An A-Z austerity action plan
25 April, 2012
The UK economy is sluggish at best and the recovery depressingly slow. So what’s your plan, asks Jim Sullivan? And if you have one, does your team know how to execute it? Here are 26 fundamentals to help you keep your head in the game
A: Action is great, unless it’s the wrong action.
So start here with some advice from Guy Kawasaki: always be selling, not strategising about selling. Train your customer-facing team to be service-oriented salespeople, not “order-takers”.
B: Best beats first.
Master and then excel at executing the fundamentals. Do the common things uncommonly well.
C: Consistency is the backbone of great customer service and value.
Habitual consistency is the keystone of foodservice operators that succeed in good times and bad.
Means Do It Right the First Time. Practice with the team, but never on the customer. Assess all processes with this question: “What could go wrong?” Then have an advance plan to minimise mistakes.
E: Everything you don’t sell has a triple cost.
You pay to buy it, store it and throw it away. A pound on the shelf that you don’t need is a pound wasted. But remember...
F: Food cost is secondary to menu merchandising.
If nobody buys your food or beverage, what difference does cost make? (See “A” above.)
And business do not go well together. Play by the rules. Don’t do anything that gets the local or national government further involved in your restaurant.
the right people will not ensure a manager’s success but hiring the wrong people will ensure the manager’s failure. Why? See next letter.
I: Invest in people.
If your average server waits on thirty customers a shift and works six nights a week they impact 180 of your customers each week. Not having aces in your places is a big mistake.
Every shift with a clear shared goals and an energetic, focused pre-shift meeting.
K: Keep cool
when you’re most busy. Grace under pressure is the hallmark of the best operators.
is to the team what service is to the customer. It is felt and appreciated. Give it in abundance. Learning is like rowing upstream; not to advance is to drop back.
in good times as if you were operating in bad times, because eventually bad times will come.
Lower your standards just so a mediocre team member can raise theirs.
Managers and employees tend to under-learn and over-forget.
is the devil’s chloroform. If the task is small, do it now. If it’s big, do a part of it now and a part of it tomorrow and another part the next day.
is a bedrock fundamental of successful operators. Customers will forgive us for a higher price, but never for lower quality.
not “effort”, call for reward. Get 1% better every day and where will you be 100 days from now?
is the invisible product. Improve hospitality daily. Good service can save a bad meal. A good meal cannot save bad service.
Reduction must be a primary goal for 2012. Shoot for 3% less staff turnover each month, 36% by year’s end.
how other industries excel at service, selling, recruiting, training. Study retail, manufacturing and internet companies. The best practices in foodservice are not that great.
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.
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”—Vince Lombardi
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.
Said it best: Do or do not. There is no “try”. Execution is everything.
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.
You can follow Jim Sullivan on Twitter @Sullivision and get his free leadership enewsletter at Sullivision.com. his new book Fundamentals: 9 ways to Be Brilliant at the new Basics is available through Peach Report.
Jim Sullivan’s only UK workshop in 2012 is on 19 September at the IMAX Cinema, Waterloo. Click here for full details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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