Jim Sullivan leaves his mark on the UK
13 March, 2009
Over 270 delegates, mainly pub and restaurant operators, heard legendary US restaurant guru Jim Sullivan speak at the newly opened Kings Place centre, making it Peach Factory's biggest paid-for conference to date.
While operators invested in making sure their teams got the Sullivan experience, the aim of the day, as Jim Sullivan made clear, was how to put "cash in your pocket".
Running profitable business by being brilliant at the basics of operations and leadership was the theme for the day - with "embracing change" the key to achieving that.
The main conclusion, however, is that everything revolves round your people - who you hire, how you hire and how you keep them on their game. "Hire slow, fire fast" is one of his favourite lines. Taking care to get the best people from the outset will pay off - "make hiring your most important decision".
But now is also a good time to start clearing out the "deadwood", those under-performers that don't meet your standards. Keeping poor staff just brings the rest of the team down to their level.
As Jim is also is prone to say: "It's not the people you fire that cause you problems, it's the ones you don't".
But poor performance is the responsibility of management; people provide bad service because they are allowed to.
As more than one executive remarked on the day: "It's not that we don't know a lot of this, it's just that we need reminding to do it."
Building a talent scaffold in your business and then getting the best from the team is essential. "Run it like you own it" is the Sullivan advice.
He emphasises the need to teach teams why you want something done, before teaching them how. Putting together a "state of the business" meeting is perhaps a good idea in current times.
Jim Sullivan believes the shift is where the game is won and running effective pre-shift meetings is key to that.
The four-hour presentation covered a wide spectrum of the operational issues from cost-control to marketing. If you couldn't make it and think this all sounds a little too cheesy American, have a word with some of the many that did attend.
To get the full flavour of the Sullivan approach, and to catch up on the main topics covered in the London workshop, go to www.sullivision.com.
If were there and want to order copies of Jim's book Multi Unit Leadership, just contact Christine Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.