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February's Featured Speaker: Darren Denington, Service with Style Hospitality Group

Darren will be a featured speaker at the upcoming New York Restaurant Show. Register here to attend his half-day workshop, How to Easily Survive Increasing Minimum Wage and Food Costs, on Tuesday, March 7. 

The Problems We Face Are Fixable When Tackled Correctly

There are 10 to 15 main areas in every restaurant that have to be addressed to have true long term success and it’s the same as everything else…..if you start working on step 7, 8 and 11 you’re probably getting very flustered.  You need step 1, 2 and 3 in place before anything else so that you have the foundation to put it all together correctly.  That’s when we really love it.

1. Structure – To be able to put any positive change in place you absolutely need a strong management team with clear and defined positions.  The owners have to understand exactly what their role is regarding operations and there needs to be a good simple communication plan in place between owners and managers.  The management structure should be created for the positions that the business needs and then the right people should be put in these positions.  A good manager meeting needs to be held regularly and everyone from the general manager to key employees needs to understand exactly what their responsibilities are and be accountable for their actions.

2. Systems – After you have defined your structure, the entire management team should start working together to create a plan for the systems you need to properly manage the restaurant.  There are a ton of different systems and everyone will have a different idea about what is important.  Take some time as a team to decide on what systems are needed (checklists, employee manual, training manual, prep sheets, inventory form, order guide, waste sheet, communication log, hiring information, employee discipline, employee files, etc). Once they are identified, everyone needs to get these created quickly so that they are ready for step three.    

3. Staff Training - Now that you have the right managers in place and all your new systems have been created, it’s time to take your message to the staff and get these new systems implemented.  This is the perfect time to make sure you set your expectations for your policies, procedures, systems and standards with everyone on the team.  Typically, when a restaurant is experiencing issues it usually comes from the staff not doing their job properly which is why step number one is so incredibly pertinent to the success of the business.  When you have a strong and organized management team with a good foundation of systems you can be working on a higher level of productivity instead of dealing with small issues, one after another.

Usually when you start at the beginning and take the time to create a strong foundation, good things will follow.  I fully understand the urge to just take care of the items that you believe are the current problems but, think this through for a moment.  If you want to create a great menu, you will need the right people to come up with the dishes, cost them out, take the time to design the graphics, program the POS and properly train everyone on the new dishes.  How can you possibly do this correctly if your management team is not on the same page?

After step 1, 2 & 3 are correctly implemented you can then identify your next three major priorities and start working on them.  My advice is to keep the major projects limited to just one or two at a time and complete them to the best of your ability by utilizing everyone on the management team.

Hard work is not enough to create the restaurant that you will love, it has to be done in a well-planned, organized fashion. 

Call us today to if you need assistance with training, developing, systems or service 813-661-1149

More about Darren Denington:
Darren S. Denington, CFBE has been in the hospitality industry for over 34 years. With a degree in Food & Beverage Management and being a Certified Food & Beverage Executive, he understands the importance education plays in the hospitality industry.

Darren has an extensive background in the restaurant industry, including Owner, Executive Chef, Food & Beverage Director, District Manager and General Manager. His experience also includes an extensive background in banquets and catering. His understanding of management, operations and start up has taken him across the country to speak to companies seeking his expertise. Darren has presented his expertise at over a two hundred seminars including most of the nations most popular tradeshows.

During the past nineteen years, Darren has owned and operated a secret shopping, restaurant coaching and hospitality team training company, Service With Style. He has focused on guest services and employee training, team building while helping over a thousand establishments nationwide to understand their guests’ perspective. He works extremely closely with operators helping them directly to implement the right systems he improve the establishments.




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