Labor Day

In our industry, Labor Day, more so than any other day of the year, traditionally signals the end of one period, start of the next.  It’s a time of change.  Urban areas are gearing up; seasonal areas are gearing down. Seasonals are getting ready to wrap up the year: probably working short-handed for a few more weeks, with very slow weekdays and crazy busy weekends, -“weather permitting.” 

It’s as good a time as any to revitalize the most important part of any business.  This is not the equipment that needs tending to, nor is it the financials which might have been on auto-pilot for the summer.  Yes, this is even more important than your customers, for without it, there will   be no customers.  It’s more important than the key workers that help run the business.

This is the one part of any business that determines the ultimate success and failure of any operation, more than the market or the competition or the bureaucracies or the health inspectors, more than your spouse or partner. 

This is the grey matter between your ears, this is your brain.  There is a daily barrage of info entering into that grey matter and you decide what of that info to focus on pertaining to your business.  The stuff that you focus on will affect the decisions that make your business successful or not. 

With all that crap going into the cranium, sometimes we have to reshuffle the deck, so to speak, bring things back down to basics. 

Step 1. – Go outside, leave your cell phone in the kitchen, in the office, wherever. 

Step 2. – Find a milk carton, or something of that sort, and go sit by the dumpster.  No one will look for you there. 

Step 3. – Regroup – stay seated for 15 minutes thinking about anything but the restaurant.  Think about baseball, think about football, think about sex, think about dumpster smells …anything but the restaurant.  Here’s what you’ll figure out when you get back into the kitchen:

  1. We’ve got to get better at doing what we do, we all do.  Get a little better at this, a little better at that, maybe tomorrow a couple more things, again and again.  After a while, -it makes a difference.  If we’re not getting better, we are getting worse.  We never stay the same.  When we are getting better at something, we feel pretty good about it.
  2. Do the right thing: for the customers, for the business, for the employees. Keep working at doing the right thing.  You will feel pretty good about it.  Watch -the numbers will miraculously improve. Then you’ll feel real good about it.
  3. If you still ain’t having fun and feeling good, get the frig out.  Life is way too short to spend it doing something that makes you miserable. The sacrifice is too great: it ain’t worth it if you’re not having fun.

You know all this stuff.  Now smile and get back into the kitchen and cook some more frigg’n peas.

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