Restaurant Ownership

Four Tools Restaurant Owners Use to Succeed Through the Pandemic
Earlier in the year, I expected to be writing by now about the lessons we learned during the COVID crisis.I[...]
Forecasting the Next Six Months in Our Restaurant Industry
In 2020 you need all the help you can get. Here is help for you that takes next Monday at[...]
Why Top Restaurant Operators Move Forward With Their 2021 Planning Retreat
Last week I spoke to multiple operators who reflected on the process they used a year ago to set their[...]
How Top Restaurants Protect Their Future and Connect with Lost Guests
Remember your former long-time guests? The ones you have not seen since March? Think of all their names and faces[...]
Why Top Owners Order To-Go from Their Own Restaurants
Restaurateurs who barely gave a thought to to-go and delivery before this year are now relying on them to help[...]
How Smart Restaurateurs Use Cash Flow Numbers to Protect Their Future
When you log on to your favorite news site to see that 25% or 40% or 85% of restaurants will[...]
What to Do if Your Restaurant Gets – or Doesn’t Get – a PPP2 Loan
Qualifying for a potential PPP2 loan is critical to survival planning.Congress is working with a formula where  PPP2 loans, if[...]
Smartest Thing Restaurateurs Can Do on Labor Day 2020
2020 has taken its place as the best year of our lifetimes to honor the American worker. Like everything else, Labor[...]
How Top Restaurateurs Get Off the Sidelines Before They’re Sidelined for Good
Any restaurant owners out there who want to feel better?If so, I recommend spending some time right now improving your[...]
Why Crisis Response Mode is Holding Your Restaurant Back
Welcome to a new phase of dealing with the pandemic.More and more lately, owners of multi-unit restaurant groups tell me[...]
Restaurateurs: Stream Me Wednesday and Learn How to Talk to Guests, Employees (and Yourself) Now
TRA Marketplace started yesterday.If you missed the first day, don’t panic! This year, it runs for six days - and, even[...]
The Most Important Virtual Place Restaurateurs Need to Be Next Week
If you could take a time machine back to early March, you probably wouldn’t recognize yourself, your guests, or your[...]
Why Independent Restaurants Beat Chains in the Race to Survive the Pandemic
You may have heard the opinion that, when this crisis ends, chain restaurants will still be standing, but independents will[...]
Restaurateur’s Guide to Summer Vacation 2020
You’ve just finished the weirdest July 4 of your life. In a normal year, all you would have had to[...]
How Restaurants Rebound by Asking Guests These Questions
The pandemic has completely changed the mindset of restaurant guests.It’s like you went to sleep on a beautiful summer night[...]
3 Most Important Keys to Stabilizing Your Restaurants
These days, owning restaurants feels like the scene in the horror movie where the most dangerous demon has been vanquished.[...]
The 4 Habits of Restaurateurs Who Will Successfully Navigate This Mess
Some of my friends were asking me about the restaurateurs who have joined my Restaurant Survival and Success Club - the[...]
Don’t Make the Mistake of Paying Full Restaurant Rent During This Crisis
Quick, what does a square foot of restaurant space in a major market in America lease for right now? Bet you[...]
The One Thing Restaurant Owners Must Do to Survive This Crisis
Over three seasons of Ozark on Netflix, Jason Bateman’s character Marty Byrde has always seemed a minute or two from death because[...]
Why Top Restaurant Operators Now See Guests and Employees in a Completely New Way
This COVID-19 crisis constantly throws new things at you that you’ve never even thought about.The most successful operators - the[...]
Why Top Restaurateurs Must Reinvent Themselves to Survive This Crisis
Restaurants that were just doing OK (or worse) before the COVID-19 crisis will probably end up closing for good -[...]
How COVID-19 Exposes Weakness in Your Restaurant Organization
COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses in our society: the lack of a coordinated national health care policy, no national sick leave[...]
Two Things You Must Do Now to Prepare for Partial Use of Your Restaurant’s Dining Rooms
What will the rules be when our dining rooms, partially at first, open? We don’t know. But we’ve got to[...]
Do This Now to Hold on to Your Restaurant Employees and Business
During this crisis, how well you connect to your active and furloughed employees will define your culture for years.  It[...]
Most Positive Thing To Do Now for the Future of Your Restaurants
When the day comes - when you can legally operate your dining room again - you’ll be relieved, exhausted, and[...]
How to Cope and Know Your Restaurant Business Will Survive
It started with the feelings we share with people around the world about the COVID-19 threat: shock, grief, disbelief, and[...]
What to Do Next to Protect Your Restaurants in the Age of Coronavirus
Here is what I am telling my clients now about surviving this crisis and keeping people working when it passes. If[...]
How to Protect Your Restaurants in the Age of Coronavirus
In normal times, we avoid talking about safety. After all, why would we want to take guests’ mindset away from[...]
The Little Known Golden Rule That Gives Restaurateurs What They Want
I have never met a restaurateur who does not want people to take more ownership, action, and responsibility. But I[...]
How Superstars Separate The Best Restaurant Operators from Everyone Else
You don’t win an NBA championship without superstars.You don’t expect a movie to open strong and gross $500 million or[...]
Don’t Repeat the Biggest Mistake Made by Multi-Concept Restaurant Operators
The best way to run your second (or third of fourth) concept?Not the way you ran your first.The number one[...]
Restaurateur’s Guide to Overcoming Fear of Growth
In our industry, there’s a lot of talk about brands that grow too fast.I recently wrote about that here.Meanwhile, we don’t[...]
The Real Reason Your Restaurants Are So Much Better Than Your Company
    When I was growing up, my family ate in a lot of restaurants.A lot.And to me, those restaurants[...]
Why Accountability Is the Unexpected Key Ingredient for Restaurant Growth
  What is it that kills great plans?Organizations with a lack of accountability.Restaurateurs often start off with big and exciting[...]
Three Ways Restaurateurs Can Profit from a Downturn
  Since the Great Recession, we’ve seen over 10 years of economic expansion.That means there are a lot of successful[...]
How Much Restaurant Profit Is Enough?
  “Why isn’t my restaurant making 20 percent?”I hear this plaintive cry from many frustrated restaurateurs who have heard about[...]
Three Early Warning Signs Your Restaurant Company is Growing Too Fast
You’re out over your skis - going too fast and getting ahead of yourself. You own a successful independent multi-unit[...]
Five Essential Restaurant Predictions for the New Decade 
Welcome to the 2020s!   If you want to make outstanding business decisions, you need to know what’s coming next. So, what[...]
The Five Best Things I Told You This Year…and Why
I’ve gone back and chosen five especially popular or meaningful posts from this year - the ones my clients, owners[...]
Three Roadblocks on Your Way to 10 Restaurants
My clients’ DNA must be filled with a longing for growth.At best, this growth adheres to a plan.At worst, owners[...]
Stop Restaurant Franchising Dreams from Becoming Nightmares
Restaurateurs often contact me, thrilled they have one or two promising-looking units.In their mind they have made a fantastic leap[...]
OK Xers, OK Millennials – Let’s Build the Strongest Restaurant Companies
Compared to where restaurateurs from my generation were when they were in their 30s and 40s, today’s restaurateurs at that[...]
Why Data Fails in Verifying True Restaurant Success
If the only way you prove your restaurant’s continued success and competitive advantage comes through using data, that’s perilous.   [...]
Leaving Your Restaurant Comfort Zone to Achieve Success
The thing about procrastinators, commitment-phobes, and last-minute people? They don’t know what they are missing. Many of my clients -[...]
Three Proven Accountability Rules That Raise Restaurant Performance
Your grill cook - the person who prepares that steak exactly to temperature - has a better sense of balance[...]
Restaurateurs: Own Today Like You’re Selling Tomorrow
Always run your restaurants like you are planning to sell them. When someone sells their house, they prepare it to[...]
Three Signs Your Restaurant Is Not Unique Enough to Stand Out
“Believe me: I’m extremely aware that I compete with everyone in my segment—and most of the people in the other[...]
Restaurateur’s 30 Hour Work Week Challenge
If you worked a 30-hour week, what would you do with the extra 10 or 20 hours you just gave[...]
10 Ways Restaurateurs Give Themselves a Raise
When was the last time you gave yourself a raise?The one you earned for increased performance.I meet a lot of[...]
Restaurateurs This is the Most Important Thing to Do on Labor Day
It’s Labor Day - the holiday dedicated to the American worker. Many people don’t think about the meaning of the[...]
Restaurateurs: Stop Hiding and Seek Your Greatest Restaurant Success
People think that what got them started will continue to be a foundation of their future scaled success. Those people[...]
The Surprising Reason Overly Dissatisfied and Overly Satisfied Restaurateurs Have the Same Problem
Are you overly dissatisfied - feeling things could be better, but not quite sure how to make them better?Or are you[...]
Restaurant Owners – Don’t Ignore the Signpost to Your Freedom
When you reach a certain level of success, it’s OK to run that victory lap and settle in to being[...]
Top Things Professional Restaurateurs Refuse to Compromise On
For successful restaurateurs, there was a grueling period at the beginning when they really did have to work all the[...]
Join Industry Leaders This Weekend in Houston
If you are anybody in our business in and around Texas, your usual mid-July habit is to head to Texas[...]
How Restaurateurs Avoid the Perils of Owning the Only Company They’ve Ever Known
Sitting in the dining room of one of my clients, we tried to figure out what this super-successful business leader[...]
Meet Me in Houston and Learn Secrets to Make Your Culture Boost Profits
In the past I have proven why culture provides 100% of your profits. That’s a lot.I constantly work with my[...]
When (and When Not to) Grow Your Restaurant Group
Proof of concept. Knowing your restaurant brand has legs - that its single-unit economics can be repeated and repeated and[...]
Restaurateurs: Why Your First Day Back From Vacation is the Most Important Day of the Year
Break old habits.Start new ones.That first day back from vacation offers you an incredible opportunity to do both - to[...]
How Top Restaurants Increase Revenue in Any Market Condition
Many restaurateurs sleepwalk through writing their budget every year - forecasting menu price growth, inflation, or market growth as a[...]
Why Top Restaurateurs Know There is No Shame in Getting Better
You already know about the missing pieces in your organization.You experience nagging discomfort like a pebble in your running shoe[...]
Smart Restaurateurs’ Guide to Hiring Your First Operations Director
Most of my clients guide teams in their multi-unit organizations through their next stage of growth, management development, concept development,[...]
What Subway’s Problems Teach About Dominating Your Restaurant Segment
If you are in the restaurant business, you have to pay attention to the problems (and solutions) at Subway. You[...]
Top 10 Actions That Make People Love Your Restaurant Brand
The smartest restaurateurs know that they are not in the restaurant business—they are in the branding business. According to the[...]
How Restaurateurs Use Time in Their Dining Rooms to Stay Unbeatable
What do your experienced eyes see when you walk through your dining rooms? The staff fastidiously on task? Dreaded empty[...]
Strategy Stops Random Restaurant Growth from Undermining You
So you’re not an Olympic gold medalist, a musician with 20 million streams, or a Pulitzer Prize winner? Still want[...]
The Wonderful Return Restaurateurs Receive from Soft Costs Related to Growth
Most of my clients are in a conscious evolution phase – having realized a portion of their growth potential when[...]
Two Essential Ways Restaurateurs Enjoy Their Time Away
Google the term "work life balance."  You will get two billion results. That’s fast—and a reminder of why we need work/life balance.[...]
Why Top Restaurateurs Triumph Over Fear and Run Open-Book Companies
We’re used to talking to management teams about store-level profit, restaurant profit, restaurant operation profit, or whatever term we use.[...]
The Secret to Transforming Your Restaurant Company Without Increasing Your Workload
“Just how much of my time is this going to take?” the successful owner of an independent multi-unit restaurant group[...]
Proven Methods to Protect Yourself from Gambling on Growth
My favorite time in the restaurant business is any period of growth. The future is exciting. Everything is possible. The[...]
The Biggest Restaurant Company Mistakes I Have Ever Seen
“Can you believe my company? I bet you’ve never seen anything like it.” I hear that all the time. “We[...]
The Five Best Things I Told You This Year… And Why
When you use one of my many suggestions to improve your business and your life, that makes it all worthwhile[...]
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[...]
Top Restaurateurs Know There is More to Life Than “Good”
It turns out you can have your cake and eat it, too. In fact, you owe it to yourself! My[...]
12 Disciplines for Ultimate Restaurant Success
Do you know what a “five-tool baseball player” is? It’s someone with speed, arm strength, good fielding ability, and the[...]
How Unconventional Restaurateurs Avoid Fooling Themselves
Most of my clients, who are successful owners of independent multi-unit restaurant companies, do not have an MBA. And they[...]
Restaurateurs: What’s Really Driving You?
As an owner of a successful multi-unit independent restaurant company it is important to understand what motivates you so you[...]
Attention Restaurateurs: An Appeal to Take Better Care of Yourself
Why are restaurateurs better to their guests than they are to themselves? If you know me well, you know that[...]
Remembering the Great Restaurateur Mr. Jim
G. “Jim” Hasslocher — my client, who was founder and chairman of Frontier Enterprises in San Antonio — passed away[...]
Business Lessons Taught by David Bowie
On January 8, 2016 David Bowie released his 25th album, Blackstar, which debuted on the charts at number 1. Two days[...]
How to Fully Staff Your Restaurants
We have all seen the forecasts. They are all the same: In the coming years there will not be enough[...]
Three Things Successful Restaurateurs Focus on at Election Time
In this month’s QSR Magazine, I’m quoted in Kevin Hardy’s article — “For Restaurants, What’s Changed Under Trump?” — in[...]
How Restaurants Become Unstoppable
Eric Cacciatore recently stopped by my house to record an episode of his incredible, segment-leading podcast “Restaurant Unstoppable.” He was[...]
Restaurant Owners: Act Like the Lottery Winner You Are
As a successful owner of a multi-unit independent restaurant company, you truly have won the lottery — with your company[...]
Four Secrets of Great Restaurant Ownership
When you own a successful multi-unit independent restaurant company — or any company, for that matter — that company becomes[...]
The Surprising Reason Why Your Restaurant Company is Not Organized to Focus on Guests
Your company is organized functionally. That sounds efficient, but it’s actually the exact opposite of what will get you the[...]
What a Bunch of High School Teachers Know about Your Restaurant’s Success
Before you read, I wanted to share a free resource with you because you're part of this community.  Learn the 4[...]
Join Industry Leaders this Weekend in San Antonio
Build your business, talk to your peers, and have some fun while you are at it — this weekend in[...]
Want to Escalate Results? Fill in Your Restaurant’s Blind Spots
Imagine going to Whataburger and being told, “Your burger will be really good in a tortilla!” Some of the biggest[...]
Why Top Restaurateurs Know That Great Food Doesn’t Satisfy Their Guests
We all work so hard on our food. But the truth of restaurant success is that, for most independent restaurant[...]
Restaurateur’s Guide to Working Less and Making More
Reaching a certain level of success gives you the ability to create even more success. Recently, a restaurateur came to[...]
Join Me and Other Restaurant Industry Giants on 7/16
Trade shows are dead. I can do it online. We have all heard about that. But, in the digital world,[...]
Why You Need to Know What a First Time Restaurateur Thinks of Your Brand
First-time restaurateurs need all the help they can get! But their perspective can also help you. In Restaurant Business Magazine, I[...]
Secrets of What to Look for in a Restaurant Expert or Advisor
If you get 100 restaurant consultants together and ask them what they do, you’ll probably get 100 answers. So, if[...]
Restaurateurs: Is Your Restaurant Getting You Down?
“The restaurant business is one of the hardest jobs…the early-morning-to-late-night days have taken a toll — along with my sleepless[...]
Restaurateurs: Your Employee Intake Process Needs a Makeover
Nobody ever opened a restaurant aiming to be average. Unfortunately, though, plenty of restaurants use average interview techniques, onboarding processes,[...]
Beware: Your Bonus Plan May Be Working Against Your Restaurant’s Best Interests
People hate airlines — or, at best, tolerate them. But, even with their product quality and customer service ratings plummeting,[...]
Why Capability is the Door Opener to Successful Restaurants
Capability is the first key factor to having a business that allows you to maximize its value, your net worth,[...]
The Ambitious Restaurateur’s Guide to Taking the Whole Summer Off
When you’re successful, you don’t have to do what many families do every spring: figure out who will take care[...]
Restaurateurs: How to Keep Investors From Owning You
Who is the only person to whom you should give control of your successful multi-unit independent restaurant company? The person[...]
Are You Playing the Victim in Your Restaurant Business?
Successful people continue to be successful during lulls in their business, it is all a matter of degree — and[...]
How Restaurateurs Turn Challenges into their Biggest Competitive Advantage
I was recently interviewed by Howard Riell for a cover story for Restaurant Startup and Growth Magazine titled, “Help Needed[...]
Your Guests’ Thinking About Restaurant Delivery Has Changed. Has Yours?
What’s changed? The guest has made a decision for convenience over quality — like they have in many other aspects[...]
How Successful Restaurant Owners Stop ”Being Busy”
Show as much interest in the quality of their lives as they do results produced by their business. “How are[...]
Can You Take a Month’s Vacation From Your Restaurants?
You can when you set up your company to run without depending upon you. This is Spring Break week here[...]
Top Tips to Keep Your Restaurant Relevant
Be innovative. Today’s ideas are like fresh produce: wonderful but perishable — and, as an independent restaurant company owner, you[...]
Restaurant Bubble? Protect Yourself From the Success Bubble Instead
Before bed the other night, I read a post on Culture Map listing 50 new restaurant openings in our metro Dallas area.[...]
How Restaurateurs Take the Reins of Success
Every restaurateur has a right to succeed — and to succeed beyond their dreams. I absolutely believe that…and it’s been[...]
How Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers, Part 3
Twenty units. As an independent multi-unit restaurant company owner, where do you go from there? This is your “Should I[...]
How Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers, Part 2
If your independent restaurant company unit count has reached double digits, congratulations! You’ve reached a significant milestone.  Where do you[...]
How Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers, Part 1
All my research points to a proven formula for handling issues that impact your multi-unit independent restaurant company’s ability to[...]
4 Keys to Restaurant Company Owners Finding Joy
If you own a successful independent multi-unit restaurant company, your work life — and your whole life — ought to[...]
The Technique Successful Restaurant Owners Use to Solve Big Problems
Recently a successful restaurateur looked at me over the lunch table and told me that running his increasingly growing stable[...]
Four Strategies for Selecting Your Site
Restaurant Development+Design November/December, 2015 By:  Matthew Mabel Choosing the right site — one that is optimal for your concept, the[...]
Sell the Vision
Nothing ever happens until somebody sells something . . . right? It's a universal concept that's been around for so long[...]
Dream life or reality show?
In successful businesses, if you stop any team member and ask, "What are you focused on right now?" you are likely to[...]
Conventional wisdom that isn’t either.
Conventional wisdom often spouts off about razor-thin margins in the restaurant business. Our industry is perennially found on the list[...]
Are we having fun yet?
If you own successful restaurants, you should be having fun with your business and be able to live your life[...]
When success drives more success.
“The P&L is really not important here anymore." There, I said it. Around the table were some confused and shocked[...]
The million-dollar question
One of my clients leaned into a group of his colleagues where I was sitting at a roundtable recently. He[...]
What really happened last year?
Right about now, most business owners are reviewing their financials for 2014 and taking stock of success for last year[...]
Restaurant Management Rock stars in training.
Rockwall High School won this year’s  Texas ProStart Restaurant Management competition. Here are five reasons why: They used humor and[...]
The State of the Union is . . . changeable.
It is human nature to want to influence government in whatever direction you think would be best for you and[...]
Focus on the fundamentals.
Fundamentals may look like the boring stuff of business, but in fact they are the foundation for unique and special[...]
Got a great idea? Don’t give it away.
Your ideas are your greatest asset. It is called intellectual property for a reason -- property you don't want to[...]
Want a little more time off?
It is great being an entrepreneur and business owner. But maybe not so great if  your business demands your constant[...]
The Waiting Room
The Affordable Care Act could be the greatest thing that ever happened to your business. Why? Because it will motivate you[...]
What’s all that knocking?
Maybe fewer people are going to Hawaii this summer, but they are still going out for a drink tomorrow night. [...]
From buzzwords to best practices.
No matter what you think of jargon and buzzwords, every business has an opportunity to succeed through people, focus, measurement[...]
Everything Louder than Everything Else
When everything is louder than everything else, you can’t hear a thing.  Top businesses know they must turn their myriad[...]
Little Village Syndrome – Excerpt from: Beyond Business
Excerpt from forthcoming book: Beyond Business, By: Matthew Mabel ©2012 Little Village Syndrome - Click Here to Download Full Chapter[...]
You are in control of your own destiny.
Successful business people keep their eyes on their own product, creativity, service, culture and execution. When they do their job[...]
Restaurant Forecast? Sunny with Challenges.
According to a recent survey, restaurateurs are optimistic about the future. The top priorities identified by respondents are: staying true[...]
Getting Off to a Great Start
This e-newsletter tends to go to successful people: people who remember what it was like to be a manager for[...]
Slow down to speed up.
Recently, I talked with the Dallas Business Journal's staff writer Steven R. Thompson for his article "Small Lucia eatery finds[...]
Healthier choices – in a hurry.
More than one-fourth of Americans eligible to enlist in our armed forces are too obese or out of shape to[...]
Bright lights, big city. Small town, big opportunity.
On my way to meet a new client and tour their operation, I have landed at more than one tiny[...]
Avoid Overexposure – Nightclub & Bar
Avoid Overexposure - View Source Article September 12, 2011 By: Matthew Mabel Reduce Insurance Costs without Increasing Risk? You Can[...]