How the Best Restaurateurs Go Big and Avoid the Small Decision Trap

If you really want to make progress, grow your company, preserve your free time, and build wealth and happiness for yourself and others, pay attention to the big decisions.

In Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, one graphic I really like illustrates how one big decision can have a much greater impact than an assortment of small decisions, so I have illustrated it above.

Gut check. In your heart, what big decision do you know could propel you and your business forward exponentially?

Why haven’t you made it? Are you avoiding that decision? Or unsure of the risks involved?

The Small Decision Trap

Running restaurants requires a lot of small decisions—what to change on your menu, who to promote, how to deal with an errant vendor, or how to increase your audience on social media.

As an experienced, successful, independent multi-unit restaurant owner like my clients, those types of decisions come easy to you.

One thing about small decisions, though – they drain your ability to make big decisions

Too many of them at the same time leave you feeling like you do at the busiest weeks of the year (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, before Christmas, graduations) – like you have no bandwidth for anything else.

Focus on the Big Stuff

Three examples of winning big decisions:

  1. There was a little sandwich shop called Peter’s Super Submarine in Bridgeport, CT. They made a decision to change their name…to Subway. You know the rest.Can you imagine Peter’s Super Submarine leading the industry worldwide in number of units?
  2. Five Guys (and Fridays and Pei Wei before them) made a big deal about that fact that they did not advertise—until they changed their mind and started advertising.What would be the state of these brands if they had not become better at telling the world what they had to offer?
  3. One of my clients had a new concept where, after a healthy honeymoon period, sales were going down precipitously.I suggested they completely change the menu—something they would never do under normal circumstances.

    They agreed and the sales trend reversed.

    That has continued every year—and the menu change was 10 years ago.

    This decision saved the concept, which is now doing so well it is a growth vehicle.

What Is Your Big Decision?

Your big decision may be smaller than a name change, a menu change, or starting to advertise. But I guarantee you there is a big decision in your organization that could dramatically propel you forward.

Over to you: When you read this, what do you think about? Where is the big opportunity in your business?