Advice

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Top 10 Bar Hacks Bonus Episodes: Goals

Top 10 Bar Hacks Bonus Episodes for Setting and Achieving Goals

by David Klemt

We’ve rounded up the ten best bonus episodes of Bar Hacks that feature KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey offering goal-setting guidance.

Obviously, we all want to succeed. However, it’s not always obvious where we should start. This has been proven all the more true the past two years.

Doug has a way of cutting a path through the overwhelming noise and distractions operators face each day. The Bar Hacks bonus episodes below can help listeners take a deep breath, reset, and take the necessary steps to identify, measure, and achieve their 2022 goals.

Bonus #1: Strategic Clarity

Doug explains strategic clarity as the understanding of who we are, what we’re working toward, and how we’re going to get where we want to go. Click here to listen.

Bonus #3: Simplification

In this episode, Doug asks listeners a simple question: “Is your vision for your restaurant or bar’s systems complex or simplified?”

Bonus #4: Acceptance

We can’t really make achievable goals if we don’t understand the current situation we’re facing. In this bonus episode, Doug explains why it’s important to be able to accept change and differences.

Bonus #6: Decision Making

We make thousands of decisions every day, from the simple to the complex and everything in between. Doug shares his insights into clearly and confidently making decisions for your business. Click here to learn more.

Bonus #7: Innovative Leadership

What is innovative leadership? It’s confidence in your abilities and your team, knowing when to get out of the way, and the culmination of a few other key concepts. To listen, click here.

Bonus #9: Flexibility

For this bonus episode, Doug explains why success in this era of hospitality requires owning the entire guest journey, frictionless omni-channel experiences, and other elements of a flexible approach to business.

Bonus #12: Self Care

Doug shares his thoughts on one of the most crucial elements of operating a business in the hospitality industry. Hint: He’s not talking about menus, marketing or making money in this episode.

Bonus #13: Confidence

Do you think you have a growth-based mindset or a fixed mindset? Doug discusses confidence and the impact it has on your ability to lead effectively in Bar Hacks Bonus #13.

Bonus #14: Self Learning

Knowing that you don’t know it all opens up your world and makes you a better leader. Doug explains how seeking out knowledge, experiences and opportunities to learn makes you a better operator, keeps you sharp, helps you better relate to and mentor others, and improves your business in every way. Listen now!

Bonus #17: The Seven Cs

Doug explains each of the Seven Cs and how they’ll help you build a winning team. Without the right people on staff, you don’t have much of a chance to achieve your goals. Click here to listen to this important episode.

To listen to the first five bonus episodes in this list in one convenient episode, please click here for today’s Bar Hacks podcast episode. Cheers!

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The 2022 KRG Hospitality Start-Up Guide

The 2022 KRG Hospitality Start-Up Guide

by David Klemt

2022 KRG Hospitality Start-Up Cost Guide & Checklist download

The 2022 KRG Hospitality Restaurant Start-Up Cost Guide & Checklist is here!

If you’ve been putting off opening your restaurant concept, wait no longer. With our guide and checklist, you can make the best, informed decisions to open in 2022.

Yes, opening a restaurant seems daunting in 2022. However, industry intelligence firms such as Technomic have predicted measurable recovery this year in comparison to 2021.

Waiting for the time to be “just right” to open a restaurant just isn’t realistic. The longer one waits to make their move, the further ahead established and new operators can get ahead. Your desired location can be snapped up, competitors can build loyal customer bases, and things get more difficult overall.

That said, that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. We certainly don’t believe rushing into anything is a good idea. If anything, rushing rather than making informed, deliberate decisions is the antithesis of strategic.

So, what’s the desired middle ground between haphazard and hesitancy? Nimble and informed.

Our 2022 Restaurant Start-Up Cost Guide & Checklist provides useful financial information based on real-world scenarios. This will give you a realistic idea of how much start-up capital you’ll need to realize your entrepreneurial dreams this year.

What can you expect in our latest download? Take a look below.

Subsections

This is no three- or four-page quick-hit guide. Rather, the 2022 KRG Hospitality Restaurant Start-Up Cost Guide is 33 pages of real-world tips and data:

  • Start-up costs
  • Renovation costs
  • Scaled costs (four concept scenarios)
  • Restaurant operating guide

Checklist

Due to the tremendous job scope—in addition to the planning, organization, and communication requirements to start a successful restaurant—we highly recommend working with a team of professionals to save time and financial resources.

Below you’ll find a handful of the 500 unique tasks crucial to opening a restaurant.

Planning and Admin

You must:

  • complete feasibility study;
  • develop concept and brand; and
  • complete strategic business plan.

Supporting Cast

You’ll need to secure:

  • an accountant;
  • a real estate agent/broker; and
  • a project manager.

Site Development

The first steps are all crucial to the timeline:

  • Secure property of choice;
  • Sign commercial lease; and
  • Submit drawings.

Operations Development

Examples of the hundreds of tasks you must complete include:

  • a kitchen workflow plan;
  • bar and takeout workflow; and
  • developing a recipe books for the kitchen and bar.

Again, these are just a handful of the 500 unique tasks you’ll complete to start your restaurant.

Download our 2022 Restaurant Start-Up Cost Guide & Checklist to start your journey today.

Image: KRG Hospitality

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

How to Achieve Your Goals in 2022

How to Achieve Your Goals in 2022

by Jennifer Radkey

"Wake up, kick ass, repeat" neon sign on wall

The start of a new year for many is symbolic: Fresh year, fresh start.

With the best of intentions, millions of people worldwide create resolutions and set goals for both personal and professional growth and achievement. These goals are created with full enthusiasm and determination and then….the majority of them never come to fruition.

Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. So what happens? And how can we push forward to achieve our goals instead of letting them slip away?

The majority of us know how to set clearly defined goals. It is something we learned in school, or have read countless articles about. It seems as if it is human nature to want to improve, to do better and be better.

In the hospitality industry, we ask our team members to set goals weekly, if not daily. Goals typically include improving guest retention, increasing sales, improving guest experience, etc.

But once these goals are set, what systems are in place to help your team achieve them? And are you leading by example?

Goal Setting

There are many techniques to goal setting. George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham developed the very popular SMART goal tool to assist in developing clearly defined, task-oriented goals. They state that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-specific (SMART).

Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret, discusses envisioning your goals and life desires to attract them to you. But goal achievement is more than just setting a clear goal, or dreaming about what it would be like to achieve that goal. Those are the starting points.

Goal achievement is a process. It can be nitty and gritty and tough. There is typically no easy way. However, there are strategies we can use to help us achieve them, and the result will almost always be worth the extra effort.

Why We Fail

There are countless reasons why goals or resolutions fail, but the reasons mostly fall under two categories: You either lose your willpower or your waypower.

The concepts of willpower and waypower in relation to goal achievement is introduced in Rick Snyder’s Hope Theory, explained is his book The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There From Here.

Willpower is the desire to achieve your goal; it’s the fire that pushes us to keep going after what we want. Waypower is the map for how we will get to our end goal; it’s the careful plan we have in place to ensure we overcome any obstacles that get in our way.

When we lack willpower our goal seems unachievable, and therefore we give up. When we lack waypower, as badly as we may want to achieve our goal, we are lost with no clear idea of how to get there.

How to Succeed

Finding Your Willpower

If you have lost your willpower, there are several ways to reignite your desire to achieve your goal.

The first is to have constant reminders of your goal. Have it written somewhere where you will have access to it several times a day. Set reminders on your phone, put sticky notes around your office or house, create a vision board representing your goal as your screensaver or on a wall in your home or office.

Remind yourself of why you set the goal in the first place and how it will make your life better.

Many of us lose our willpower when faced with obstacles. Instead of being deflated by obstacles, look at them as challenges to be defeated. Use obstacles as fuel for your fire rather than water to dampen it.

When faced with obstacles it is also helpful to remind yourself of goals that you have achieved in the past and the obstacles you had to overcome to get there. Remembering this time will allow you to acknowledge that you ARE capable and therefore will keep your willpower intact.

Finding your Waypower

Life is busy, and when you are being pulled in many directions at the same time it can be easy to lose your way towards achieving your goals. To ensure that you stay on the path towards goal completion, there are several actions you can take.

Try breaking long-range goals into smaller steps. Start with the first step, and move on to the next, checking off and celebrating each step as you go.

Before you even begin your journey towards goal completion, map out different routes you may need to get there. Knowing these routes beforehand will make it easier to stay focused along the way.

Lastly, know when to ask for helpand be willing to accept it. If you get lost on your way to your goal, perhaps you need some advice from someone who has already achieved that goal.

WOOP

One of my favorite goal achievement strategies is WOOP, created by Gabriele Oettingen. This acronym stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.

WOOP is a straightforward and effective tool to use when setting goals, and has been practiced by everyone from elementary school students to CEOs of major corporations. Once practiced, WOOP can take less than five minutes of your time while providing great clarity.

The first step is to state your wish or goal clearly. Next, envision the outcome of achieving your goal. Take a couple minutes to really picture what it will look and feel like to achieve your goal.

You are then going to contrast that by thinking of what obstacles might block you from achieving your goal. It is important to note that these obstacles are internal not external.

We rarely have control over external obstacles but do have control over internal ones. What is it about you that will stop you from reaching your goal? Is it low self-esteem, laziness, doubt? Are you distracted easily?

Lastly, you are going to plan what to do when met with an obstacle by using “if/then” phrasing. For example, “If I am feeling lazy and want to have a Netflix marathon instead of working on my goal, then I will get off the couch, do ten jumping jacks, grab a drink of water, and start working on my goal.”

If you are interested in trying out the WOOP tool for goal setting/achievement you can visit www.woopmylife.org.

Own It

Goal setting and resolutions should not be a forced activity you do every new year, or birthday, or every Monday morning to start your week. Goal setting and achievement should be a constant, flowing activity that reaches into all parts of your life.

Through the use of strategies and consistent review, reassessment, and awareness, goals don’t need to be lost or given up on, unless that particular goal no longer serves a purpose to you.

Own your goals and take pride in your achievements. In the end, you will always be your number one advocate for your own growth.

So go get it! Cheers to professional and personal well-being!

Image: Justin Veenema on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Keep Up Your Momentum in 2022

Keep Up Your Momentum in 2022

by David Klemt

Start of 2022 track or path concept

In 2022, our focus needs to be on recovery, which means starting strong, gaining steam, and keeping momentum going throughout the year.

The past two years have been a nonstop flurry of starts, stops, and false starts for American and Canadian operators.

Every challenge operators face during a “normal” day has been compounded. Recruiting, hiring, training, marketing, increasing traffic and revenue, managing inventory…it’s all more challenging.

However, “challenging” doesn’t mean “impossible.” Under the best of conditions, restaurant, bar, and hotel operations are a challenge. Overcoming adversity, in other words, is a consistent element of daily operations.

Now, whether we should view constantly overcoming challenges as a badge of honor… Well, that’s a different conversation, one about industry-wide changes that are long overdue.

For this post, my focus is on starting 2022 off right, building momentum, and keeping it.

KRG Momentum

Last year, we launched a coaching program called KRG Momentum.

KRG is known for our Roadmaps to Success, which include of our in-depth feasibility studies and detailed business plans, both of which help operators secure funding. However, some of our clients aren’t ready for our full suite of startup and expansion solutions.

KRG Momentum was designed from the ground up for these clients and consists of two programs. On one hand, we have Momentum for startups. On the other, Momentum for current operators looking to improve operations.

Both Momentum programs include a dedicated KRG coach; one-on-one video or phone consultations; and reviews of multiple operational elements. Of course, startup operators have different needs in comparison to experienced operators. And new concepts require different strategies than established operations.

For example, KRG Momentum’s startup program includes (in part):

  • review and navigation of startup questions and challenges;
  • weekly sessions that evaluate the past week and identify the next week’s focus; and
  • identifying blind spots throughout the project, positioning a startup operator to maintain their budget and desired opening date.

And current operators who choose KRG Momentum will receive, in part:

  • an in-depth discovery session to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • review of P&L statements, menu engineering reports, labor scheduling reports, menu design, online reviews, marketing campaigns, service sequence, and other pain-points; and
  • strategies to improve both revenue and profit margins within 90 days while working less hours per week.

Let’s Go!

All hospitality professionals—from business owners to staff—are members of a tight-knit family. Unless you’ve lived hospitality, you just don’t know the challenges, risks and rewards.

That means that startup operators and established operators don’t have to try to navigate the industry alone. Whether you aren’t sure where to even begin your ownership journey or aren’t sure how to overcome the hurdles you’re facing, the team at KRG Hospitality is here for you.

If you’re ready for us to help, click here to learn more about KRG Momentum. And click here to schedule an introductory call.

Image: Tumisu from Pixabay

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Adding Veterans to Your Team

Adding Veterans to Your Restaurant, Bar or Hotel Team

by David Klemt

Military combat helmet in digital camouflage

Do more this Veterans Day by encouraging those who have served to apply and interview for available positions on your team.

There are several benefits to providing job opportunities to veterans, regardless of the country (or countries) in which you operate.

Of course, there are dos and don’ts that come along with recruiting, hiring and working with veterans.

Benefits to Hiring Veterans

Before we begin, a caveat: Remember that veterans are individuals. “Veteran” is a label, a designation, a descriptor. In no way is one person who is a veteran interchangeable with another.

That said, there are some elements of military service that are similar to those of successful hospitality operations.

Teamwork, a strong work ethic, leadership skills, precision in tasks, achieving goals, consistency in results… When a restaurant, bar or hotel team is operating at its best, it can be said they work with military precision.

Generally speaking, veteran job candidates bring experience to the table that can benefit an operator greatly.

Additionally, it’s commonly said that hospitality leadership should hire for personality because they can train requisite skills. Speaking generally again, many veterans are so used to receiving specialized training that they’ll likely appreciate and respond quickly to yours.

If you want your business to operate with military precision, why wouldn’t you hire military personnel who fit well within your team?

Questions to Ask During Interviews

Obviously, there are definite dos and don’ts when it comes to discussing a veteran’s military experience.

As curious as you may be about some aspects of a veteran’s experience, questions shouldn’t be invasive or offensive.

Some examples of questions you should ask are:

  • “What did you do (in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard or Reserves)?”
  • “Why did you choose that branch of the military?”
  • “How long did you serve?”
  • “Do you come from a military family?”
  • “Where were you stationed during your career in the military? Did you visit any other countries?”
  • “Where was your favorite place you visited or lived?”
  • “How do you think your experience in the military will benefit you here?”

As you can see, nothing in those questions should make a veteran applicant uncomfortable.

Questions and Behaviors to Avoid

Speaking of discomfort, there are many questions that you should never ask a veteran. Not just during the interview process, but ever.

Also, if a veteran informs you they’re uncomfortable answering a question about their service, that should be respected.

Examples of questions and topics you should avoid are:

  • “Do you have PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)?”
  • “Do you find it hard to get back to ‘real/regular’ life after being in the military?”
  • “Did you ever get shot/stabbed/bombed?”
  • “Did you ever kill anyone?”
  • “What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you while you served?”
  • Current military conflicts, particularly if you haven’t served in the military.
  • Referring to elements of work through military analogies.
  • Insulting branches of the military if you never served.

In short, treat veterans with the respect their deserve, as you should any other member of your staff. Veterans aren’t novelties or curiosities—they’re people.

For too long, veterans have faced undue scrutiny and undeserved stigmatization. It shouldn’t be difficult to turn that around when the solution is simple: Give veterans respect; treat them like  people since that’s precisely what they are; and provide equal opportunity.

Image: israel palacio on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Creating a Strengths Profile

Creating a Strengths Profile

by Jennifer Radkey

Unsolved Rubik's Cube against black background

When looking to improve the performance of your hospitality business it is natural to seek out weaknesses and attempt to “fix” them.

What if you were to take an entirely different approach?

Instead of focusing on weaknesses to improve upon, we should seek to identify and build upon our strengths.

Why Strengths?

Using our strengths is like writing with a dominant hand. It comes naturally and easily.

Strengths can be cultivated and used to assist in overcoming challenges and in improving upon weaknesses. If we were to focus only on improving our weaknesses it would be tiring, and the probability of giving up could increase.

However, if we focus on building upon our strengths, it would be motivating and energizing, therefore making us stronger and then more likely to overcome our weaknesses.

Lost and Found

Do you ever visit a restaurant, bar, or hotel and get no clear sense of their identity?

Maybe their menu is confusing, their social media presence is either nonexistent or only shares their daily specials, there is no consistency in service. They just seem…lost.

Now seriously take a minute and walk through your establishment with fresh eyes as if it were your first time there. Is your brand’s identity clear or lost? As we get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations and stressors, becoming lost can easily happen.

Identifying your brand’s strength profile can help you find your distinct identity again. Even if you aren’t lost there is always room to strengthen your brand.

The Background

In the field of positive psychology, psychologists Chris Peterson and Marty Seligman headed a project to seek out what characteristics describe humans at their very best.

After scouring literature, media, music, etc., spanning countries and history, they compiled a list of 24 character strengths that appear to be valued over time and culture.

This list was referred to as the Values in Action Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (VIA). The VIA is meant to classify individual strengths but can also be applied to organizations and businesses.

The 24 Character Strengths

The list of strengths is as follows:

  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Love of Learning
  • Perspective and Wisdom
  • Bravery
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Vitality
  • Capacity to Love and be Loved
  • Kindness
  • Social Intelligence
  • Citizenship
  • Fairness
  • Leadership
  • Forgiveness
  • Humility/Modesty
  • Self-Regulation
  • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
  • Gratitude
  • Hope/Optimism
  • Humour
  • Spirituality

If you want to dive deeper into the VIA character strengths or would like to take the free survey yourself to find out what your top character strengths are, please visit www.authentichappiness.org through Penn State University and take the VIA Survey.

Creating a Strengths Profile for Your Hospitality Business

Now that you have the list of 24 character strengths, think about the top three strengths that you believe capture your brand at its very best. Think both about your venue’s operations and its messaging when deciding upon the top three.

Then ask your team to do the same. Hold a team meeting in which everyone shares which three character strengths they chose and why.

I recently did this with our team here at KRG Hospitality and found the process enlightening. It was fascinating to see which character strengths were repeated, providing clarity into our brand’s strengths profile.

Establishing Your Top Three

As you review everyone’s answers as to the character strengths they feel best capture your brand at its very best, take note of strengths that repeat themselves.

For us at KRG Hospitality, creativity, perspective and wisdom, and love of learning were the most common replies. We then had our strengths profile.

Discuss what you feel the strengths profile for your brand is with your team and solidify a top three.

What Next?

Once you have a strengths profile built, it’s time to dissect it.

How are you already using these strengths in both your day-to-day operations and in how you are representing yourself to the outside world? How can you use them in new and unique ways?

For example: If one of your strengths is creativity, are you using it to your advantage in many aspects of your business? Maybe your menu is super creative, but your social media posts are dull. Maybe your interior design is creative and fresh, but your training lacks creativity.

Is one of your top strengths kindness? What are you doing to emphasize that strength and is your community aware and benefiting from it?

Think about your strengths in new and exciting ways to energize your team and build an overall stronger business.

Shout it Out!

Take pride in your brand’s strengths. Make it known to your team, potential new hires, guests and potential guests what your strengths are by living them and growing them each and every day.

The stronger your team and your brand is, the more confidence you will have. With strong confidence you can approach weaknesses and obstacles with a healthy mindset and higher chance of success.

Take the time to really know your brand and understand how you are representing yourself and you won’t be disappointed. Cheers to personal and professional well-being!

Image: Pixabay on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Incentive Economy: What are You Offering?

The Incentive Economy: What are You Offering?

by David Klemt

Chef's knife and honing rod crossed on cutting board

You know about the gig economy but are you familiar with the incentive economy?

It’s quite simple, and there are myriad ways for operators to engage with it. In fact, you likely already participate in the incentive economy in some way.

To put it succinctly, the incentive economy is all about the perks of a job beyond a paycheck.

The Old Ways are Out

On episode 53 of our Bar Hacks podcast, Chef Brian Duffy addresses the need for changes in our industry directly.

First, he tackles the lack of transparency in leadership by some operators. As Chef Duffy says, “That’s an old school way of doing it. That was an old school way, that was the Eighties.”

According to the chef, and we wholeheartedly agree, we now find ourselves in a “different phase” in the industry.

Then, Chef Duffy takes on how leadership in the industry treats staff.

One effective recruiting and hiring incentive Chef Duffy offers on the podcast deals with scheduling. None of his cooks close both nights of a weekend. He also posts schedules two weeks in advance so there are, A) no surprises, and B) if staff need to swap or drop, they have time to do so without impacting the business.

This simple scheduling incentive is attractive to new hires and existing staff. Why? Because working unpredictable, erratic hours is stressful.

“That ruins your life,” explains Chef Duffy.

If operators want to attract new hires, keep their team together, and reduce turnover, listening to staff about scheduling is crucial.

Things Need to Change

Chef Duffy shares a story on the podcast about his daughter and her experience working at a restaurant operated by a hospitality group.

No, he doesn’t name the group or the concept. The who isn’t the point here, it’s the what.

That what is how leadership bungled not only a scheduling issue but also how they botched Chef Duffy’s daughter’s two-week notice, her final shifts, and her final pay.

For more context, his daughter wasn’t a new hire who bailed after perceiving she had been treated poorly. She had worked at that restaurant for a year, there were ongoing issues, and she finally left.

As we all know, we’re down about a million jobs in this industry. That loss isn’t simply because of the pandemic. Our industry is undergoing a seismic cultural shift and we’re losing people who won’t return to hospitality.

Things need to change if we’re going to reverse this trend and strengthen the industry. KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey addresses the change we need in his latest book, Hacking the New Normal. Chef Duffy addresses some of the necessary changes on our podcast as well.

“We can complain as much as we want, but we created it,” Chef Duffy says. “We as owners and operators and managers, we created what’s happening right now.”

Get Creative

The only limits to incentivizing your staff are your imagination, staying consistent with policies and procedures, being respectful of your staff and guests, and the law. Remain in those confines and get creative.

An incentive doesn’t need to be a grand gesture or prize. In many instances, something that makes a shift more fun and breaks up the monotony is enough to energize the staff.

“I want my staff, I want my front-of-house staff, to know what my sales goal is for the day,” says Chef Duffy. “And then I want to run a contest with that.”

One of the chef’s favorite contests is simple and highly motivating: Follow the Twenty.

Chef Duffy puts a twenty-dollar bill into play against a particular item or menu category. For example, either a specific dessert or any dessert.

Whenever a team member sells a dessert, they get the $20 that’s in play. If a different person sells another dessert, they get the twenty. Follow the Twenty incentivizes the first person to sell more of an item to hang onto the money, and the game motivates the rest of the staff to outperform their coworker to get the prize.

The last member of staff to sell a dessert that shift or day keeps the money.

Offering another creative incentive he’s seen, Chef Duffy shares that there’s a restaurant out there offering a free tattoo to kitchen staff that stays for at least 30 days. Will some staff leave after they get their tattoo? Possibly. Hiring wisely, implementing training policies and procedures, treating staff with respect, making scheduling easier and more flexible, ensuring clear communication is embedded in the fabric of your brand’s culture, and offering further incentives can prevent that turnover.

Offer Ongoing Education

“We live in an incentive world now,” says Chef Duffy. Explaining that he doesn’t operate large kitchens, large bars, or employ large teams, he admits he can only do so much in terms of incentives.

However, his approach to incentivizing staff to stay starts with this example of true leadership: “The one thing I can do is treat my employees well.”

With decades of experience in the industry, Chef Duffy’s knowledge is something he can offer his staff. A big believer in education, passing down information that can enrich team members’ careers and lives is an incredibly valuable incentive.

During a recent training session with a very young kitchen staff, the chef started with the very basics of education.

“Hey, guys, here’s a knife. This is a knife,” he said to the kitchen staff. “There’s seven different parts to a knife. Here’s the most powerful part, here’s the most precise part. This is how you hold it, this is what we do…”

Just reading that, it may seem like Chef Duffy was being condescending. That’s not the case. He wants to share as much of what he’s learned over the years to pass on his collected knowledge.

“I want people to feel as if they’re gaining something from me and the knowledge that I have rather than, ‘Go cut those onions and I’m gonna yell at you if you do it the wrong way,'” says Chef Duff.

Make Meaningful Change Today

Making impactful change can feel overwhelming. Let’s face it, it’s easier to just stay the course. But these days, staying the course can cost you your staff, then your guests, and then your business.

One way to start making change is to look inward at yourself, and at your leadership team.

Are your staff gaining anything from you beyond a job and paycheck? Is your leadership team mentoring and incentivizing staff? Are you, your leaders, and your team happy at work?

If the answer to those questions is “no,” do what’s reasonable to improve your brand’s work culture.

As Chef Duffy says, “The whole dynamic of it has to change and we have to take better care of our employees.”

Image: Steve Raubenstine from Pixabay

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

What’s a Marketing Fund?

What’s a Marketing Fund?

by David Klemt

Vintage cash register in black and white

Do you know what a “marketing fund” is?

Moreover, if you know what I’m talking about, do your managers and staff have access to it?

A marketing fund—not your marketing budget—is a useful tool that can solve guest experience issues quickly.

What it Is

Both Doug Radkey and I mentioned marketing funds last week.

First, I brought it up in my article about communication and staff empowerment. Next, Doug included the marketing fund on last week’s Bar Hacks bonus episode, titled “Empowerment.” There, he shared the story that inspired my article.

Simply put, a marketing fund is a bit of cash kept on hand for use in a variety of situations.

Some people call it petty cash. Others refer to it as an “emergency” fund. We call it a marketing fund.

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a small amount of cash most accessible by a manager or, often times, a bartender.

How to Use It

Operators will have to decide on the amount set aside; how often to replenish it; and who has access to the marketing fund.

For some, $40 may be feasible. Others may find that setting aside $200 for the week may work best.

In most cases, a register behind the bar serves as the marketing fund’s home. A manager or bartender knows where it is and can find it quickly.

Now, you’re likely noticing the word “quickly” is coming up a lot in reference to the marketing fund. That’s the point—quick, smooth problem solving.

So, come up with your rules and expectations regarding the marketing fund. Communicate those expectations. Then empower specific team members each shift to access it.

Of course, this requires trust in the team, their integrity, and their sense of what is and isn’t reasonable.

When to Use It

Again, this is about what’s reasonable and acceptable to an individual operation.

Will buying a round ease tensions and put a guest’s experience back on a positive track? Use the marketing fund.

Is there a promo that’s going wrong for a guest that a manager can solve with cash (a gift card problem, for example)? Access the marketing fund.

Will running across the street to grab an item solve a guest problem? The marketing fund can help.

This works for several reasons:

  • Staff can solve a guest’s issue quickly. This eases tensions and improves the guest experience.
  • Guest-facing or other issues can be solved smoothly. In some instances, the guest won’t even catch on that there’s really a problem.
  • Marketing fund transactions are traceable.
  • The marketing fund holds the operator and staff accountable. Are issues consistently arising during certain shifts or with specific team members? Something needs addressing.

The marketing fund is a practical, useful tool. Its use is trackable and ensures accountability. Consider implementing this fund today.

Image: Evergreens and Dandelions on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

10 Words that Exemplify Leadership

10 Words that Exemplify Leadership

by David Klemt

Level Up neon sign in white and yellow

During episode 50 of the Bar Hacks podcast, Travis Tober sums up restaurant and bar leadership in just ten words.

In fact, this seemingly “small” sentence explains leadership and buy-in for essentially every type of business.

Let’s take a look at what Tober, co-owner of Nickel City and owner Old Pal, says that resonates with me.

10 Important Words

So, what does Tober say during his first appearance on Bar Hacks that embodies leadership?

The following, about his general manager:

“He knows the brand just as good as I do.”

How do those words exemplify leadership and buy-in? For several reasons:

  • They illustrate transparency from the owners.
  • Those words show trust.
  • The ten words put buy-in and mentorship on display.
  • They show that the GM possesses a sense of ownership of the brand.
  • The brand is obviously defined clearly.

Buy-in is Crucial

As an entrepreneur, consider what you’re asking of the people who work for you. You’re expecting others to help you achieve your dream.

So, why would they take their role in your business seriously rather than only seeing it as a paycheck? The answer is simple: buy-in.

Staff want to feel as though they’re a part of something—they don’t want to work just to pay bills.

As difficult as it may be, an operator needs to trust the people they hire.

Why would you want them on your team—and you need to build a team, not just have employees—if you don’t trust them? Filling roles just to have bodies in the building is a losing strategy, labor shortage or not.

In addition to trust, there needs to be brand indoctrination. Every employee should be a brand evangelist for you and your business.

One of the most powerful recruiting and marketing resources at your disposal is your team. People they encounter should want to spend time and money at your business because of your team. They should want to work for you after observing your team at work and out and about.

If that’s not happening, something is wrong. Your team doesn’t trust you; doesn’t feel as though you trust them; doesn’t feel empowered; or doesn’t believe they’re really a part of your brand and business.

So, ask yourself a simple question: Can my GM, management team, and staff say they know my brand as well as I do?

Listen to episode 50 of Bar Hacks with Travis Tober on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Image: Damir Kopezhanov on Unsplash

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