"Anything worth doing, is worth paying someone else to do."

This is one of my favorite quotes. Maybe because I'm the one who made it up.

It could also be that I love this quote because it deals with another major reason for failure in the restaurant world, and really, in every industry. Most managers don't know how to delegate. That is a simple, but true, observation from years of seeing managers and owners struggle to scratch out a profit (or more commonly not making a profit), while losing their personal lives to their businesses.

I messed up by not listing this as one of the biggest reasons restaurants fail in one of my better posts, The biggest mistakes restaurants make, and why they have a high fai.... Yep, big oversight on my part.

I'm sure you've heard horror stories about 60, 80 or even 120 hour weeks restaurant owners are forced to work. They're married to their businesses, and have to be there from open to close. They have to make sacrifices if they want to succeed, they can't have hobbies or spend time with families. Their restaurants wreck their marriages and ruin their lives.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. While I freely admit that long hours and no free time are the norm for independent restaurant owners, I also maintain that this scenario usually does not yield a successful, profitable restaurant. Profitable restaurants are run by owners and managers that know how to delegate. If it were mandatory for owners to be in their restaurants all the time to make them successful, multi-store chains wouldn't exist. In reality, they thrive. Every one of those multi-store chains started out as one restaurant. Every single one of them. The difference between them, and the majority of restaurants out there, is that the people who owned them realized that they couldn't do everything themselves if they wanted to be successful. They needed to create systems to make sure the work got done, and got done the same way every time, whether it was by them or by someone they paid to do it. Only by freeing themselves from the everyday rigors of running a restaurant were these entrepreneurs able to grow.

If you're a restaurant owner, or a future restaurant owner, I want you to ask yourself a few questions.

"If I am washing dishes, who is watching the till?"
"If I'm cooking the food, who is building relationships with my customers?"
"If I am filling in for servers, who is spreading the story of my restaurant?"

You can't spend your time performing tasks you can pay other people to do, and still have time to build your business. As an owner, marketing is the most important job you have. You have to have your time cleared to build relationships with your customers whether it's by shaking hands, or by designing new service techniques that reinforce your unique selling point. Your time needs to be spent concentrating on ways to build communication and emotional bonds with your customers, not making the family's "secret tomato sauce".

If you are spending your time performing everyday tasks in your restaurant that other people could be trained to do, you are likely in the group of struggling restaurateurs that work long hours, have no social life, and are barely making a profit.

Learn to delegate. Build systems to do the things you do, so you can concentrate on the one thing that actually makes you money in your business, marketing.

Anything worth doing, is worth paying someone else to do.

Views: 1

Tags: consultant, consulting, delegating, delegation, emotion, employees, gross, marketing, point, pricing, More…profit, restaurant, selling, to, unique


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Brandon O'Dell on April 12, 2008 at 12:13pm
I just read your post Andy. We must be on the same wave length.
Comment by Andy Swingley on April 11, 2008 at 7:15pm
Kind of eerie....Check out my post from April 7th on my page, "You get paid for what you know, not what you do." We are definitely on the same page!

Another great post Brandon!
Comment by Kristen Siqueiros on April 11, 2008 at 12:29pm
WoW you've got to meet my General manager and District manager. They are the kings of delegating other people to do tasks!!




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Red Lobster crafts new, high-end image

Red Lobster will nix low-price specials and focus on flourishes like plating in order to reshape itself as a cut above dine-i -More

The Year of the Instagram Strategy
Managing the Instagram channel has become a strategic imperative for any brand or small business, and the urgency grows daily along with its user base. During this webinar on August 12 you'll hear how brands such as Disneyland Resort, JCPenney, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are utilizing this platform to connect with their customers in an authentic, relevant way. Register today!

The tweet's the thing

Everyone’s atwitter about the NRA's Kids LiveWell Twitter party, held in celebration of the program’s third anniv -More

Arby's meaty campaign highlights protein lineup

Arby's new campaign, "We have the meats!," focuses on the chain's new limited-time menu offering, the Mega Meat Stack, which  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Restaurant Trends - Growing And Emerging Concepts - Change and Activity July 29, 2014

Update from Restaurantchains.net on growing and emerging restaurant concepts

Gen Z, the First True Digital Generation, Represents the Future Foodservice Consumer

Gen Z, the first true digital generation, represents the future foodservice consumer. They're a generation on the move that strongly prioritizes speed of service, technology, and having what they want, when they want it. Millennials, more so than older generations, prefer to visit restaurants that offer new and unique foods and flavors. Gen X and Boomers converge on several preferences—such as the importance of a convenient location.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Celebrates Its 500th New Restaurant Opening

Red Robin's 500th new restaurant opening will open on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., in Milpitas, Calif. at the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

Darden Completes Sale Of Red Lobster To Golden Gate Capital

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and Golden Gate Capital today announced that Golden Gate has completed the acquisition of the Red Lobster business and certain other related assets and assumed liabilities for approximately $2.1 billion in cash.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For Seven New Restaurants In Duluth, Minnesota With New Franchisees Brian And Sharon Weidendorf

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchisees, Brian and Sharon Weidendorf, to develop seven restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota and the surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in spring 2015.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service