The Best Restaurateurs Don’t Ever Choose Between Culture and Cash

Every independent restaurant company has its strengths.

Some are more guest focused; some are more production oriented; and others are outstanding at concept or locations.

What I do with my clients, owners of successful independent multi-unit restaurants  to truly maximize their  revenue, profits, and net worth, is to make their organizations  good at all of these things — and more.

When I am asked to sum up my life’s work advising owners of these companies, I say I have been helping independent restaurant company owners be as good to themselves as they are to their guests.

My time is divided between two parts: 1) helping companies that are already strong on culture become even better at making cash, and 2) and helping companies that are strong on cash get even better at culture.

You Are What You Talk About

You can find their strengths in what they talk about. All you have to do is listen. What people talk about is what they focus on. 

I get to listen to different successful independent restaurant company owners, senior managers, and unit managers every day.

Sometimes the differences in what they talk about make you think they are not even in the same business.

One group talks all day about food, another about marketing, another about efficiency and standards, and another about hospitality.

Your exciting life growing your business can become intolerable when your business grows to a point where all elements are needed and one is missing.

The stress created through this gap can seem to obliterate all other success, because it nags at you.

Maybe you forget the guests (really, that happens), experience production difficulties, see your concept lose its luster, choose the wrong location, and you do not know why all this has happened.

Four Most Important Steps to Take

Pull your management team together and identify the biggest strengths of your organization.

Start by identifying whether you are culture or cash.

  1. Conversely, identify areas that could be improved for your organization to have all the bases covered.
  2. Identify the conversation about these areas you want to establish before you begin initiating improvements.
  3. Create an action plan with your internal team or external resources to develop greater capabilities.

The best restaurants always rely on their strengths, but create a full spectrum of internal capabilities — wide enough to tackle all their challenges.