Restaurant Ownership

Why Restaurateurs Never Trade Long-Term Vision for Short-Term Fears

October 3, 2022

If you’re feeling stuck, frozen, or worried about what happens next in the economy, you’re in danger of succumbing to short-term fears.Don’t do it!Stay focused on the big picture. Continue to build your company to support your long-term vision.   Win the Marathon During the … Continued

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

September 19, 2022

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 … Continued

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How Restaurant Owners Stay on Top While Everyone Else Handles the Numbers

September 12, 2022

Top restaurateurs spend less of their precious time knowing their organization’s numbers and more time ensuring that the people who run their restaurants have financial acuity. They develop people who tell them (their boss) about prideful action undertaken to provide great guest experiences, loyal and … Continued

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Why Today’s Young Restaurateurs Start With Strategy

September 6, 2022

Why do entrepreneurs in the incubation stage understand the need for strategy more than many successful owners of independent multi-unit restaurant companies?  Recently I spoke at the DEC@Redbird part of The DEC Network in Dallas, which is dedicated to delivering access to resources, education, and guidance to give a boost to … Continued

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Top Restaurants Strengthen Culture by Asking Tough Questions

August 29, 2022

People can work for years creating a healthy culture in their restaurants – then one false move destroys it all. On a recent Monday morning, Texas Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels called a press conference to announce he was firing his direct report: manager Chris … Continued

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Only 3 Worthwhile Places to Look When Developing a Healthy Restaurant Business

August 22, 2022

Do your guests smile, feel happy, enjoy their meals, and tell their friends about that? Do your financial statements appear predictable and healthy – making you proud? Does your culture deeply permeate your restaurants every unit, every shift, every table, every time? Do your people … Continued

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How Top Restaurants Move From Observation To Results

August 15, 2022

By the time I start working with most of my clients, they’re already successful – making more money than they’d ever imagined. The reason they’ve brought me in, though, is that they know there’s an opportunity for so much more.   What the Airport Reminded … Continued

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Don’t Forget to Make Results of Your Summer Vacation Pay Off for You and Your Business

August 9, 2022

You miss out if you return from summer vacation with only lifetime of memories, and cool photos on your Instagram. Yesterday was my first day back in the office after two weeks in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado – two weeks of being with family … Continued

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Correcting 10 Faulty Assumptions That Take Up Space in Restaurant Owners’ Heads

August 1, 2022

Many of the restaurateurs I talk to every day often make assumptions that send them in absolutely wrong directions. When this happens in your brain, let me help you neutralize them with Matthew’s Top 10 Course Corrections – the cure for the faulty assumptions that … Continued

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How Restaurants Get the Results They Ask For

July 25, 2022

A lot of restaurateurs forget to ask for the results they want – then feel puzzled when they don’t get those results. If you suffer from lack of specificity, learn to ask “why” over and over. Borrow a three-year-old or remember when you raised a … Continued

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How Independent Restaurants Respond to the Beating They Took From Chains During This Pandemic

July 19, 2022

Chains won the pandemic – independent restaurants lost.  Chains leveraged their financial and resource superiority and, in a frightening (for us in the independent world) turn of events, learned to act quickly.  Chili’s created a virtual brand across 1,000 units in a few months. Chipotle … Continued

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These Three Restaurant Fundamentals Ensure Guest Happiness in Uncertain Times

July 11, 2022

We live in uncertain times – in a maybe-recession, maybe-not recession, maybe-shallow recession.  In the big cities where most of my clients operate, restaurants experience softer sales. Guests are spending, but that spending happens while on vacation in France, Spain, the Bahamas, Florida, Colorado, California, … Continued

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Overcome the Shallow Talent Pool by Taking This Action Now

July 5, 2022

Right now, the kiddie pool in the hotel your family visits this summer is deeper than the management pool in the restaurant industry. Every few days I have a conversation where one of my clients complains that the management talent in their organization is not … Continued

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Make Your Company Live Forever by Treating It Like It Won’t

June 27, 2022

Haruki Murakami wrote in his novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, “If people lived forever…they’d probably just figure, ‘Oh well, I’ve got plenty of time for that. I’ll think about it later.’” Stop operating your company with immortality in mind, like you have unlimited time to … Continued

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Stop Worrying About Recession, Focus on Fundamentals of Success Instead

June 20, 2022

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich once said, “Economic forecasters exist to make astrologers look good.” There is no time like June 2022 to remember that. Winners exist in any economic condition. You don’t have to worry about all restaurants; just focus on yours. Then win. … Continued

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The Senior Management Hiring Rule Smart Owners Never Break

June 13, 2022

The smartest operators know not to let their business become a clinical trial for an experienced senior chain restaurant person who works for an independent for the first time.  Instead, they leave that risk to someone else. NEVER hire senior management unless they’ve had at … Continued

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How Restaurant Owners Free Themselves to Take the Summer Vacations They Deserve

June 6, 2022

David M. Solomon, the CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs, surprised the world by offering senior bankers unlimited vacation time. He wants his people to “take the vacation they need so they can continue to run hard, be competitive, run productively, but take care of … Continued

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3 Steps to Developing Powerful Restaurant Managers Now

May 30, 2022

Expecting managers to perform because, 1) You told them to, and 2) You pay them a lot, identifies as disappointing fantasy. Instead, stick to reality. And in reality, the management shortage actually looks worse this year. People have landed in their post-COVID-crisis spots in and … Continued

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Don’t Sell Your Restaurants – Retire in Place Instead

May 24, 2022

A lot of restaurant owners have that tired old American dream: Work your whole life, then sell your business and retire for good. When my clients figure out the high cost of selling now, many see that dream as a nightmare. You have another option. … Continued

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How Top Restaurants Avoid the End of Hospitality

May 16, 2022

By now, we’ve all shared the February New York Times article “Restaurants to Customers: Don’t Call Us, We Won’t Call You.” It’s about a growing trend in restaurants – of communicating only by email or text, not phone. In the article, one restaurant owner complains that, to … Continued

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The One Thing That Transforms Your Restaurant Company

May 9, 2022

What is one thing in your organization that, when improved, would be a breakthrough for your guests, employees, brand, and net worth? Look in the mirror – it’s you. Since you’re always quick to improve other things in your business, how long are you willing … Continued

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The Proven Hands-Off Formula for Outstanding Restaurant Operations and Results

May 2, 2022

I talk to so many restaurateurs who have a restaurant detail voice in their head and stress about how their managers handle many issues.  Instead of thinking about how to create and grow, they reside in someone else’s details. I remember an image, an old … Continued

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How Restaurant Owners Eliminate Frustration about Missed Opportunity

April 25, 2022

The pandemic changed what people tolerate. Today, after all they’ve lived through; owners of successful independent multi-unit restaurant companies have less tolerance for organizational blind spots. They’re not content to just let initiatives be like conversations that go on year after year with no tangible … Continued

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How Restaurants Instantly Add Two Points to Their Bottom Line

April 18, 2022

Non-cash adjustment moves the credit card processing cost away from your P&L and onto your guests’ credit or debit card – in small increments they do not mind.   Plastic-wielding guests will see this cost itemized on the guest check, or will see a reduced price … Continued

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Why Smart Restaurant Operators Stop Bingeing on Menu Prices and PPA and Focus on Guest Count Instead

April 11, 2022

Last week, for the first time in two years, I went to a concert – me and 10,000 of my closest friends. Until the pandemic, that’s something I had been regularly doing my whole life.  At first, it felt otherworldly and weird.   And I … Continued

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What High School Students Teach You About Getting the Best Advice

April 4, 2022

Sure, listen to your family and friends, employees, and co-owners – they love to speak up. Direct, honest communication and encouragement inspires all of us, especially when it comes from people who have nothing but our best interests truly at heart. But nothing equals advice … Continued

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How Top Restaurateurs Win With Their Own Secret Sauce

March 28, 2022

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 … Continued

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How to Hold Restaurant People Accountable and Make Them Happy

January 31, 2022

Today, we have to live with a lot of odd pairings – such as guidelines we need to follow that might (at first) seem contradictory. An example? The need to be flexible and tolerant with our people (so they stick with us like lifelong fans … Continued

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Why Restaurant Managers Decide to Stay with You Forever

January 24, 2022

Last week I spoke to an Operations Director who had beefed up their management roster and had “one on the bench.” A heroic accomplishment in the current labor market! They also lamented that young managers too often have an attitude of, “I am doing you … Continued

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2022, Inflation, and Strategy for Your Restaurant Company’s Cash Reserve

January 17, 2022

Welcome to an inflationary time, where cash on hand not put to work becomes a depreciating asset. Back when the pandemic started, my first and most important question to all the operators I helped was: What is cash? At that horrible and scary time, instant … Continued

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How Top Restaurant Companies Make Current Strategy Succeed

January 10, 2022

Looking into 2022, the greatest thing top restaurant companies have going for them is that – after experiencing all those previously unimaginable things over the past two years – they have now figured out their strengths, identity, branding, and plans. The future now looks much … Continued

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The Five Best Things I Told Restaurant Owners This Year… and Why

December 27, 2021

Our strength was tested in 2021. Good news: We passed.  One of the best coping mechanisms remains laughter.   Above find my two favorite iconic pictures from 2021: The restaurant I drove by that put a hot-air balloon on the roof to attract talent, and … Continued

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What Top Restaurant Owners Do on Holiday Break 2021

December 20, 2021

My clients’ activity over the next two weeks varies from taking time off with friends and family at home (or traveling), to going to a mostly empty office for some time to think – to spending mealtimes at their restaurants to greet and appreciate guests … Continued

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Six Key Takeaways for Restaurants from My “Beat the Labor Shortage” Workshop

October 25, 2021

If you missed the workshop I conducted last week, “Beat the Labor Shortage – How to Attract and Retain Talent Without Breaking the Bank,” I’m sharing six key takeaways discovered by the diverse group of owners, operators, educators, and corporate team members who collaborated with … Continued

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Why Now Is the Time to Address PPA in Your Restaurants

October 11, 2021

During the empty-dining-room days of the pandemic, many owners of successful multi-unit restaurant companies got in the habit of dealing only with the new things directly in front of them. Those who fall into that trap now, though, are missing out on the fundamentals that … Continued

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