Saturday, May 16, 2015

29 Restaurant Tips I've learned from "Restaurant Impossible"

Image Courtesy http://pixabay.com/en/users/Republica-24347/
While I claim I don't like reality shows, I do have a soft spot for business rescue shows. The one I have watched the most is Restaurant Impossible on Food Network. If you don't watch the show,  the show is about a gruff but lovable chef, Robert Irvine, who goes into restaurants  where he  revamps the food, management, service, and decor 'in Two Days with $10,000'

This list of tips are based on my experience watching the show. If you are going to be on the show, this is what's coming.

Warning: Watching  reality TV in no way makes me an expert on the restaurant business. Beyond watching reality TV, my only other practical experience with the restaurant business is as a customer. If someone who has actually been successful in this business gives you advice, take it first.

 29 tips for running a successfully restaurant from that I  gleaned  by watching Restaurant Impossible

  1. Don't be stubborn. I know you think that its a virtue, its not. Its probably the primary reason you are (or need to) be on the show.
  2. This is a business, the goal is to make a profit. Don't do things what keep you from making a profit.
  3. A restaurant is not a good 'hands off investment' . You have to be there  to make sure its running properly.
  4. Just because someone likes your cooking or you like to cook doesn't mean you you should open a restaurant. You need to really learn the entire business first.
  5. Owners and managers should have well defined roles.
  6. Managers and owners shouldn't contradict each other, that why you have 'well defined' roles. If there is an issue it should be resolved in a meeting outside of operating hours.
  7. You should have regular meeting among staff and managers to make sure there is good communication.
  8. Have a procedure manual for your employees. Make them learn it, then hold them accountable.
  9. Treat your partners with respect.
  10. Treat your employees with respect.
  11. Expect respect from your employees.
  12. Good actions should have good consequences, bad actions should have bad consequences.
  13. Your employees are employees not family.
  14. If your some of employes are also family  communicate roles, expectations and consequences, before they start working. Make sure they the want to be held to these requirements before they start working. It's much easier to hire someone, rather than fix a relationship.
  15. Family is much more important than a restaurant.
  16. Have a good accounting system and use it. If you are not comfortable doing this, hire someone who is.
  17. Have a ticketing system for orders.
  18. Pay your taxes. The government doesn't care about your business.
  19. Pay your employees because you  want them to care about your business.
  20. Rule of Thumb: Food cost should be between 20 and 30% of the menu price.
  21. Don't overprice your food.
  22. Don't oversize your portions.
  23. Your customers are polite, they are not going to tell you the truth about your food, service, or decor. Use an anonymous method and/or check social media to see what they really think.
  24. Salt, pepper, and spices are your friend, use them appropriately.
  25. Fresh, not frozen or canned. 
  26. Microwave ovens-- Just say No!
  27. Clean your kitchen daily and follow the health department rules. Its bad form to get your customers sick.
  28. Clean the front of the restaurant daily, nobody wants to eat in filth
  29. Make sure you dishes and silverware are clean.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Its been a while

Wow, I haven't posted in more than a year. I've been honing one of my most 'important' skills -- procrastination. Its not that I haven't done anything--over the last year:

  • Failed blog on Go programming
  • I did add a post to linked in that's worth reading The Once Social Network to Rule Them All
  • Some fun and exciting medical issues
  • Finally getting on the same page about finances with my wife (This is a huge win for my family) 
  • A major personal medical issue.

In any case, I'm going to try and do better this time and be a bit more consistent about posting

 Thanks for hanging in there