## Restaurant Profits Can Be a Simple Math Problem

By Fred Langley

Oh how I wish achieving profitability was only a simple math problem. But the real issues that hold restaurant owners back from achieving their desired profitability are mostly psychological.

It’s true that profitability can be broken down to the most basic level; you need to spend less money than you bring in. And in working with us you have all the tools you need to run a profitable restaurant.

But before you can tackle the systems that will get you to profitable, first you have to get over what David Scott Peters refers to as your “mental underwear.”

These are the excuses you use that stop you from achieving your goals.

If you know how many hours you have to schedule each week to be profitable, what is stopping you from doing it? If you know what revenue you need to do in a shift, what stops you from sending people home when the expected business just isn’t there? Why do you have a Sysco order that is \$6,000 when it needs to be \$5,300 for you to be profitable?

Do any of the following lines sound familiar?

If I cut hours my whole kitchen will quit!
I can’t have my bartender take tables at lunch.
Karen can’t work Monday through Friday, so I have to schedule her on Saturday and Sunday even if I don’t need her.
We might get busy so I need five servers. Even though Mondays are always slow.
I don’t know what they do in the kitchen, but it always takes eight hours no matter how busy we are.
The order was so big because I was afraid we were going to run out of food.
I can’t portion, it will make my ticket times go up, or I can’t portion because it will add labor.
Manager Sally does the schedule and says she needs three hostesses.
It takes my kitchen three hours to clean at night; it is what it is.

All of these lines are excuses and get in the way of you solving your math problem. Stop making excuses of why it can’t be done and take the steps to make sure you spend less than you bring in. Because once you get rid of your excuses, profitability is a simple math problem.

Fred Langley is the director of operations and restaurant coach for TheRestaurant-Expert.com. As a former chef and restaurant owner, Fred found a new passion in helping other restaurant owners find success with systems and now focuses on it full time.

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