Every day in the restaurant we are surrounded by chances to throw the long ball….change something about our menu, our service, our décor or ambiance, something that will make an overwhelming impact on the future of our business. Call it a magic pill that will solve our most overwhelming problems or struggles in the operation. It could be a vendor contract that reduces our cost substantially, a lease negotiation that inflates our bottom line quickly, a major piece of equipment that will improve our speed of service or execution, or a new form of technology that will enhance our guest or employee expectations. Sound exciting? You bet!

However, it isn’t the reality of the business. The true reality of our business that produces the best long term result is the “Block and Tackle”. It’s boring I know. I mean let’s face it; we hear so much more about the quarterbacks; three point shooters, and the forward that produces hat tricks over and over. Unless you are a real sports buff, the lineman, guards, and tight ends are the ones who get the least amount of our attention but play the most important fundamental roles.

Restaurants are no different.

Blocking and tackling means a clean restaurant, fully staffed, plenty of great tasting product, and a manager that is working the systems. Just staying ahead of these processes is a full time job of blocking and tackling that produce the most consistent long term results. Ultimately the guest comes to your restaurant to EAT. Yes, eat! They want you to serve them what they want, when they want it, and in an environment that makes them want to come back. They don’t want their food for free because you couldn’t deliver; they just want it served right the first time by a friendly staff.

So let’s remind ourselves what great blocking and tackling looks like…..

- A clean restaurant.

- Plenty of friendly well trained staff that know everything about your product and provide great service.

- Plenty of supplies so that the employees can perform their job flawlessly.

- Great product, served at the right temperature, and prepared the way the guest ordered it.

- A great value not only in price but experience. Value isn’t always about price; it is about the total experience.

- And most importantly, a manager that knows everything above, loves the guest, loves the employees, and loves the systems that make the restaurant work well!

The touchdown always feels great but no one ever won a championship with trick plays and hail marys. They get to the big game with a great team that knows how to block and tackle every play, every game.

Check your systems…if you are struggling in your execution, look there first. Your blocking and tackling probably need drills and practice to win the big game!

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Tags: Swingley, basics, block, leadership, procedures, restaurant, systems, tackle, winning

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Comment by Anthony on April 28, 2010 at 6:01pm
Once again awesome insight.....you make it sound so simplistic!!.....oh wait maybe that's because it is supposed to be.....working the systems for some reason seems to be a lost art....the lost map to the treasure chest is right in front of us its just a matter of using it.
Comment by Michael Biesemeyer on April 20, 2010 at 10:58pm
Otherwise known as the 'fundamentals,' what you are describing are the basic service elements that keep a staff functioning.

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