Welcome to the Surrender News/Blog.  Get the latest news, trends, tips and information to help you succeed and thrive in the workplace.

How to Build a Healthy Restaurant Culture

Your culture is becoming increasingly important, and it’s only going to get more so. Why? This may come as a surprise, but, when you look at the top line, you’ll realize your culture is actually responsible for 100% of your profits. Without that special connection to your guests and employees, you have nothing. Whether or … Continued

Secrets Independent Restaurants Use to Win Battles with Big Chain Competition

If you own a successful multi-unit independent restaurant company, you can learn from the experience of Yumilicious, which beat chain Pinkberry in North Texas. When Yumilicious opened their first tart frozen yogurt store in Dallas, I stopped by and talked to the owner, who told me he “had some relatives in California who have yogurt stores.” How Pinkberry Won … Continued

Warning to Restaurateurs: Don’t Be Caught with Your Culture Down

Owners of successful multi-unit independent restaurant companies often misunderstand the real opportunities to cement success and reduce risk going forward. If you stop and ask an owner of a growing independent restaurant group, they will tell you that their number one concern is labor — and number two is competition. Guests and Employees Want the … Continued

Warning! How Restaurants Lose Track of What Guests Want

“Is it possible to say with a straight face that Señor Frog’s is a better restaurant than Per Se? Too many restaurants have become church without the singing and costumes.” That is what New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wonders in an iconic New Yorker profile “Pete Wells Has His Knives Out”, essential reading for anyone interested in guests, restaurant reviewers, restaurants, … Continued

Protect Your Investment by Taking Control of Restaurant Culture

Last week, a manager who had worked with me — back when I was operating — asked me for advice. A 250-unit restaurant group was recruiting him to leave his current GM job with another well-known company — where, by the way, I am proud to say he has been selected GM of the year…twice. … Continued

Are You Differentiating Your Brand?

My research shows you need more than great food, service, and atmosphere — the holy trinity of the restaurant business — to guarantee success for the units in the independent restaurant company you own. My best clients build their successful multi-unit independent restaurant companies around the branding and experience business, not around the restaurant business. … Continued

On the subject of walking your talk.

When my daughter was tiny, we had to make sure we kept her away from the stove, or a pot of hot tea. I would tell her, “The first rule is – don’t burn the baby.” Now she is three and when she walks through our kitchen, she recites that phrase with the sort of enthusiasm … Continued

Food trucks, pop ups, kiosks, grab and go . . . hey wait . . .

It used to be you went to the food, now the food comes to you. At major events you scan your peripheral vision and see 20 food truck options from right to left.  Positioning imitates real estate,  where the end caps do better, and a parking lot can emulate a restaurant district.  Some people may … Continued

Company Culture: From the inside out.

“What is our company culture?” If you stopped five members of your organization today, would you get five different answers? Maybe something similar but, well, imprecise? Or, confused silence? What if you asked them to tell you what they did today to uphold that ethos? At the most successful businesses, you will get the same answer, … Continued

Trendspotting: The Future of Foodservice

Nation’s Restaurant News recently published a special report,  2020 Vision, The Future of Foodservice, looking at what restaurant menus, design, consumers, and technology will look like when the next decade begins. NRN Senior Food Editor Bret Thorn asked me and three other industry experts to speculate on The Future of Menus, what restaurant menus will look like … Continued