How Successful Restaurant Owners Get Out of the Way and Pick the Right Lane

Success creates the time for you to work on only those things you like to do – and what no one else can do. 

So it pains me to see restaurateurs who don’t take advantage of their success. 

Why do people miss this opportunity to transform their professional life?

Do they not notice their surroundings, like houses on a street they have driven a thousand times?

Do they feel stuck in that 40-90% of human behavior that becomes habit?

Do they acknowledge or trust that other people can do things well – in many cases better than they do?

Stay at Your Place of Highest Use

As a successful owner of an independent restaurant group, you have earned the right to work on only the things you like to do. 

After all, you started your company taking on a high amount of risk.

In the early years you led operations, finance, accounting, training, culinary, HR, marketing, and administration (and maybe even served as manager, server, host, busser, cook and dishwasher). 

You did the things you excelled at – along with activities you (frankly) had no choice but to do even if someone else would be better at doing them. 

Your natural and learned talents built your platform for success.

The need to – or your insistence on doing everything else – prevented accelerated results since others with natural talent superior to yours did not get involved.

Delegation Leads to Retention

Retention has never been more important.

All the data says that, in today’s complex and lean labor market, money no longer motivates retention.

It turns out every restaurant’s money spends the same way.

What operators offer in terms of education, advancement, and responsibility makes the difference between loyalty and “no calls/no shows.”

Set an example of development that others can follow throughout your organization.

Don’t deal with things that irritate you or that someone else can do better.

Delegate the things you no longer want to handle, or that no one truly believes you rank as best at dealing with. 

Start by making a list that defines your chosen future business activities – and that identifies activities you will delegate.  

Delegating the Right Way – Four Things That Make Your Company Grow

  1. Delegate because it’s a huge win for recipients who now learn new things and contribute more. 
  2. Don’t show up like King Charles, asking someone to squeeze toothpaste out on his toothbrush – like someone who does not want to do the work. 
  3. Show up as the admired leader who sets an example by developing their team.  
  4.  Lead by focusing on big things like new deals, locations, concepts, culture, and ideas that will create opportunity for the whole team.

Over to you. How will you improve your life and the lives of the people who work with you by identifying your area of highest use, staying in your new lane, and teaching others to flourish?