(Blogger’s Note: This is the third and final entry in a three part series on staying focused on your concept.)
Focus. It is the main ingredient in every aspect of your restaurant and staff. Without it, we lose vision, rhythm and the confidence to manage and direct the day to day responsibilities of our operation. It’s difficult to keep the art of focus top of mind, plus the techniques and methodology used to remain focused, are often confusing. Suggestions from customers and staff, opinions from friends and families, and ideas from those who have only fantasized about being in the restaurant business, are all forces that pull you in different direction. On top of this, when the bottom line reflects less profit and possible losses, we suddenly begin to question what we are doing wrong or whether we are on the most profitable path to success.
It is imperative to keep your staff focused on your concept, your product, and most importantly, your standards. By developing your concept guidelines and explaining those guidelines to your staff – both front of the house and back of the house – this will help everyone stay on the same page while driving your concept forward.
In yesterday’s blog I made reference to the abundance of donut shops in
Here are ten tips on staying focused and getting back on track if your vision has become blurred…
1). Revisit your original concept outline and business plan regularly.
2). Analyze how closely your concept, business plan and current operation compare.
3). Make sure your menu has a direction, a flow, and a flavor base. If you are a French concept don’t put a Pastrami sandwich on your menu unless it has somewhat of a French flare to it.
4). If you have made some changes that do not fit the concept guidelines, change them.
5). Pay attention to individual creativity. Many new managers and consultants immediately change the napkin fold, the menu covers and the staff uniforms in an attempt to redirect a concept. But seldom does this fit into an overall, well developed plan. Individual creativity is a tremendous asset if it is defined.
6). Try to spend a few uninterrupted minutes each day reviewing your staff to make sure they are focused and on message.
7) Discuss your concept with your staff at pre shift and management meetings frequently. Also, make sure new employees are informed on your concept, your standards, and your focus. Do not rely on others to deliver your message. Initially, your message has to come from you.
8). Remind your staff of your standards and your expectations of them.
9). Taste your food and know your menu. If you are not eating your entire menu at lest monthly – with the chef not knowing who the food is for – you are not doing your job.
10). If you want to change your concept, do a complete make over, do not piece meal a concept renovation.