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 group coaching offering I started to make sure restaurant owners can survive, stabilize, and dominate their segments when this mess is all over.

“How will you move a bunch of inexperienced, scared, confused, challenged business people across the finish line to renewed prosperity?”

“I won’t have to,” I replied, “because the people who joined the club turn out to be some of the most experienced, successful, and respected restaurateurs out there.”

Each member of the Restaurant Survival and Success Club has decades of experience in owning extremely successful restaurants and brands you recognize. They’re some of the best operators – leaders in their industry and community.

When I look at the faces of the people in the boxes on the Zoom screen, I see a clear pattern.

I see the characteristics of all the restaurateurs who will prosper after this crisis ends.

They will take their place among the most successful restaurateurs in the future, repeating their track record – only stronger this time.   

The Four Habits

  1. First, take care of yourself. Each member of the Restaurant Survival and Success Club has an outlet for rejuvenating, staying strong, and supporting their mental health. They practice everything from exercise and meditation to having a drink at the end of the day under the trees in their back yard. None of them believe survival requires them to push themselves like superheroes and devote every waking minute to work. 
  2. Collaborate. Being part of a group makes you more powerful than going it alone or talking to your friends without structure. The owners who will get through this align themselves with the right people – trusting, sharing with, and learning from them. Those of you who know me well might describe me as “not a group person.” But the truth (and irony) is that the greatest leaps in my career all associate with groups I am part of, like my international consulting group, my networking groups, and trade associations like the Texas Restaurant Association. 
  3. Leave the fear behind. Once you consider and recoil from the idea that you might lose everything – however remote that possibility might be – you reject that fear and prepare to come back. You realize life will go on. You free yourself and become confident, calm, and ready to work on saving everything valuable to you and the people who depend on you. 
  4. Be open to change everything. COVID-19 has taught every business person to be open-minded about embracing change. Also freeing, this acts as another key to survival and success. If you can find anything you have not considered changing in your restaurant, go back and think again.

Whether you own one restaurant or 100, you must adopt the habits of self-care, collaboration, leaving the fear behind, and being open to change to position yourself to move through this crisis successfully – no matter how long it takes.

Over to you. How do you rate yourself in each of those four categories? What steps will you take to handle them all?