Tale of 2 Clients #2

Since starting this blog, I have had more than a handful of consulting clients reach out to me. Most of them for different reasons, but let’s face it, it usually comes down to the same reason: Bottom line. These restaurateurs simply want to realize more profit.

Restaurant #1

I meet with the owners. I look over their business, check out their numbers, and give them some strategies to follow, some systems and controls to put into place to help them control food, beverage, and labor costs. They listen to what I have to say, put these systems in place and they start to realize more profit.

They now have a better understanding of what to look for–of what can go wrong and how to fix it. The result is obvious: They start (often for the first time), to see profitable results and a happier staff, leading to more customers, and more importantly, satisfied customers who come back again and again.

Restaurant #2

I meet with the owners. I look over their business, check out their numbers, and give them some strategies to follow, some systems and controls to put into place to help them control food, beverage, and labor costs. They think about what I said, and decide to do whatever the hell they want (which is usually EXACTLY what they were doing before).

These restaurateurs are right where they started. Losing money, an unhappy staff, and a customer base that is shrinking. Of course now, they are blaming the consultant, and mad about the few dollars they spent on him, all the while losing 10 times that much each month because they just couldn’t bring themselves to institute the suggested changes.

Ego

The problem that I usually run up against when dealing with these clients is ego. Turns out, it gets in the way. Shocker. Nobody wants to hear (at least not in the restaurant industry) that they don’t know what they are doing. Or that they are doing things wrong. Then why did you reach out to me?

The bad cop

I have found that most of these folks just need a bad cop. Someone who is willing to say the things that they can’t. The problem is that sometimes some of those things are directed at them–the owners. I make sure to do it respectfully, and not int front of the rest of their staff, but they need to hear it if they want to be successful. Often, these owners–now with their egos bruised–don’t call me back. I get it.

If you bring in the expert

Wouldn’t you want to heed their advice? What is the point of asking for help from someone, and then ignoring what they have to say?

You get to do what you want, I do get it, but if it wasn’t working before, and you are not going to listen to smart ideas on how to improve, then I really don’t know what to say except GOOD LUCK.

It isn’t luck, it’s math

One thing you can always count on: The math doesn’t lie. Look inward. Make the tough choices. Do the math. Wind up on top.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Tom, interesting article. I’m wondering if you might save yourself some of the frustration that I read in your article, by vetting potential clients for ‘red flags’ before they become your client? I’m still learning to do so… but have read a few good articles on how to pay attention for red flags and identify great clients. Happy to share some links, if it’s of interest?

    1. Tom Bethel says:

      Thanks, Jennifer. If I had the luxury of being picky in the client department, I would be seeking your advice. However, at this point, I am happy to take any and all clients.

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