I like to sleep at night. There are many other things I like to do at night, but we won’t go in to those now. Let’s just focus on the fact that I like to sleep, and don’t like having things weighing on me that might interrupt that process.
One of the beautiful things about the restaurant business, is that when the day is over, the work is done. You won’t have a pile of leftover work to get to from the previous day.
Along that line of thinking, take care of things as they pop up. Don’t put them off. We don’t have the benefit of being in the business of procrastination. In fact, the opposite is true: We are in the business of urgency. Of now. So figure it out and take care of it now!
I have worked for many an employer who would ignore problems and hoped they would just go away. It doesn’t quite work like that. In this business, we need to face things head on. Immediately.
Solve the problem
Be a solution-oriented owner/manager. If you don’t follow through and take care of it, no one will. That is your job. Over-booked your restaurant? Don’t hide. Work the problem! Figure out how to solve this dilemma. Yes, it might mean having to shuffle some folks back to the bar. Apologize. Buy them a drink. Send them an appetizer.
Bartender slammed? Get back there and wash some glassware. Take a drink or food order. Make a drink or two.
Have a busser struggling to keep up? Go fill some water glasses. Restock his station with silverware and table cloths. Clear a table. Set a table.
Waiter running around like a chicken with its head cut off? Go open that bottle of wine for them. Bring that food out that has been sitting in the kitchen window.
Food cost is too high and eating at your profit? Get to the bottom of it. Is someone stealing from you? Are you throwing a lot of food away? Are your cooks over-portioning? Get the chef involved and find a solution.
Problem with a customer
This was always my favorite. An irate customer and the owner or manager is suddenly nowhere to be found. It’s like they have a sixth sense and know when to disappear. This situation is exactly what this blog post is all about. If you don’t address this problem, it will keep you up all night (unless you have no feelings or sense of commitment to your job).
If you are at all like me, and I pray that you are not, this kind of thing would have me tossing and turning in my bed. Just knowing that I did not do everything possible to make something right would really gnaw at me. So get in there, talk to the customer and figure out a solution. It is just food, after all.
It all leads to success
The result of you being involved, solving problems, and following through every time, will be more customers, coming in more frequently, to spend more money, because you have a happy staff who all know that the boss has their backs.