When Your Restaurant Journey Requires New Approaches

You’d think that – when I start working with successful multi-unit restaurant companies looking to improve – matching their strengths with what they need would be easy. 

But experience tells me that thinking differently, along with new approaches, not old ones, make for successful growth. 

Just like the people who establish a concept are not always the best people to grow it, I collaborate to add organizational strength to transition these groups to their chosen destination.

These big improvements create just as big results, and a lot of fun for me. 

Why Companies Shift

  • A great operations company that executes must become great at hospitality, service or sales and marketing to bring more people into their restaurants and raise revenue. 
  • An exceptional hospitality company has to become great at management and business to create the amount of profit the owners deserve. 
  • A unique, much-loved brand has to improve the way it deals with people to attract and retain today’s workforce. 

How to Grow Up

There are different phases of growth for a restaurant company, just like they are for a person.

I see too many companies acting like toddlers or teenagers when times call for adult behavior.

All my research shows that there are significant differences in what organizations need for success at three, 10, and 20 units to continue building brands, good vibes, and net worth.

  • At three units: Success comes from establishing branding, culture, and intentional strategy – and an owner letting go of operations – but it can also be about business practices.
  • At 10 units: There must be a highly defined brand, a culture that permeates every interaction, a locked-in growth strategy that can repeat, and solid multi-unit talent in operations, finance, and marketing.
  • At 20 units: The smartest operators know whether they want to work toward an exit or to run their restaurants forever. What lifestyle do they want to lead? 

One of the secrets to decades of successful consulting work relates to understanding that the strengths of my clients tend not to match the characteristics they need to achieve your goals. 

So we pivot and adjust them. 

But like the science fiction character frustratingly stranded on a distant planet (but highly trained) with no way home, understand that the fuel for origination generally runs out and eventually new sources of energy must be created to reach new goals. 

What about you? Where do you think your company’s strength lies? What does your company really need to attain your goals? When you redirect strategy, what opportunities will that open up that have seemed impossible to reach up to now? 


What’s the point of owning a successful restaurant business if you don’t have freedom?

Download Matthew Mabel's Freedom and Flexibility Guide for Restaurateurs to learn how to...

  • Step away for extended periods of time
  • Contribute to your community in a unique way
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Travel for weeks at a time
  • Split your residence at a vacation home for several months a year


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