Remember the first time you ever carried a tray full of food from the kitchen to the table? For some of us it was long before we ever made the lunge into restaurant ownership. For others, it was the first day the door opened on our very own restaurant. And, yet for others, it has probably not yet happened. It really is an event worth remembering. A rule that we should always recall is that we should never forget when we were working our way up to becoming an owner. Don´t ever forget where you came from. A super way of accomplishing this goal is to communicate with your staff, listen to their needs and make sure that you take their rants to heart. Paying attention to industry trends that take place among your servers is an awesome way of staying connected to your staff. Frequently the waiters in a restaurant can spot trends much sooner than owners ever can since they are out on the front lines. Having an occasional trend meeting to get their feedback on what is going on in the lives of waiters and customers. Use your waiters as a mobile focus group. Collect the data that they are absorbing with each culinary encounter. It is also imperative that you listen to what is bothering them about the way your restaurant is running. A site that is both enjoyable to read, and educational, is Waiter Rant. It is especially interesting today. The top ten quotes from customers heard over Labor Day weekend will make you realize, once again, that the waiters really do work hard for all of the money we think they are making. Take a look at the site. It´s a good read after a long night. While on the subject of enjoyable reads how does this sound? “There are no shortcuts: You cannot enter culinary Meccas as executive chef of nationally recognized restaurants from a chef ownership in a suburb. It doesn´t matter that your restaurant is the best place for 100 miles. It doesn´t even matter that your restaurant is better than most of the restaurants in the Meccas. It doesn´t count. If you wish to enter one of the fabled food cities San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Maybe Las Vegas to work in the high end world, you need to do it as a cook or sous chef. Otherwise count on your small pond to keep your esteem as a big frog.” That was taken from the Chef´s Professional Agency. And, if you liked that there are plenty more where that came from. The site is loaded with little thoughts of wisdom that everyone in the business, including owners should read. Take a look, both sites will provoke a lot of thought.
Areas of Expertise: Restaurants
John Foley joined AllBusiness.com in 2005, bringing with him an extensive body of communication, culinary, and business expertise. He is a successful entrepreneur whose interests focus on food, publishing, and communications. He has published weekly and daily newspapers and magazines, has owned and operated eight restaurants, and has begun two Internet companies. He honed his Internet development, sales, and marketing skills as Publisher of IzmoMedia, a Bangalore, India-based content provider. He is a noted culinary and business columnist whose work appears in the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner.com, and a variety of other Internet sites. He has consulted on numerous restaurant, newspaper, and Internet startups. Foley recently joined crowdfunding company Foodie Tout to develop, launch, and publish FoodieDaily.com, a new Internet food site covering the who, what, where, and how in the world of food.