Updated: Dec 25, 2021
Restaurant leaders realize how important it is to have quality people on your staff. People are the building block of all businesses. Nothing is more important.
Every food order gets made by a person,
Every customer has their order brought to them by a person.
Every business decision is made by a person.
All problems are caused by people and solved by people.
Nothing happens in a restaurant that isn’t affected positively, or negatively, by efforts of people.
The most important responsibility for a restaurant leader is to recruit, hire and keep quality people. So why do so few restaurant leaders do it well?
The Pareto Principle
I am a firm believer in the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 principle. This principle says:
20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results.
20% of your people are responsible for 80% of your production.
20% of the people make 80% of the decisions.
80% of the money is owned by 20% of the people.
80% of our problems are caused by 20% of our habits.
80% of our sales come from 20% of our customers.
I have seen this principle played in the service industry over and over again. The top 20% of restaurant leaders attract the top 80% of the most qualified employees. The bottom 80% of restaurant leaders are left with the remaining 20%.
If you could measure the effectiveness of each of the restaurant leaders in your city or metro area, you could distinguish the top 20% from the bottom 80%. The 80/20 principle says there is a significant different between how the average top 20% leader, operates verses the average of the bottom 80%.
I will call the top 20% Rockstar Restaurant Leaders (because that is what they are). The bottom 80% I will call Mediocre Managers (because that is what they are willing to settle for).
Mediocre Managers generally have one thing in common. They manage according to what feels natural. It is that simple. Mediocre Managers typically do as little as they have to, instead of doing as much as they can. It is the popular mindset of our current culture of managers in the service industry. And this is exactly what provides the top 20% of the leaders a distinct advantage.
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Here are 3 Ways Rockstar Restaurant Leaders build their kingdom with Rockstar Employees.
1. Rockstar Restaurant Leaders have a Winning Mentality.
Mediocre Managers adopt a scarcity mentality when it comes to staffing their store. They believe the available prospects consist of mostly poor candidates. It seems all the good people are taken. In their case, they may be right. They may have created this environment.
They are discouraged by people failing to show up for interviews or show up on their second day of work. They believe that the results from recruiting people are not worth the time they are required to put in. Many of these managers, find it difficult to let go of underperforming employees. There is no one to replace them with. So, they think.
When we fail to trust people, they will begin to distrust you as well. The trust you are given will never outweigh the trust you give. People will see your scarcity mentality and lose hope that you are the leader they have been looking for.
The Law of Projection says that if you are an untrustworthy person, you believe others are untrustworthy as well. When we are highly trustworthy, we believe the best in others and that they deserve the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
Rockstar Restaurant Leaders have an abundance mentality. They fully understand that the quality of their staff is 100% up to them. They believe there are plenty of great candidates out there, they just need to go get them. They are intentional about creating a margin of time. They develop resources to maximize their recruiting efforts. They understand that nothing is more important.
Mediocre Mangers will blame the job market and lose hope. They will wait with skepticism for quality employees to walk through their door. They leave the future of their staff up to chance. They are a victim of their circumstances and play that role well. Being short staffed is their default expectation sealing their destiny. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.
“Once there were 3 bricklayers. Each one of them was asked what they were doing. The first man answered gruffly, ‘I’m laying bricks.’ The second man replied, ‘I’m putting up a wall.’ But the third man said enthusiastically and with pride, ‘I’m building a cathedral.’” –Author Unknown
In her mind a Rockstar Restaurant Leader is building a cathedral! Don’t settle for being a bricklayer.
2. Rockstar Restaurant Leaders are Magnets.
They are the glue that holds everything together. They are honest, hardworking people who care about their team. They understand how to cast a vision that motivates their people to become the best they can be. They are not dependent on anyone, yet they don’t work independent of the organization. Rockstar Restaurant Leaders understand the importance of inter-dependence.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Zigler
If you want to have the best staff, you have to be the best leader. We are competing for the best people. Sometimes you don’t even have to be the greatest leader to have an excellent staff. You just need to be a step above all the underperforming managers out there. There lies our opportunity. The Mediocre Managers have set the bar pretty low. We need to decide to rise above the level of mediocrity.
People believe that our current job market is the most difficult in decades. That’s only because they want to reap what they have not sown. We have the best opportunity to create a Rockstar staff than ever before. We need to be a better leader, provide a better place for the better people to go. When we do, people will follow.
Why Stuck People Stay Stuck
I have mentioned the following to several people over the years. Sometimes it has not been received well. I suspect that believing it makes it difficult to blame external circumstances.
There are people out there that are great at staffing a team. Wherever they go they always attract the better people and tend to retain better people. No matter the local job trends or unemployment rate, these leaders will establish a quality team in a short amount of time. Wherever they go they leave a wake of superior teams. They are Rockstar Restaurant Leaders and they create their own opportunities. They don't stay stuck, they rise above.
3. Rockstar Restaurant Leaders find the RIGHT people and remove the WRONG people.
The wrong employees take up space leaving no room for the right employees. Mediocre Managers goal is to find enough employees to fill the schedule and try not to lose them. They don’t like to recruit so they put off recruiting until they fall behind.
The eagles get tired of working with turkeys and fly the coop. The result is the leader is always running behind playing catch up surrounded by turkeys they can’t fire. In our company we call this backwards leverage.
There is a lie out there in the service industry that suggests that turnover is BAD! I say turning over eagles is BAD! however turning over turkeys is GOOD! Learn to embrace the eagles by intentionally turning over the bottom 25% of your crew (the turkeys). Those that master this will create the space required to build a Rockstar Staff. Eagles will flock to an environment like this.
The RRL does not compromise on finding quality people. The eagles appreciate the high standards and the turkeys don’t fit in. One by one the RRL begins to build their team one eagle at a time, building a core group that stands out above the crowd.
If you need help becoming a Rockstar Restaurant Leader, please contact me. We have a proven track record of staying well ahead of the industry in team development.