How Top Restaurateurs Win With Their Own Secret Sauce

Recently I went to a KFC drive-through.

If you know me well, before you fall out of your chair wondering why, know that I wanted to try their new plant-based product.

I was curious about it since I’ve been watching that trend and had seen the TV ad – plus, they have a unit next to the carwash by my house.

When I got to the pickup window, they offered me an array of sauces.

The last time I had been to KFC, George W. Bush was president, so I didn’t know much about them.

“What is the KFC Sauce?” I asked. Turns out it has only been on the menu for a couple of years.

“It’s like a Cane’s Sauce!” the not-fully-prepared-but-trying-to-be-helpful crew member told me.

Raising Cane’s started in 1996; KFC goes back to 1944.

Even with a 52-year head start, KFC is now the imitator.

Who Imitates You?

People tend to follow the leader – explaining why Cane’s is now inspiring imitators who have been around MUCH longer.

Likewise, every company reflects its owner or leader; so, ask yourself: What kind of example are you?

What is the “secret sauce” you add to the company mix – what you do as a leader that makes your company great?

Because I guarantee you everyone is watching!

Do you display authenticity and care when you talk to guests and employees? Are you creative with the innovation and care you put into your menu to stay ahead of the competition? Have you discovered a marketing strategy that positions your organization to garner more than your fair share of events and catering?

This secret sauce flavors everything about the company, so make sure it’s a trait you want spread around.

Figure out what your personal secret sauce is; make sure it is the right one for today’s market.

Put education and systems in place in your business that make sure people understand what is most important.

Make Sure Everyone Knows the Code

I call it “codifying ownership.”

When I do this for my clients, their people start hearing the leader’s voice even when the leader is not there – and that lets the leader move on to other more important things, including being there less if that is what they want to do.

Hugely beneficial to their restaurants, their lives, and their people’s lives.

Over to you. What is your secret sauce? And how do you make sure your people emulate you every day so you have the company and restaurants you want without them being overly reliant on you?