A 2015 Action Plan from A-Z
In 2014, an estimated 8500 restaurants and bars will have closed in the USA. So what’s your plan to avoid being a statistic in 2015? And if your plan is a good plan, does your team know how to execute it? Here’s an action plan w/26 fundamentals to help you keep your head in the game.
A: Action is great, unless it’s the wrong action. So start here: ABS…Always Be Selling, not “strategizing” about selling. Train your customer-facing team to be service-oriented salespeople, not “order-takers.” Suggest your best to every guest.
B: Best beats first. Be brilliant at the basics and then excel at executing the fundamentals. Do the common things uncommonly well.
C: Consistency is the backbone of great customer service and value. Habitualconsistency is the keystone of foodservice operators that succeed in good times and bad.
D: DIRFT means Do It Right the First Time. Practice with the team via role-playing and training, but never on the customer. Assess all processes with this question: “What could go wrong?’ Then have an advance plan to minimize mistakes.
E: Everything you don’t sell has a triple cost. You pay to buy it, store it and throw it away. A dollar on the shelf that you don’t need is a dollar wasted. But remember…
F: Fundamentals. Be brilliant at the basics every shift, every week, every team member. Click HERE for the best tool to make that happen.
G: Government and business do not go well together. Play by the rules. Don’t do anything that gets the local, state or federal government further involved in your restaurant or bar.
H: Hiring the right people will not insure a manager’s success but hiring the wrong people will insure the manager’s failure. Why? See next letter.
I: If one of your servers waits on thirty people a night and works six nights a week he or she will impact 180 of your customers each week, or nearly 10,000 per year. If you don’t have the right people in the right place, you’re making a big mistake.
J: Jumpstart every shift with clear shared goals and an energetic, focused pre-shift meeting. Get our DVD Jumpstart to learn how.
K: Keep cool but do not freeze. Grace under pressure is the necessary demeanor for managers, servers and bartenders.
L: Learning is to team development what service is to the customer. Give it in abundance and develop daily. Learning is like rowing upstream; not to advance is to drop back.
M: Make Hiring THE Most Important Decision.
N: Never lower your standards just so a mediocre applicant can raise theirs.
O: Overteach. Managers and employees tend to under-learn and over-forget.
P: Profit and Loss is our measuring stick for success. But does your team know how small the profit is in the foodservice industry? Get our popular Profit on the Dollar Poster here.
Q: Quality is a bedrock fundamental of successful operators. Customers will forgive us for a higher price, but never for lower quality,
R: Results, not “effort” call for reward. Get 1% better every day and where will you be 100 days from now?
S: Statistic that Matters: There are currently 10 million people working in America’s restaurants. Outside of government, we are the nation’s largest employer.
T: Turnover reduction must be a primary goal for 2014. Shoot for 3% less turnover each month, 36% by year’s end.
U: Understand how other industries excel at service, selling, recruiting, training. Study retail, manufacturing and internet companies. The best practices in foodservice are not that great.
V: Value is determined by the guest. It combines quality, price, service, cleanliness and sometimes, speed. It’s made up of a thousand little things we do day and day out that the customer may not even notice…until we don’t do them. Get the basics down pat. Our best-selling book Fundamentals will show you how.
W: “Winning is not a ‘sometime’ thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”—Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi
X: X-rays reveal what’s below the surface. Take a good look at the underlying systems and processes that support your operation. Improve each one each week. Don’t wake up a year from now to find yourself 52 potential improvements behind.
Y: Yoda said it best: “Do or do not. There is no ‘try’.”
Z: Zealot is defined in the dictionary as “a fanatical partisan.” Create the kind of experiences that transform casual customers into brand apostles for your business. There’s an epidemic of sameness in foodservice today that presents real opportunity for operators focused on passion, purpose and performance, one customer, one transaction at a time. The little things are really the Big Things.
Jim Sullivan is an award-winning restaurateur and best-selling author of the books Fundamentals and Multiunit Leadership. Get his free leadership e-newsletter, apps and product catalog at Sullivision.com and follow him daily on Twitter @Sullivision