Stop Worrying About Recession, Focus on Fundamentals of Success Instead

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.

Whatever happens with our economy, the premium tools you use to deal with shifting economics remain fundamental.

Four Areas of Focus

All my research tells me that success in any economy centers on four factors:

  1. Powerful functional management teams that live your culture while simultaneously pass the accountability test and realize opportunities 
  2. Real-time numbers that people understand, talk about and act upon as soon as they become available (see #1) 
  3. Unique offerings and relationships that make your guests wear blinders when they think about your competition 
  4. Leadership that inspires people to succeed no matter what outside forces they read about on their phones

I can’t make this any simpler for you.

The pandemic killed off most of the operators who were either struggling to pay the bills, just paying the bills, or simply making a salary for their owners.

That became a tragedy for many people we know, and we all feel for them.

But the strong operations survived—and unexpectedly improved.

And strong has the chance to make a choice to become stronger. 

Recent Changes

Earlier in the spring, most of my clients experienced 120% comp sales, but recently watched that number come down to about 100%.

Restaurant spending has declined in the past two weeks—but that could be only temporary or connected with summer vacation time, when 10% of our guests leave town in any one week.

The truth is that this picture will seem crystal clear at the end of the summer; currently there is fog.

What Top Operators Do Now

Right now my clients and I focus on building structure and accountability, upgrading leaders, developing systems that force management to constantly improve, defining culture to ensure it becomes real, and refocusing on speed of compilation of numbers and what we do with them.

My client companies operate at their own peak performance level.   

Now is the time to strength-train your system with people, process, and systems. Once you do that, you won’t worry about what any economic forecaster (or astrologer) says about your future.

Over to you; how have you prepared your organization to prosper under any economic conditions? Which of the big four topics above calls for your focus now?