Leadership from the Deep End of the Pool

In the FOHcus last Friday, the first paragraph simply and eloquently states:

What is it about the foodservice industry that seems to drain the life out of its employees? With so many opportunities and outlets for career advancement and creative expression, it’s unfortunate that so many of our colleagues are either completely disenchanted or approaching burnout. What's even more surprising is that many of them are young, and barely a year or two into their careers.

I think I know the answer…its leadership from the deep end of the pool. What the heck does that mean? It means that the people in charge, the ones responsible for the effectiveness of the team and the guest experience are disenchanted, disengaged, and don’t have a pay it forward mentality in helping the newest members of the restaurant employment ranks. They hire and then throw the employees and managers on the floor, and ignorantly hope their new representatives of the business will overcome the struggles of learning to take care of the guest. Those that are strong enough to overcome their new environment get a shot the next day and the others are left to be replaced for someone else that may or may not make it. A revolving door of crap.

Drives me nuts….

1. Owners and senior leadership…take a look at the top before you wonder why you have high turnover and poor results. The answer is there.

2. Get the right leadership in place that cares about one thing, People. The restaurant business is a people business, not a food business.

3. Once you get one and two done, they will hire great folks, just like themselves

4. Train them ONLY by the people that most emulate what you expect…sellers, personality plus, not “order takers”, and leaders driven to improve those around them.

5. Recognize, reward, thank, and make sure every shift they know exactly how important they are to you and the business. Thank them again, again, and again.

Bosses - your staff and managers give you the quality of life you currently have.

My favorite quote…when you don’t know why it’s going wrong and for that matter when it’s going right….

“It’s the people stupid”

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  • Managers set the tone. Their example, far more than their words, is what makes or breaks their relationship with the staff. If they can't keep it together, you can kiss respect and trust goodbye.
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