E = Execute


It’s all about the


When visions become reality

I’ve spoken about the power of Creating, Anticipating, and being Relentless in the hospitality space, but as a restaurant consultant I am seeing more and more of my clients requesting help with execution.

While there is arguably ample time spent creating (at least there should be) and envisioning, where the rubber meets the road is with the execution.

What I mean is we can all spend a crazy amount of timing dreaming up beautiful plans of incredible visions but it is all for not if we cannot execute. And lets be honest, simply executing isn’t and shouldn’t be the goal. The goal should be to execute everything as closely as possible to the plan.

There is a gap that exists in so many of the restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, and bakeries in our cities that at times is painfully noticeable, and there are times when even the most trained eye cannot pick up the tiny cues that are equating to poor execution, but we’d be ignorant to think that that hiccup isn’t being felt somewhere in the service.

While there are gaps within certain establishments there are other spaces where the execution is so incredibly tight that there isn’t even an inch of room for a gap. These are the spaces that are not only lined up out the door most days (nights) of the week, but there is also an industry wide cry to have an opportunity to work in such a space, and finally these spaces are the ones who others in the industry look to for inspiration, guidance and a bit of mentorship.

These restaurants have spent endless hours on training, education, hiring, defining and refining culture, and most importantly implementing some incredibly solid and repeatable systems and procedures that the team feed off of.

Taking the time to draw up a living document for each and every aspect of your business whether you’re a restaurant or not, is an extremely valuable process and one that should be done a little more often than once … ever. Revisiting your standard operating procedures every 90 to 120 days will allow you and your leadership to have an extremely informed and accurate set of actions to implement in your space that will allow for military like execution, all while promoting a sense of ease and making your restaurant likely one of the coolest spots in the city to visit.

The execution in a well run restaurant should look and feel like a dance. When steps are missed the audience (your guests), and your dance partner (your team) can tell. The dance looks and feels off, it isn’t flowing as it is clearly intended to and there is an issue with likely a number of things, but the biggest issue that will likely pop up as THE one is the execution.

We can spend all day going over labour costs, lowering food costs, re-working the schedule, adjusting the lighting, or repainting the walls, but again this is all for not if we aren’t fully aware and capable to execute to the standards we have set.

From a perfect plate of food, to something as simple as taking a reservation over the phone (people still do that, right?) there are a number of things we can do to ensure air-tight execution. Here are just a few:

  • Write & institute new standard operating procedures for the entire business

  • SHOW YOUR TEAM (please do not rely on the two paragraphs in your employee handbook from 5 years ago that talks about wine service. As a leader in your business it is your job to show, literally do it all in front of them so that they are clear on the expectations of the execution)

  • Constantly re-asses and test. Put your execution standards to the test and invest your time in reviewing each actionable item every 120 days at most (even the ones that “don’t need to be fixed”)

  • Go watch some military exercises with your leadership team, or heck, your entire team. Take notes, observe and learn. While we ourselves do not need to be militant, there is plenty to be said about the execution of solid military actions.

As I wrap up the 4 part blog series on what I am calling The CARE Method I am reminded that all that really matters with any of this stuff in our industry is you just have to care. Period.

Whether you’re a restaurant owner, a head chef, a bus boy, a bartender, or even a restaurant consultant, you just need to show up and care. By caring you will naturally take care of so many of the things I’ve mentioned in these posts and the level at which you do it will be unmatched compared to someone who is “forced” to create.

By showing up day in and day out, and showing that you care, you will no doubt in my mind thrive in this space as I am firm believer that when we truly care about something we are willing to do whatever we can to make it better.