Even the Best-Laid Plans Can Change for the Better

Last week I wrote to you about plans.
This week let’s talk about changing them.

When your nav system offers a better route, take it.

You ought to be putting the most emphasis where you will yield the greatest return. 

Doing that means you may have to shift course when new priorities emerge, which can be hard for those of us who love a good plan and hate to change it.

We hate changing plans unless we learn that shifting them will dramatically reduce the time it takes to achieve exceptional restaurant company success.

New Discoveries Change Our Focus

So many times companies have called me in to develop their senior management team, and new discoveries have led to a rapid change in emphasis and approach. 

At one, food cost did not look right to me, even though it had been reliable for years. We stopped and addressed that issue and saved this company a pile of money adding up to millions of dollars in the time since.

At another, I found a consistency issue in a multi-unit organization: The core menu item was prepared different ways across 13 units, so we addressed that – making guests a lot happier and significantly more willing to come back.

At a third, while working on improving collaboration between VPs and the president, I noticed that servers across all units generally identified as poor at selling at the table. So we stopped and focused on that. In the next year, 100% of their revenue increase (and all their profit) related to the PPA increase this change in plans created.

Pivot and Adjust 

What you focus on is not always what you ought to be focusing on, even though you have already made plans. 

Just think about the above stories of high food cost, inconsistent food, and underperforming servers.

I have more. 

As an outsider, I see these opportunities because I bring fresh perspective to the situation and I did not make the decisions that had caused them.

Your willingness to adjust those plans and focus on the greatest return amounts to what the best leaders and managers do. 

And as a bonus, any time your management team conquers a redirected challenge, you have experienced a very effective way of building management capability, which is at the root of everything in your company. 

When you pivot and triumph, you win your own championship.

So have a parade. 

Then apply that capability to what comes next.

What is the one thing in your restaurant company you could pivot to in order to create the greatest return and management triumph? When do you start?

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