What Restaurant Leaders Have That You Don't— 5 Traits That Make Them Great

What Restaurant Leaders Have That You Don't— 5 Traits That Make Them Great

Greatness is not something to take lightly. In the world of restaurants it can be said that the majority only rise to the level of being good. In today’s food industry, the last thing you want to be is— just good. Being good is a death sentence in a highly competitive market. Why do so many restaurants close? Being average is a big part.

The other reason is lack of leadership. As the market reaches a breaking point of saturation we have hired and promoted people into management roles that neither have the training or the temperament to be leaders. Our industry is at a crossroads and the solution is for people to step up and take the wheel of leadership into their hands and drive!

When you study restaurant leadership you start to see there are common traits that great leaders have. You might have these traits or maybe not. The lack of leadership around would point to the latter. Not to worry, it’s never too late to adapt and learn. Actually that is the best place to start!

The 5 Traits All Great Leaders Have

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3 Key Phrases That Sign the Decline of a Restaurant

3 Key Phrases That Sign the Decline of a Restaurant

When you listen to people talk about their restaurant, there are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) verbal signals that causes you to have a reaction. A negative reaction. As a consultant, you hear these words spoken and in the back of your mind you hear a voice in your head say, “wait for it”. Usually those voices are not wrong. It could be a few months or a year. Eventually, those that throw around boasting remarks tend to be sitting down and eating the very words they were saying.

What you say is a reflection on what is really going on in that three-pound piece of gray matter nestled on the top of your body. The funny thing about the words we say to ourselves, is that when we repeat them with energy, we actually believe them!

Here are three common phrases uttered by short sighted restaurants that originate from the three cardinal sins of leadership: ego, pride, and denial.

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Learn How Leadership Roles Vary Across Companies, While Still Catering To Fiscal Goals

Learn How Leadership Roles Vary Across Companies, While Still Catering To Fiscal Goals

The responsibilities of leadership, hmmm, not a small topic.  

Regardless of the to do list, resolutely clear is that actions and behavior are important.  This writer’s belief is that Culture equals Brand and Brand experience is Culture.   Inspiration, harassment, high performance or not, all come from leadership.  Brand Experience (internal for staff or external for our customers and guests) really is Culture.   What we accept, what we don’t, what we support or don’t support, all flows from Leadership.  

Our focus on leadership is also important because, at the operations level, regardless of industry segment, managers are leaders by default.  Management and Leadership are both the same and different in many ways.  It’s rare to talk about the nuances, and even rarer to train leadership skills definitively.   

In this second of a three-part series, my intention is to build on what I shared on leadership expectations from experience with over 1,000 operators over thirty years. In this edition, you’ll hear the opinions of three C-suite leaders from very Brand Conscious Companies regarding leadership, management and growth.

On my “leadership panel,” you will meet the following people:

  • Adam Reed, COO of Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar’s parent company, Big Red F residing in Boulder, Co.

  • Nick Sarillo, founder and president of Chicago-based Nick’s Pizza & Pub, the number six highest producing independent pizza chain in the US; and

  • “Brandon,” COO of a Seattle-based publicly traded international QSR, who’s asked to remain anonymous   

Their answers may surprise you.   

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5 Tips to Help Maintain Brand Consistency

5 Tips to Help Maintain Brand Consistency

Many restaurants drift in the cloud of confusion. Their messaging is either vague or cliché. They don’t truly understand what their customers want. Their identity design is out of sync with how they want to be perceived. Because of this, their marketing efforts fall flat and they struggle to break through the noise. The solution can seem to be switching things up or trying something new. Unfortunately, this only accelerates the confusion.

If this sounds familiar, it’s good to take a step back and evaluate. You need to rethink how you view branding. To summarize, you need to figure out who you are and figure out how to communicate that effectively. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to execute with consistency.

Which brings us to how to develop brand consistency.

Building your brand is the same as building a personal reputation. As you get to know someone, you can begin to predict how they will present themselves and how they will respond to situations based on their character. Thinking of your brand as a person will help you cut through the noise and connect on a human level.

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