Leadership Skills for the New-Age Operator

As an operator in today’s climate, there are new challenges when it comes to management at your restaurant.

There are new populations like Gen Y and millennials to understand. There’s new technology to learn and then train your staff with. There’s the high turnover, so you are consistently looking for reliable team members. There’s the challenge of retention and creating a culture that staff members want to be a part of.

The most successful operators are new-age leaders who aim to develop new leaders and build a culture that stands out.

But the first step to being a great leader is understanding motives.

We sat down with Rudy Miick, founder of Miick Companies on the recent IOChangeMakers live stream to see what it takes to be a leader today as the restaurant industry experiences a profound shift. As Miick points out, there are two types of workers today. Ones that have to work to make a living and others that are inspired to work.

So the goal is to inspire your team. But that is easier said than done. It all starts with defining the “why” or as Miick calls it “your purpose.”

“If I don’t have a sense of purpose or what some people now call the why, if I don’t know why we’re in business besides making money, then I end up being that rudderless leader,” says Miick.

Once you define the why and then establish values that support the why this is how you create or build a culture that resonates. Understanding the why also inspires new leaders within your team.

Want more leadership tips from Miick? Check out the clip above. The full interview is also now exclusively available on Foodable On-Demand here.

How to Be an Effective Leader in an Evolving Industry

How to Be an Effective Leader in an Evolving Industry
  • The Barron Report's Paul Barron talks to business and management guru Rudy Miick about how to be an effective leader.

  • Our industry's culture has changed and behavior that was acceptable 20 years ago is no longer acceptable.


Show Notes

On this episode of The Barron Report, we get to talk leadership with business and management coach, Rudy Miick! Great leadership is a building block in all businesses, but especially in an “industry of pennies” like the restaurant industry. Listen in to hear Paul and Rudy discuss the issues restaurants are facing today and how a great leader can guide their team to success.



  • 2:26 - Rudy’s blogs
  • 3:36 - Begins Asking “Who Are We?”
  • 6:37  - Creating a Strong Culture Using Employees
  • 12:23 - Defining and Re-assessing Excellence
  • 17:09 - Exposing the Sexual Harassment Problem
  • 22:12 - Certain Behaviors are Not Acceptable Anymore
  • 24:07 - Leaders Must be Attentive to Changes in our Industry
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The Leadership Cookbook: Make an "Angry" Guest a Fan!

Demanding guests are your best friend.


Before you click off the page, I’m not talking about the customer who’s never happy. I’m talking about that guest that knows your food, beverage, or service quality well enough to know exactly what they want and how they want it. There are lots of reasons knowledgeable guests are your best friend. Two at the top of the list are:

1. Demanding guests typically know what they want. They can verbalize their expectations, so the likelihood of a miss in production is minimal.

2. When there is a production breakdown for whatever reason, these folks typically understand the effort to achieve quality. Their knowledge provides some window of opportunity and good for you and me, ironically there’s a bit of patience under fire. The nuance of patience is a paradox and a great segue for us in this chapter…

Most of us in the service business have experienced an angry customer. And yes, there are steps each of us can take to turn an angry or upset guest into a raging fan. Even better, these action steps can be taught. Here are 4 actionable steps to teach your team:

The Leadership Cookbook: Miick Method© — 6 Musts of a High-Performing Company

The Leadership Cookbook: Miick Method© — 6 Musts of a High-Performing Company

By Rudy Miick, Foodable Industry Expert

“We’re starting a new concept.” 

“We’re growing!”  

“Is there a system to business development we can follow to mitigate risk?”   

The short answer is yes. 

In this chapter, I’ll share our approach at Miick. It works. The steps we take provide both structure and flexibility. And luck has nothing to do with it.

Over the years, our success has come from starting companies that have corporate structure in unit #1. They also have the feeling of a great independent restaurant, full of passion and purpose in unit #50 (or higher). There is a way to get the best of both worlds. That’s the focus of this chapter. Get ready for an overview of a structured approach that works because it holds great flexibility at the same time. We call it the Miick Method©.

Read More

The Melman Siblings of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises — The Inner-workings of an Iconic Restaurant Group

On this episode of On Foodable, brought to you by the Foodable Network, Host Rudy Miick is joined by two Melman siblings: Molly Melman, partner & divisional training manager at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, and Jerrod Melman, managing partner at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. For those not yet familiar, their father, Richard Melman, is the founder of LEYE, which is one of the most recognized restaurant groups today.

Though the restaurant industry is in their blood, not all family members fell into the business right away. Watch the full episode to find out what has kept them engaged in the business, what they look for in new hires, and more.