One of the restaurateurs I am consulting with, has a problem, a big problem that seems impossible to overcome: he doesn’t know how to delegate.
He is one of those people that likes to be in control. Actually I think that most restaurant owners fall in this category. Do you?
There are three main problems with trying to control every single of the hundreds of daily tasks that running a restaurant requires:
- You need to spend an incredible amount of hours working on the restaurant instead of having free time to dedicate to your family and friends.
- You may end up using most of your time focusing on tasks that are not that important for the overall bottom line of your business.
- You may feel tired, frustrated and stressed because there are not enough hours to do everything that you need to do.
So what can you do to avoid these problems and improve your productivity while having more free time?
The answer is: DELEGATE
Yes, it is possible. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, you still should do it.
As a restaurant owner or manager, there are some tasks that you should delegate and there are some others that you should definitively keep to yourself.
Of course, I am assuming here that you have somebody in your staff that you can trust, if not, you should reconsider who do you have working for you. Having people whom you can’t trust is not the best way to run a business since you’ll be always in a paranoid status trying to catch them doing something wrong.
I would recommend you to sit down for a while and evaluate your staff. Try to fit them in three different categories:
- Not trustable
- Somehow trustable
- Totally trustable
You should get rid of category 1 as soon as possible. Honesty should be your cornerstone to hire people. If you can’t trust them, don’t hire them, even if they are initially less expensive. You will be paying dearly for those small savings, trust me on this one.
If you already have them in your staff, start thinking about replacing them as soon as you can. You don’t want to work with dishonest people, period.
Category 2 is more complicated. You should keep a close watch in these people and if you see that they act with dishonesty in any specific time, then follow the rules of category 1.
Category 3 is what you want and what you need. Look at these people and think who can take on any task that you may want to delegate.
Look at their strengths and try to maximize them. For example, if an employee is really good with computers, you may delegate all the tasks related to computers to them: website maintenance and update, online emailing and marketing, etc. are good examples.
So let’s assume that you have reliable people ready to take on new tasks and responsibilities. Now what?
Here you have some ideas about what to keep and what to delegate:
Managing your costs, changing your menu dishes and menu prices (together with your Chef if you are not the Chef), greeting your clients at the end of their meals, deciding the strategy and vision of your restaurant, managing your marketing strategies and goals, etc.
Opening and closing your restaurant, checking the inventory, entering your client’s information into the database, updating your website, creating a Twitter account and tweeting your offers and promotions, following up with your clients via email, Twitter, etc. cleaning and organizing the restaurant, supervising all the daily operations, etc.
Of course, these are just guidelines. You need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and try to delegate anything that it’s a weakness. You probably hate doing that task anyway and by delegating in somebody else who is better than you at it, not only you free your valuable time, but you will feel happier taking care of what’s really important for your business.
Your friends and family will thank you.
Jose L Riesco
Copyright 2009 Riesco Consulting Inc.