Don’t Wait for The New Year to Start Changing Your Restaurant

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Every year it’s the same story. Come January 1st things are going to be different! You are going to make those changes you have been endlessly talking about all this past year. You make a declaration to the world that this is your year and now you mean it. Again.

Here’s the question: why wait?

Maybe it’s not the right time? Truth is that time doesn’t wait to be convenient, it just keeps ticking away.

You need to pull a few things together first? Really? Like what? This stalling excuse is just a fancy version of the “I’ll do it tomorrow” classic. The only thing is that then tomorrow gets busy (because that’s life) and you pull that classic back out and say “tomorrow”... again.

Let’s look at some of those changes many want to make and are hold back until next year to implement:

Market More

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The longer you wait to up your marketing game the harder it is to play the game. More and more new restaurants open every day and that is competition. They don’t want to play nice. They want your market share. The longer you wait, the more you are practically giving them. If your brand is not top-of-mind you are soon forgotten.

McDonald’s is a well-known global brand. Do you see them stopping their marketing machine because everyone knows who they are? No way! They want those Golden Arches embedded deep in your unconscious.

When you stop seeing McDonald’s market is the day you want to slow down, too. Until then, press your marketing accelerator down to the floor!

How? Here are three short tips:

  1. Double down on your posts. Yes, double the amount of posts on social media for the next 30 days and see if you notice a difference.
  2. You will need to boost your reach. The social media platforms know that they are the ticket to reach the world, so they are constantly changing their algorithms to keep things exciting (basically they change the rules, just when you figure the rules out). You will have take a look at which organic posts have the best reach and boost them to penetrate your market further.
  3. Play the trifecta. You need to use at least three platforms to be able to reach a wider market. Facebook is hot, however, it is only one of many. Look at your brand and take a look at Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Think of it like a composed plate...you need an entree, a starch, and a vegetable to balance it out. Same for social media. One is your center of the plate and the other two are designed to support that.

Kill the Vampires

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You see them. Those negative energy vampires that are sucking the life out of your restaurant’s culture. The A players loathe them because they have to pick up their slack. Your guests cringe when they see them coming to their table to tell them about the terrible week they’re having. You gasp when you see the paycheck you had to sign for them for all the drama they cause. So, why tolerate them?

Will you be short staffed? Will you have to work their station? Are you afraid to let them go?

Time to face all those fears because of the one thing you have really avoided: recruiting consistently. By not being actively recruiting to keep a pipeline of applicants coming in you are reduced to hiring by demand. You never want to hire only when you need to fill an empty spot. That is a recipe to attract mostly C players.

Write these words down: What you put up with, you end up with.

Time to get rid of those that are draining the culture from your restaurant.

All You Need is Love

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Don’t get all tearful, yet. What this means is you must take care of yourself. There is a connection between your self-care and the energy in your restaurant. The hospitality business is all about being the ultimate host (the word itself comes from hospes or host). We give so much to others in this business, yet we fail miserably at taking care of ourselves.

Most of those New Year resolutions revolve around “finally getting in shape” or “joining a gym”. Why wait? Surely, the gym in your neighborhood would not turn you away saying “wait until next year.”

There is no greater gift you can give to yourself, your family, your team, and your guests than the gift of self-care. What, no gym in your town? Surprise! Self-care is not just about the physical game. It’s even more critical to focus on your mental game!

How? Glad you asked...

  • Mediation (yes, there are mobile apps that make it easy)
  • Read (books or blog posts are a good start)
  • Audiobooks (another way to feed your mind)

Still want some exercise? Try these:

  • Rebounders (these small trampolines are easy to set up in your house or apartment...no gym needed)
  • Walk (there is a big beautiful world out there...you should check it out)

If you are looking at those goals for next year and they don’t move you to take action today, then here is some bad news… those goals are not big enough!

Big audacious goals are required to get you moving. Deep deeper and come up with a compelling goal that pulls you towards it. Avoid push goals that you feel you need to do out of some unconscious obligations or you think you want. You need to want your goals like it’s the last meal you will ever have!

The power to change your restaurant is not held captive in tomorrow or next year. It’s in the actions you take today. Like, right now, today!

What are you waiting for?

By Donald Burns, Industry Expert