Simple is Best, but It Ain’t Easy

If you don’t have the labor you need, maybe it’s time to reduce your need for labor.

With less labor available to you, the processes in your operation need to be easier to achieve and/or execute.

Almost every operator we have talked to recently has had to make some really uncomfortable decisions based on hours of operation, menus and pricing amongst other things. The truth is, if these decisions aren’t made and the changes don’t happen, their businesses will suffer.

In this episode, we unpack why it is best to keep things simple, and exactly how to go about doing so. If it is easier to train on, easier to execute and easier to master, then it is certainly easier to win!

  • The pandemic and the subsequent labor shortage are forcing the industry to undergo a bit of a renaissance.
  • With less labor, things have to be easier to achieve and/or execute if you want to keep on moving
  • Ever operator I have seen recently has had to make some really uncomfortable decisions based on hours of operation, menus and pricing
    • These are emotional decisions
      • Every time one needs to be made; the operators automatically create assumed need for empathy
        • “What will so and so think of this?”
      • Truth is, if these decisions aren’t made and the changes don’t happen, they are going to suffer further
        • Riding staff too hard until no one is standing
        • Require too much from each team member (menu execution) to where there is no way execution is up to brand and customer standards
        • Go broke waiting for markets to recover from labor and material shortages
  • Best way to go about Keeping Things Simple
    • Remain objective, leave emotion at the door
      • Grim reality helps with this as do tools such as a menu engineering worksheet
      • Promise to be honest with yourself.  “I like it” doesn’t always put money in the bank. 
      • Excuses don’t matter. 
    • Analyze your business from A-Z and identify pain points
      • List it
      • If it bothers you, 86 it
      • If it is a huge inconvenience and involves too many resources, change it
      • Ask your team what bothers them and what impedes their progress – 86 or change
    • Map out changes to be made and when they will be best be made
      • Share with team
      • Get them on board
      • Make them a part of the process and they will buy in at a much higher rate
    • Follow your plan
      • Do not change too much too fast (unless dire)
      • Do not undo changes
        • If you changed it, it was that big of a deal.  Backtracking does not help.
  • The idea is to mitigate the need for labor given that not too many operators have enough of it. 
    • The simpler it is to win the game, the more often your team will win, the better they feel, the longer they stick around
    • With effectiveness in mind, invest the time to simplify every step of every process
      • Make it easier to train, remember, execute and win


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