FCSI PROJECT SHOWCASE 2017
Project Showcase is an annual publication highlighting exceptional projects from the members of the Foodservice Consultants Society International.
You cannot operate a successful restaurant without both good management and good leadership, even if it has to be provided by the man or woman in the mirror: you. For smaller operators, that might be fine in the early years of business, but few restaurant owners want to spend their careers as restaurant managers.
Every successful restaurant shift requires coordination, high energy, team spirit and a minimum of mistakes. Maintaining these four elements over the course of several hours is challenging under the best of circumstances, however, it is infinitely easier when the shift begins with a strong start, including planning and camaraderie.
This is a story about Frank. He was one of three managers of a popular full-service, casual-theme suburban restaurant. He worked his schedule, fulfilled his responsibilities and on the 20th day of the month received a bonus for his previous month’s efforts.
When looking to open your restaurant, most people will emphasize the importance of three things: location, location, location. Once you have opened, everyone will tell you that the three things you need to master to succeed are numbers, numbers, numbers.
You can’t be too selective in picking your starting lineup. On the other hand, it is a time-consuming process. You need to be careful. You need to be efficient. It’s a tricky dance. And to find a starting team of top performers you need to meet a lot of prospects.
Peter Fernandez, and his family, own a small Japanese restaurant-sushi bar in South San Francisco. He and his wife are very busy keeping up with all that is needed to support the operation of this 70 seat full service, 6 day a week restaurant. There is the purchasing, menu planning, staff handling, accounting, and facility maintenance issues in addition to daily shift related customer service duties to perform.
As I walked into my client’s restaurant that was one week from opening, I found myself stepping over a man installing the marble floor entry, dodging the delivery people bringing supplies to the bar, and watching the painter touch up a wall while someone else reached around him to hang up the artwork.
Most everyone has heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” For restaurant owners, planning can sometimes be a tricky proposition. There is the long-term plan, the annual plan, management plan, marketing plan and so on. And after we complete a reasonable plan, our real challenge becomes executing it successfully.
As you execute your plans to open your second, third or subsequent unit, you’ll find that not only your business model will change, but your role as owner will change, as well.Your hands-on style,overseeing every shift and on top of every detail of the business may have brought you great success when you were operating a single unit,however, that approach can quickly turn into a liability when you open a second place.
When first planning to open your restaurant, your goal is to get open, your strategy is to get open and all support tactics involve getting open. On one hand you can’t wait to hear the register start ringing. On the other, you just know that you’re going to forget something.
It was one week until my client’s restaurant was set to open, and as I walked in I found myself stepping over a man installing the marble floor entry, dodging the delivery people bringing supplies to the bar and watching the painter touch up a wall while someone else reached around him to hang up the artwork.
Selecting the right location for your restaurant is as important as creating the concept, developing the menu or designing the restaurant. In fact, it may well be more important, because location is the most permanent thing about a restaurant.
SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART THREE
One morning about two months ago I was having coffee with a senior executive of an energy supply company. I remember how excited he was as he described the small bakery cafe he wanted to open and operate with his wife. He felt the timing was right because their children were grown and almost out of college. They had very little debt and had saved nearly $200,000 for the project.
SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FOUR
Chef Glenn Cates gets off the plane in McAllen, Texas, fresh from his tour of selected restaurants in Victoria and Monterrey, Mexico. He reflects on the menu items he has tasted, presentations seen and the local product availability
SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART FIVE
Few start-up restaurateurs have to be convinced that poor hiring decisions can trip up the business right from the start. But most people opening their first restaurant haven’t worked for a large corporation with a sophisticated human resources (HR) department, so they aren’t familiar with the mechanics of interviewing staff.
SO YOU WANT TO OPEN A RESTAURANT: PART SIX
It has been said – tongue firmly in cheek – that the process of opening a start-up restaurant may be the closest thing to having a baby that a man will ever experience: The whole process usually takes at least nine months from design and permit through construction to opening day.