Disclaimer: I so wanted to make the title non-gender specific but it sounded stupid as person, human, etc. Bear with me…..

Having worked for a major national chain for going on 18 years, I do have a somewhat unique perspective and some would say “closed” view of the restaurant industry. I consider myself to be a teacher or developer of mature business people that can run very busy restaurants. The average restaurant cost us approximately $3 million dollars to build and we are fortunate enough to generate about $3 million dollars a years in sales in many of our locations.

Now, I have always had an “Ownership” mentality that says, “Hey, if someone is going to give me $6 million dollars worth of responsibility, that is a big whoop-de-do and requires every ounce of leadership I can muster.” Picture if you owned a home worth $6 million dollars. Lots of rooms, gourmet kitchen, pool, fancy landscaping, granite countertops, walk-in showers with multiple shower heads that bath you without having to turn around, state of the art electronics, gym, I could go on and on and on. I would be full of pride in my fancy shack, would want to show it off to everyone, making sure they had a great experience when they came to visit. Great food, entertainment, and most certainly I would be a gracious host. Right, sound like you?

Now, back to the paradigm shift. Here I am with this 6 million dollar restaurant and staff and management don’t always take the same concern in their restaurant as I do of those earlier described palatial digs. Why? When I ask the question of my best, they reply with, “it isn’t really my money?” Scary moment as I recoil in disgust and try to figure out where my leadership has gone astray.

So aspiring managers, leaders, and restaurant personnel, want to set yourself up for advancement and a future with an ownership mentality. Take a look around your place tomorrow. How much is it worth to the boss? Physical plant and sales….$1 million, $2 million, $3 million….and if it were your place and had your name on it, would you make the same decisions you are making right now in service, food quality, and guest experience. Maybe not?

Try again tomorrow, acting as if the Million $ someone gave you was really yours and I will bet you never have another conflict with the boss and your guest.

It is yours, act like it!

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Tags: Swingley, managers, millions, ownership, responsibility, restaurant


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Comment by Chase Leblanc on June 29, 2010 at 1:57pm
Where does the majority of "twenty somethings" go to practice "running" multi-million dollar biz'nz? Why, it's the hospitality industry, of course! Which happens to be the second largest employer in the USA after the U.S. Gov't. Check out how many millionaires got their start in our industry. The chance you may be looking for - might be right in front of you!




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