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LEADERSHIP IN RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

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LEADERSHIP IN RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

As a business owner, you are told, “it’s lonely there”, “you wear lots of hats”.  But again, no one sent you that memo. And most owners don’t get a degree in business to open their place. If you find you need a refresher in your role as an owner, then stay tuned. That’s what we’re talking about, here and now! In particular we’re going to focus on Servant Leadership. I’ll share three examples, and you can dig deeper in the links.

This restaurant is filled with customers. Consider servant leadership as one of your traits as an owner to invite guests and better staff to work with you.

This restaurant is filled with customers. Consider servant leadership as one of your traits as an owner to invite guests and better staff to work with you.

Before we start on that, here’s reminder on servant leadership.

Servant leadership according to Wikipedia, is a leadership philosophy in which the main goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership where the leader's main focus is the thriving of their company or organizations. A Servant Leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership inverts the norm, which puts the customer service associates as a main priority. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. As stated by its founder, Robert K. Greenleaf, a Servant Leader should be focused on "Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?" When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they benefit as well as their employees in that. Their employees acquire personal growth, while the organization grows as well due to the employees growing commitment and engagement. Since this leadership style came about, a number of different organizations have adopted this style as their way of leadership. According to a study done by Sen Sendjaya and James C Sarros, Servant Leadership is being practiced in some of the top ranking companies today, and these companies are highly ranked because of their leadership style and following.

ZINGERMAN’S

Zingerman’s wasn’t always popular and wasn’t always a community of 9 businesses. Ari Zingerman started the deli with Paul Saginaw. They could not have known where they were going when they started, but once they got a whiff of running the deli, they became intentional about where they were going in 5 years. They were also intentional about not becoming a franchise, which was the business de jour in 1986. That intention defined how they liked being thought of as a boss, how they wanted teamwork to pervade their business. It translated their philosophy studies at University of Michigan into a method to keep a certain level of equality (not

hierarchy) among the team. This is now a model for their version of Servant Leadership. Their website, their books, and you tube can fill you in, if you need a snippet of how they do it. It becomes their method of service and customer engagement. Their team have been spurred on by the training to engage with each guest in a repeatable set of steps.

If I sound like a broken record, it is because I have seen and worked with companies who have embraced this philosophy, and it has created positive growth. Equally, those who don’t understand the philosophy are either in a holding pattern or out of business.

the customer experience can always improve. Through applying the tenants of servant leadership you can bring your staff to understand your method of service, by serving them with appropriate training and sharing your way.

the customer experience can always improve. Through applying the tenants of servant leadership you can bring your staff to understand your method of service, by serving them with appropriate training and sharing your way.

UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY GROUP

Union Square started as a single restaurant, on the square, with not more than a hope and a dream. Danny Myers went from there, and has created a sophisticated network of successful restaurants—some under USHG’s umbrella, and more who have ascribed to Danny Myers thinking and customer service. The link (above) has links to many restaurants. They may not share as much as Zingerman’s does on their website, but you only have to read one, two or more of Danny Myers’ books to ignite your passion for serving your guests in a joyful, intentional and repeatable method.

TODAY’S TAKEAWAY

Don’t know how to be the best version of an owner, that is understandable. Start tuning into servant leadership. There are many examples of success—in books, audiobooks, you-tube, and websites. Find what version works for you, and start putting ideas into action. Look at the photo below, which simply encourages you, “begin where you are”, and you will find your path.

begin where you are.

begin where you are.

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RESTAURANT BRANDING -- KEEPING FRESH

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RESTAURANT BRANDING -- KEEPING FRESH

As an owner of a food related business, you have people and responsibility pulling you in different directions.  So, if bringing one more task to your attention is not what you want to read, stop now, come back later...Know that its not good to ignore the appearance of your business. It's easy to tell yourself “no one notices” or you don't care, or even “it doesn't really matter”, or wish them away. But it does make a difference. Honestly, the customers see what is undone, incomplete, needing attention.  These incomplete projects do not make you look good. In the next week, if you have the nerve, just allow yourself to address one of them at a time.  

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MESSAGING IS MARKETING FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

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MESSAGING IS MARKETING FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

Marketing starts with the small phrases and simple messages you say every day. Gather those thoughts, messages and what makes you unique in one place.  HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING QUICKLY is really helpful workbook. It's a free workbook. And it's easy to sit down each day, for 5 days, for 10 minutes; or, all in one solid hour.  Capturing the essence of your restaurant (or cafe, catering company, or brewery!) is only hard because you are so close to it every day.  When it's ready you are able to write a press release, post on social media with ease, training your staff and update your website!  Here are benchmarks for each 

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FINDING STAFF FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

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FINDING STAFF FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

Arn't you tired of the struggle to attract and/or find good employees to your cafe, brewery, restaurant or catering company? This problem is real. I'm not even going to belabor that point. It's just gonna make us sad! Here's an outline that might help you reset your hiring habits and procedures, and give you better results. Ready, set, go!

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Restaurant Instagram: Case Studies

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Restaurant Instagram: Case Studies

Restaurant owners don't have time to wander around dreamily imagining good social media. You don't know everything about social media, either. BUT, you need clarity, instruction and examples. Zeroing in on what makes good content on social media--that's what you need. So this month I am focusing on Instagram. I'm going to let my research speak for itself.  Here are good example of amazing social media from a restaurant.  Here's what I learned.

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YELP APP:  restauranteurs pros and cons

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YELP APP:  restauranteurs pros and cons

Are you a skeptic when it comes to YELP? As owners of restaurants, we are.  This topic is visceral, real, and even unpleasant. I’m actually conflicted:  as a restaurant person, I too can get annoyed by YELP. As a customer, let me admit my truth, I find the app useful at times (more on this below!). We’ve all be burned by customers spouting off what they think. Our response at that moment is to say, “they have no idea what was really going on!” But we all know a response must be formed.  I recently had a conversation with a YELP team member, and I’ll share what I learned because it’s useful to the community of owners. I’ll dig into the pros and cons, and then concluded with my takeaway.

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FIVE SENSES & RESTAURANT BRANDING

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FIVE SENSES & RESTAURANT BRANDING

Branding for restaurant is, fundamentally, the five senses. I was asked to teach a small class of grad students who are trying to develop their soon-to-be businesses. The professor needed tangible examples of how to build a brand. She asked me to show them how restaurants, and the five senses fit together to form a brand. Fitting those senses together can be incredibly effective, since restaurants have a look and a feel. The interior creates that, and marketing reflects that.  What does your guests smell, see, taste, hear and touch when they come into your restaurant.  It may seem strange to defer to the five senses to understand what your place is to your guests, but if you take the time to make sure the senses match what you intended your restaurant to be, you will be pleased with the results. When you take an active approach of each sense, you discover that this will help guide your decisions. 

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QUALITY IN YOUR RESTAURANT

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QUALITY IN YOUR RESTAURANT

Today’s blog is focused on the quality of your food and the product you serve in your restaurant. The best tool to manage change in your restaurant is The Six Pillars of Success. I've discovered that taking a little time to study each pillar helps owners focus. Hopefully it is helpful to you. It'll stop your from getting overwhelmed.  With reflection comes improvement.  It works for the team and guests.  The Six Pillars, briefly, are strategy, financial stability, operations, product, distribution, and customer experience. This blogpost is centered on product.

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Systems in a Restaurant

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Systems in a Restaurant

Technology can support a restaurant, bar or cafe.  Find the systems that work well for your three most important technology centers:  POS, an accounting system, BOH restaurant management software. 

This month I've found myself thinking, "the procedures in the restaurant arn't current!"  Restaurants, cafes and breweries are ever changing, and hopefully ever growing. Adding technology is part of those changes.  Technology and computerized systems reflect what staff and management need. If a technological solution and system is working, then every day feels less chaotic. More like a train moving down the track. Ultimately if your not making money in your restaurant, chances are there is little to no structure. You're  reading this thinking, "Oh, yah, we need to improve!" Here are some solid computerized systems your business needs to stay current. 

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Social Media Tips for Restaurants

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Social Media Tips for Restaurants

ACTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IS KEY

When you've been in business a while you get those pangs, "I should be posting once a day", "I should know what to say and what to hashtag".  Panicking never helps.  Deciding a strategy does help.  Simply put, you can write down the answers to WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN AND WHY, and you'll be able to decide how to spread it out on a calendar. Here goes, answer these questions for your business. 

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Restaurant Publicity Primer

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Restaurant Publicity Primer

Marisa Dobson is guest blogger for this month's post on PR.  She is the founder & principal of Scintillate, a publicity and marketing consultancy that specializes in food & lifestyle clients. For over ten years, she's worked with professional creatives to turn their passions into passion projects. Visit www.marisadobson.com or follow her on Instagram: @marisa_dobson.

 

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CULTURE IN RESTAURANTS, CAFES AND BREWERIES

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CULTURE IN RESTAURANTS, CAFES AND BREWERIES

When it comes to restaurant culture, owners, guests and staff want to know, "what's the secret ingredient" in Mama's cooking; or in ramen. Restaurant owners ask specifically for the secret ingredient in the CULTURE of a place”.   This is the question I posed of Erin Moran. She is Chief Culture Officer at Union Square Hospitality Group--Danny Meyers' company.  We had a short interview on company culture. Here are the nuggets from our conversation.

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