Running restaurants is definitely not an easy undertaking but when done right, it can be the most incredible and exhilarating experience of a person’s life.
The fact, however, is – restaurants fail. It’s an unpleasant fact of the industry. Unfortunately, it happens a lot, and this is a topic many restaurateurs don’t like to dwell on. Understandably, right? When someone is so deeply invested, they mostly try to stay focused on the positive.
But for every unsuccessful business concept, there is a restaurateur that feels as if he/she has failed too, and they’re left wondering where exactly things went wrong. While there can literally be dozens of reasons why a restaurant ultimately doesn’t pan out, all too often there are two key foundational elements that are missing— solid leadership and people aka HR systems.
If you want to beat the odds, you need great people to lead the way and you need organized business human resources Services and Restaurant payroll processes and systems to take care of all the details in-between.
There’s just no way around this. If you want to have success in operating restaurants, these two areas need your laser-like focus:
Focus Area #1: Leadership
Having a savvy and effective leadership team will give your business the upper hand. While it won’t undo a bad concept or terrible location, putting energy into assembling a strong leadership team will get you through the toughest of times.
Great leaders understand the importance of managing things (like HR administration and payroll processing) and leading (influencing and inspiring) people.
They are known to do this by:
Focusing (day in and day out) on building a strong culture.
Great leaders curate a culture that is all-encompassing. From the recruiting process to the interview to on boarding and performance reviews, leaders live and breathe their values and culture.
Being emotionally proficient.
The best leaders and managers aren’t robotic taskmasters. Instead, they are emotionally available and able to quickly anticipate the needs of their staff members and customers. They work hard to connect with each person they interact with and skillfully navigate any problems as they arise.
Invest in people + act as mentors.
Dedicated leaders know that great teams are not built in a day. Furthermore, they understand when they invest in the development of people, they make huge gains where it actually counts. Mentoring is a mainstay of forward-thinking leaders and they are committed to putting the time in, each and every day, to build a talented and loyal team.
Focus Area #2: People Systems
HR systems, payroll processes, benefits administration, sounds basic and boring, right? Well, they may not be the most exciting part of operating restaurants, but they are very important. Not taking the necessary time to establish solid systems and processes can be a recipe for disaster. It will not matter how amazing your concept is or how incredible the food is if your people are confused, unhappy, and disconnected.
To keep everything chugging along in your restaurant, you have to establish a process that spans the full life cycle of an employee — from recruiting all the way through to termination. You don’t necessarily need anything elaborate or complex, just simple and easy to implement systems and policies that cover how the restaurant and management will handle:
- Loss Prevention
- Payroll Processing
- Benefits Administration
- HR Compliance
- Performance Management
Make the Investment
Assembling a savvy and caring leadership team and creating and executing simple HR systems are imperative for your restaurant’s success. While it can be tempting to take shortcuts, or skip this focus all together, don’t do it! It will cost you a whole lot more in the end.
Wondering where to go from here? Watch for future articles where we will cover each of these areas in greater detail.