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

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 greeting card or New Yorker cartoon, with a picture of a patient telling his physician, “Doctor, I have song in my head, and I can’t get rid of it.”

Don’t be the restaurant owner version of that person.

Don’t Count Sheep; Count Victories

One of my clients intentionally brings developing managers (who ordinarily don’t belong there) to situations that, in the past, he would handle himself – just so they can learn.

Another GM at one of my client companies looked across the table when I visited their restaurant last week and told their (self-identified control-freak) owner, “My job is to keep you out of here.”

Put management teams in a system where they must identify opportunities, focus on solutions, be accountable for measurable results, and guarantee they stick when they move on to the next thing.

Avoid strategies that look beautiful but that miss out on guest focus or rely on the expectation that all operators identify as entrepreneurs and will figure things out themselves.

The Top Four Things You Don’t Want

All my research indicates four root causes of people getting what they don’t want.  

  1. Wrong leadership: When the wrong leadership is in place, people will never know how to do their jobs. That leadership could be you – or the people you have hired.
  2. Wrong rewards: Companies often reward task work even though the most valuable management functions are not tasks. If you focus on rewarding the accomplishment of tasks, people will never learn how to truly manage a business.
  3. Wrong tools: Even when you have the right people in place, providing insufficient education or tools means your restaurants will operate below your standards.    
  4. Wrong culture:  An out-of-whack culture asks people to focus on production, profit, or logistics over guest and employee experience – and yields substandard results.

Which one describes your organization?

Clients who have worked through solutions with me have learned how to allow (and expect) their people to achieve great things.

This comes through delegation and providing resources to management.   

They take action when they inspire their management teams by continually teaching them, allowing them to grow and excel, and building careers.

Over to you. If any of the issues exist in your organization, what steps will you take to increase the velocity of your success and address this?