Restaurant Owners Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses?

Restaurant Owners Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses

I was watching one of the restaurant make-over shows the other night; either Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine or Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey.  I don’t even remember which one it was.  At the beginning of the show, the guru sits in the dining room and tries five or ten entrees.  Of course, they all suck, that’s what the show is about: going from being a totally suck restaurant to being a respectable food place.  At the beginning of each of these episodes, I think, “how frigg’n blind and stupid can this restaurant owner be?”  Anybody can see that the place looks like crap and that the food is awful.  Just watching the show I can almost smell the awfulness of the place.  “Disgusting” is a word that you hear often on these shows.

Restaurant owners can tend to wear rose-colored glasses when they look at their own places.  We all make excuses for our shortcomings and expect everyone to accept them.  Many restaurant owners have a customer base that does accept them, so they assume that these are universally accepted shortcomings.  The problem is those who aren’t coming to the restaurant because they haven't accepted them.  If too many customers is a problem …then don’t worry about it.  If not enough customers is a problem, some of these flaws could be signaling a lot of potential new customers to stay away.  Many of these things are easy fixes.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I’d eat there if it weren’t for _______.” (fill in the blank)   

Tomorrow, leave your restaurant during a slack period, drive around the block, change your hat, put on a wig or a fake mustache, and come back into your restaurant wearing not your rose colored glasses, but your extremely critical glasses.  (Yeah, freak out your staff.)  Pretend that you are looking at the restaurant of your most despised competitor, looking for faults and shortcomings.

Start on the outside, does the place look inviting, is it clean?  Remember, this place is owned by a despised competitor.  When you enter what kind of light and odors hit you in the reception area?  Take copious notes.

Who welcomes you, are they friendly looking (okay, this is a tough one; they are looking at you like you are a lunatic).  But if this were your first visit here, how would this crew strike you: as professional and clean, or as a group who really rather be anywhere else, but obviously, couldn’t get a job anywhere else.  Are you thinking, like I sometimes think when watching the restaurant make-over shows, “who would hire this frigg’n bunch?”  Take a look at the floors, the walls, the dining room layout, the stuff that is supposed to be shiny: would you be proud to own this place?

Next check out the restrooms: you know what to look for there – just remember, you are judging your fiercest competitor’s place, not your own.  Now look at the menu: does it spark your appetite or does it say “if you are starving and don’t feel like going elsewhere this is what we’ve got?”

Okay, you get the message.  You know what else to do.  Maybe you’ll find that everything is perfect, and even though that despised competitor is running this place, it’s pretty good.  Or maybe you’ll find that a few things really should be changed.

Yeah, you are not supposed to run a suck restaurant.  You know this stuff, but sometimes you forget to think about it because there is so much stuff to think about when running a frigg’n restaurant.  So smile, put your rose colored glasses back on, keep the copious notes that you just made, and get back in the kitchen and cook some more frigg’n peas.    

©2012 la10duh.com

la10duh.com is © copyrighted and protected under copyright law and all applicable international, federal, state and local laws, with ALL rights reserved. No part of this may be copied, or changed in any format, sold, or used in any way other than what is outlined within la10duh.com under any circumstances without express permission.

Views: 90

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Emerald Reilly on January 23, 2012 at 3:02pm

Hi Paul, thanks for the reminder! You bring up a great point and a huge missed opportunity for many restauranteurs who have an average restaurant that could be amazing with a few adjustments. Thanks for the post!

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service