Last night, enjoying a great summer weather evening on the deck in New Hampshire watching fireflies, my old friend Bill Bridgmon and I discussed old school restaurant manager tactics.

Here are some of the attributes we came up with, that we rarely see in restaurant managers and chefs under the age of 40 today:

  • "That entree puts $5 in my pocket everytime we sell one" Knowing the dollar-amount-bottom-line contribution of every single menu item on immediate recall.
  • "It takes 21 steps to go from the walkin to the back service station" Counting everything!
  • "That mojito costs me $0.34 cents in utilities everytime we sell one" Immediately knowing and being able to communicate overhead expenses to the team: training and performance.
  • "We don't put the words market price on menus" Knowing that adding extra steps to processes increases inefficiencies - for both staff and customer.
  • "That seat at table nine averages $23.45 an hour in revenue and $6.20 an hour in bottom line profit on a daily basis. Today it's averaging $8.85 an hour in profit to the bottom line" Again, counting everything and constantly seeking ways to improve performance.

Are these skills taught in restaurant management education programs and degrees? Do you as a manager teach these skills to your supervisors and staff? Can you tell me what the daily revenue and bottom line profit was per square foot for your operation yesterday?

What old-school management skills do you use? What other old-school management strategies and tactics would you recommend to the industry?

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