other companies around the world. More than any other, one single attribute separates people in the workplace. That’s attitude.
Attitude is critical when it comes to embracing change. Great people are always looking for ways to change; to grow. As I always say, you are either getting better or getting worse: If...
“I am running out of fuel. I’m not going to make it.”, the pilot of a small single engine aircraft said over the radio.
My first duty station as a Pararescuemen was with the 67th ARRS (Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Service) in Woodbridge RAF in the United Kingdom. We routinely flew up to Keflavik, Iceland to support our unit stationed there. Normally the flight up is pretty quiet and uneventful. Not this time.
A small plane was en route to Iceland and the pilot flying alone had run short on fuel. He was going to have to ditch the plane and land in the North Atlantic Ocean. Landing in rough open waters is a challenge in itself. Landing in water that is so cold that hypothermia will set in within minutes is the real threat. When you first go into extremely cold water you go into what is called cold shock response. People start to hyperventilate immediately. For one to three minutes you breathe very fast and deep, uncontrollably. If you can’t swim or...
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