Top Restaurateurs Know to Step Outside Their Comfort Zones

Important Characteristics of Top Management

When the company you own remains the only one you where you have ever served in a leadership position, it can be like going to the same vacation spot every year and having no idea what the rest of the world looks like.

You remain uninformed.

Much of the work I do with my clients overcomes this – introducing outside elements so that once-impassible barriers to achievements disappear like magic.

It Can Be a Point of Pride

Many of my clients have built successful independent multi-unit organizations (like the ones I advise) by beginning with a single restaurant.

Or they take over a family business – the one where they washed dishes at age 14.

People who do this have incredible companies with strong feelings of heritage, pride, and lifelong commitment, and an encyclopedic knowledge of what makes their restaurants work (or not work).

It’s exciting and inspirational to see how well these great, successful, profitable companies prosper.


It Can Also Be a Point of Stagnation

Unfortunately, without a broader perspective on the industry, blind spots result because they’re missing one or two pieces essential to the way the industry works now.

The fact that these people tend to promote from within may compound the issue – unless they talk to their peers, join their local restaurant association, spend a lot of time researching best practices, or work with me or another advisor.

What are they missing out on?

  • Maybe they can’t explain their culture to employees and guests because they take it for granted that everyone understands.
  • Maybe they don’t sell effectively at the table because they’ve always had the same steps of service.  
  • Maybe they don’t talk to their guests because they claim to already know what guests are thinking.  
  • Maybe they don’t have a P&L that is optimally organized, because they’ve never re-evaluated the accounting system they’ve used for 10 or 20 years.
  • Maybe they don’t have a bonus plan that creates results and rewards managers for doing more than expected because no one wants to change the way a business handles people’s money.

That’s a lot of maybes – can you think of more?

Gaining Another Perspective

Because they start with no idea what goes on elsewhere, they’re like people of one political persuasion who never read or watch TV to find out another perspective.

Then we add just a few new pieces to their already-successful restaurant company.

And it becomes a lot more successful – catapulted forward with twin turbo momentum.

Over to you. Do you recognize yourself in this? How will you reach outside to take advantage of all the industry knows today about running an outstanding restaurant company, and update, innovate, and re-invent to improve your business and net worth?