Fight Your Nature; Use Systems

 In 1. David Scott Peters, SMART Systems, The Numbers

By David Scott Peters

This interview appeared in the Wall Street Journal, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to point you to it. It is an interview with successful restauranteur, Danny Meyer. He has some opinions about the impact of the recession on restaurants and where fine dining will go in the future. Of particular interest to me was the following quote:

“Human nature doesn’t change. When enough people are comfortable enough financially there is going to be human nature that wants to spend more money on better quality and to some degree status symbols as well.”

I’m encouraged by the more positive notes on the future of the restaurant industry and the economy, and I think it’s important to take in many opinions about the future of fine dining. But I post this article because that quote is so true.

I agree with Mr. Meyer about human nature. People don’t change. I worry the independent restaurant owners out there – you – will forget all you’ve learned about using systems and the efficiencies you’ve implemented to get you through this downturn in the economy.

This downturn has taught a lot of independent restaurant owners (and the big chains) that the customer isn’t a given. You’ve learned to use recipe costing cards to price your menu to be profitable, not just by your gut. You’ve learned to budget your labor dollars. You’ve cust costs and negotiated a prime vendor agreement. You’ve examined your descending dollar report and found equal or better quality replacements for your most expensive items.

When people return to dining on a more consistent basis, what has changed in your restaurant that is a real change, not a fleeting one? How will you maximize the new dollars and the new customers?

What’s your plan for thriving after you’ve survived this economy?

You must implement systems for efficiency and to compete. When the customers return to their old habits, your competition will be leaner and meaner. Will you?

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, coach, trainer and speaker, specializing in systems for independent restaurant owners. He is the nationally acclaimed restaurant coach whose unique “SMART Systems” approach to boosting profits has earned him the title of, “The man who can walk into any restaurant in America and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door – Guaranteed!” Visit for more.

Recommended Posts