The biggest problem is…

In the last few months we have run Restaurant Profits’ seminars in Sydney, Melbourne and York in the UK. I have spoken to hundreds of restaurateurs about their businesses and in most cases people are doing it tough but hanging in there.

One look at the testimonials from our clients and you'll see that what we teach and do works. What is very interesting is what stops other restaurateurs from following the same strategies that have proven so successful for others.

The most popular 'reason" (read excuse) is "I'm too busy" and boy is it a popular one across Australia and the globe.

If we take all judgements out of this and ask the question, "Are the things you are busy doing getting you the results you want?" the honest answer is no.

However in most cases the person engaged in those activities is too frightened to stop for a minute unless everything else falls down around their ears. This is like swimming the 100 metres freestyle, not lifting your head out of the water to breathe for fear of slowing down - only to collapse 2/3 of the way across the pool because you have run out of energy - or worse you die striving to do your "personal best".

The biggest problem people come up against when they have to make a major change is FEAR. What if it fails, what if I lose money, what if people reject what I am doing and me, what if the people whose opinion I value don't like it, what if things get worse... and on and on. The funny thing is if you handle any of these fear based objections another one appears like magic.

This only ends when someone is committed to achieving an outcome. The two important words in that sentence are "Committed" and "Outcome".

So many people in the restaurant industry came into it because they love food, they are passionate about hospitality and they are enthusiastic about sharing their passion, in effect by having a restaurant they have achieved their "Outcome".

The problem is that what should be a pleasant life experience turns into a nightmare for many when they encounter the business side of things; keeping costs under control, managing staff, getting people through the door, meeting and exceeding customers expectations and working long hours without much (any) free or family time. To paraphrase the band Talking Heads "This ain't my beautiful life!"

One of the first things we do in coaching is to determine a new Oucome for the restaurateur, we go through a detailed questionnaire with them and help them to set a new course to a much more fulfilling Outcome (for many this is just to be more profitable and to work less, they don't want to change the world or even leave the place they have built). With that Outcome in place together we decide actions that will take them to the new destination, the new Outcome. Sounds good so far right?

The next issue is getting restaurateurs to change their behaviours - to get them "to stop swimming with their head down" and to start doing what needs to be done to make theirs a profitable business that doesn't need them to work 90 hours a week as a jack of all trades so the place doesn't fall apart.

As I said it's an issue - because old habits are hard to break. This is where the Commitment comes in. It’s easy to say "I will do something”, it’s another thing to do it. The negative self talk will jump back in, evidence to the contrary will appear out of nowhere, illness and accidents occur anything and everything will test you. So the question is, are you committed?

What does commitment look like? Last week whilst on a coaching call I recommended a book to a client, 5 minutes after the call ended I got an email from him, he had ordered 2 copies of the book, one for him and one for someone else that will support him to grow his business. The same client went away on holiday for 2 weeks leaving my team a marketing strategy to prepare for his return. That week he hit the road running with 2,000 marketing pieces being mailed to his target market. He has twice the calls of most of my clients - never misses a call and updates me with progress and results between calls via email and SMS. Do you think he is successful? - I don't need to answer that - you know he is.

Contrast that with a group of restaurateurs who need new websites, their current ones are shockingly bad, several engaged us to create new websites for them but "cannot find the time" to choose colours or designs etc for their sites. Their old sites keep putting customers off their restaurants, they are nowhere to be seen in the search engines and their sites reflect very badly on the business itself. Do you think these people are living the dream? Do you think they are successful businesspeople? - I don't need to answer that question either do I.

So where do you sit in all this? Do you have your Outcomes firm in your mind, written down do you have someone keeping you focused on them? Are you committed to achieving them (no matter what that self defeating little voice says)?

If you are the slightest bit interested in achieving your dreams, of escaping the rat race and having the restaurant you dreamed of call the office on 02 4362 2468 we will not try to sell you anything - we will listen to you and do our best to understand what you need, and only then, if appropriate, we might suggest a few things you might want to try.