Restaurant Ownership

How Unconventional Restaurateurs Avoid Fooling Themselves

November 5, 2018

Most of my clients, who are successful owners of independent multi-unit restaurant companies, do not have an MBA. And they never even cut their teeth in the corporate world—they just opened a restaurant and it went from there. Many of them are unconventional leaders. I … Continued

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Restaurateurs: What’s Really Driving You?

October 15, 2018

As an owner of a successful multi-unit independent restaurant company it is important to understand what motivates you so you can be intentional in that regard as you develop your business. If you don’t know that, you could be working randomly — or, worse, against … Continued

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Attention Restaurateurs: An Appeal to Take Better Care of Yourself

October 8, 2018

Why are restaurateurs better to their guests than they are to themselves? If you know me well, you know that is the question I suggest you ask yourself every day. The great Debi Saltzberg recently interviewed me for her podcast, Just Forking Around, and we … Continued

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Remembering the Great Restaurateur Mr. Jim

September 27, 2018

G. “Jim” Hasslocher — my client, who was founder and chairman of Frontier Enterprises in San Antonio — passed away back in November, 2015. Known to all as “Mr. Jim,” he began his hospitality career in 1947. Today, Frontier Enterprises operates 24 restaurants (most of … Continued

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Business Lessons Taught by David Bowie

September 25, 2018

On January 8, 2016 David Bowie released his 25th album, Blackstar, which debuted on the charts at number 1. Two days later, he died from a cancer that, it turned out, he had been fighting for a year and a half. Blackstar was literally his pre-planned farewell to … Continued

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How to Fully Staff Your Restaurants

September 24, 2018

We have all seen the forecasts. They are all the same: In the coming years there will not be enough employees to staff our restaurants. The idea of an ample labor supply is as archaic as phones connected to the walls by wires, 13-column pads, … Continued

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Three Things Successful Restaurateurs Focus on at Election Time

September 17, 2018

In this month’s QSR Magazine, I’m quoted in Kevin Hardy’s article — “For Restaurants, What’s Changed Under Trump?” — in which industry experts discuss what has changed for them during the Trump administration and how the upcoming midterm elections might affect them. With an election … Continued

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How Restaurants Become Unstoppable

September 10, 2018

Eric Cacciatore recently stopped by my house to record an episode of his incredible, segment-leading podcast “Restaurant Unstoppable.” He was on a cross-country mission to talk to interesting, informed, creative, and significant restaurant people from coast to coast, and he was here to record episode … Continued

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Restaurant Owners: Act Like the Lottery Winner You Are

August 13, 2018

As a successful owner of a multi-unit independent restaurant company, you truly have won the lottery — with your company set up (or able to be set up) so you can make more money than you ever thought possible. Truly, I recommend you think of … Continued

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Four Secrets of Great Restaurant Ownership

August 6, 2018

When you own a successful multi-unit independent restaurant company — or any company, for that matter — that company becomes a reflection of you. What you do well, it does well. Your challenges are its challenges. One of my clients told another one of my … Continued

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The Surprising Reason Why Your Restaurant Company is Not Organized to Focus on Guests

July 23, 2018

Your company is organized functionally. That sounds efficient, but it’s actually the exact opposite of what will get you the best result. Instead, organize by what your guests want. You have servers, cooks, bussers, hosts, general managers, managers, shift leaders, marketers, trainers, group salespeople, and … Continued

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What a Bunch of High School Teachers Know about Your Restaurant’s Success

July 16, 2018

Before you read, I wanted to share a free resource with you because you’re part of this community.  Learn the 4 ingredients your restaurant business needs to maximize success.  Download “Matthew Mabel’s Toolkit for Creating a Dream Restaurant Business“.  No strings attached! Now – let me share what High … Continued

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Join Industry Leaders this Weekend in San Antonio

July 13, 2018

Build your business, talk to your peers, and have some fun while you are at it — this weekend in San Antonio. Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace, the second largest industry event in the country, has morphed into part trade show, part conference, part party. It … Continued

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Want to Escalate Results? Fill in Your Restaurant’s Blind Spots

June 25, 2018

Imagine going to Whataburger and being told, “Your burger will be really good in a tortilla!” Some of the biggest news in the industry in this part of the country came a week before last when supply chain quality control issues shut down 33 In-N-Out … Continued

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Why Top Restaurateurs Know That Great Food Doesn’t Satisfy Their Guests

June 22, 2018

We all work so hard on our food. But the truth of restaurant success is that, for most independent restaurant companies, food just gets you in the game. The guest experience, the price/value relationship, location, atmosphere, hospitality level, and even seemingly small things like parking … Continued

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Restaurateur’s Guide to Working Less and Making More

June 18, 2018

Reaching a certain level of success gives you the ability to create even more success. Recently, a restaurateur came to me and said he would like to figure out how to work less and make the same amount of money. I challenged him. I asked, … Continued

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Join Me and Other Restaurant Industry Giants on 7/16

June 11, 2018

Trade shows are dead. I can do it online. We have all heard about that. But, in the digital world, there is no substitute for occasionally tearing yourself away from your screens and meeting actual people in the physical world. One of my clients had … Continued

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Why You Need to Know What a First Time Restaurateur Thinks of Your Brand

June 5, 2018

First-time restaurateurs need all the help they can get! But their perspective can also help you. In Restaurant Business Magazine, I was interviewed for an article: “9 Key Considerations When Opening a Restaurant.” Written by Benita Gingerella, this piece is designed to make the “tough” process … Continued

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Secrets of What to Look for in a Restaurant Expert or Advisor

June 4, 2018

If you get 100 restaurant consultants together and ask them what they do, you’ll probably get 100 answers. So, if you are considering adding one to your team, how do you even know what you are looking for? What do you do? First, you probably … Continued

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Restaurateurs: Is Your Restaurant Getting You Down?

June 2, 2018

“The restaurant business is one of the hardest jobs…the early-morning-to-late-night days have taken a toll — along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours.” Sound like you at your worst moment? Those are the words of Marian Harper — owner of the legendary Carnegie Deli on Seventh … Continued

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Restaurateurs: Your Employee Intake Process Needs a Makeover

June 1, 2018

Nobody ever opened a restaurant aiming to be average. Unfortunately, though, plenty of restaurants use average interview techniques, onboarding processes, and training — a sure way of ending up stuck in the middle. The best successful multi-unit independent restaurant companies recognize this and hire only … Continued

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Beware: Your Bonus Plan May Be Working Against Your Restaurant’s Best Interests

May 17, 2018

People hate airlines — or, at best, tolerate them. But, even with their product quality and customer service ratings plummeting, their profits are at record levels. That’s sustainable in the airline business, which is essentially closed to competition, but would be catastrophic in the restaurant … Continued

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Why Capability is the Door Opener to Successful Restaurants

May 10, 2018

Capability is the first key factor to having a business that allows you to maximize its value, your net worth, and the quality, flexibility, and enjoyment of your life. My research shows that when you add capability to the other key factors, opportunity and strategy … Continued

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The Ambitious Restaurateur’s Guide to Taking the Whole Summer Off

May 7, 2018

When you’re successful, you don’t have to do what many families do every spring: figure out who will take care of the kids once the school year is done. Instead, you get to think about where you are going to go as a family. For … Continued

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Restaurateurs: How to Keep Investors From Owning You

April 30, 2018

Who is the only person to whom you should give control of your successful multi-unit independent restaurant company? The person you just sold it to. Other than that, no one. While you are at your company, keep control. No matter how tempting the offer, control … Continued

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Are You Playing the Victim in Your Restaurant Business?

April 23, 2018

Successful people continue to be successful during lulls in their business, it is all a matter of degree — and that may cover up the need to address opportunities that, if they could talk, would be shouting for attention. • “After the election, my sales … Continued

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How Restaurateurs Turn Challenges into their Biggest Competitive Advantage

April 2, 2018

I was recently interviewed by Howard Riell for a cover story for Restaurant Startup and Growth Magazine titled, “Help Needed — How to Compete for and Retain Employees in Today’s Job Market.” If you want to know what I think about that topic, Howard really … Continued

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Your Guests’ Thinking About Restaurant Delivery Has Changed. Has Yours?

March 19, 2018

What’s changed? The guest has made a decision for convenience over quality — like they have in many other aspects of their life. It has taken many restaurateurs too long to realize and accept that the guest does not share the depth of their concerns … Continued

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Restaurant Owners Stop Being Busy

How Successful Restaurant Owners Stop ”Being Busy”

March 15, 2018

Show as much interest in the quality of their lives as they do results produced by their business. “How are you doing?” is a question we all get asked so many times we develop a rote answer. For many, that answer is, “I’m Busy” — … Continued

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Take Months Vacation From Your Restaurant

Can You Take a Month’s Vacation From Your Restaurants?

March 12, 2018

You can when you set up your company to run without depending upon you. This is Spring Break week here in Texas (we go early in the year) — time to think about getting away. What’s the secret of restaurateurs who can get away for … Continued

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Keep Your Restaurant Relevant

Top Tips to Keep Your Restaurant Relevant

March 8, 2018

Be innovative. Today’s ideas are like fresh produce: wonderful but perishable — and, as an independent restaurant company owner, you constantly need a new supply. My most successful clients combine innovation with a robust social media presence to stay fresh, and make things happen. Why … Continued

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Protect Yourself from the Success Bubble

Restaurant Bubble? Protect Yourself From the Success Bubble Instead

March 1, 2018

Before bed the other night, I read a post on Culture Map listing 50 new restaurant openings in our metro Dallas area. I think it’s safe to say that, as I predicted, the restaurant bubble bursting did not happen. There has been a fair share of restaurant closings … Continued

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Success for Restaurateurs

How Restaurateurs Take the Reins of Success

February 22, 2018

Every restaurateur has a right to succeed — and to succeed beyond their dreams. I absolutely believe that…and it’s been my life’s work to make that happen. I also believe that, as long as you are learning, paying attention, changing with the times, and taking … Continued

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Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers Part 3

How Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers, Part 3

February 12, 2018

Twenty units. As an independent multi-unit restaurant company owner, where do you go from there? This is your “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” moment. Going past 20 units means a choice about how you want to live your life — with an added … Continued

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Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers Part 2

How Restaurant Company Owners Push Through Expansion Barriers, Part 2

February 9, 2018

If your independent restaurant company unit count has reached double digits, congratulations! You’ve reached a significant milestone.  Where do you go from here? Maybe you’ve never owned 10 restaurants before. A whole new set of challenges and opportunities awaits. It’s imperative that you handle them … Continued

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