I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room as I type today’s post. My wife is having gall bladder surgery so Dr. Bar Blogger is on call to be there when she wakes up.

Looking around at the systems, procedures and controls in place here in the hospital, it made me wonder what prevents smaller businesses adopt them.

Let me give you an example. When my wife was registered at the desk, she was “tagged” with a bar coded bracelet. From that moment on, we could track her whereabouts on any of the large flat panel monitors mounted around the waiting area.

We knew when she was in pre-op, when she having surgery and when we could expect to see her afterwards. It really was amazing to see a large hospital follow the same procedure over and over again for each patient.

Nurses had hand held scanners to read her bar code everytime they needed to do something and attendants wheeled computers around the wards taking insurance and contact info from patients.

It occured to me that the reasons most bars, restaurants and kitchens don’t reach their margins or they “lose” stock is that a simple rule has not been established for each process and if it has, it’s not followed and rarely punished when not adhered to.

How can a hospital process thousands of patients a day, yet bars and restaurants often struggle with tracking bottles of bear and strips of steak?

It’s down to systems, consistency of systems, measurement and response.

Forgetting any one of these in your business is the reason you’re not reaching your goals and struggle to find out why.

Step 1. Establish a system/procedure
Step 2. Train staff in that procedure
Step 3. Implement a system of monitoring whether the trained system is being followed by staff.
Step 4. Punish/replace those not capable of following your rules.
Step 5. Continued monitoring and tweaking if the system as needed.
Step 6. Repeat for each area of your business.

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Tags: bar, hospital

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Comment by Chef Len Elias CEC on November 1, 2009 at 6:05am
Good post, how is your wife?

I agree with you especially step 4, this rarely happens. Many HR departments require a long series of steps to remove an associate. Most Chefs, F&B and Bar managers rarely if ever follow through on the process.

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