Setting goals after the running a restaurant from soup to nuts workshop

 In 5. Fred Langley, Operations, The Numbers

By Fred Langley

Where do you begin after receiving a full year’s worth of management training in four days?

Well, the first thing you do is make a plan. If you are going to achieve a goal, you have to have a direction.

Luckily for all the workshop attendees there is a step-by-step plan for success spelled out in four phases, starting with the easy stuff so you can achieve that sense of accomplishment that will lead to more accomplishment. (If you missed this fall’s workshop, mark your calendar for the spring 2009 How to Run a Profitable Restaurant: from Soup to Nuts, scheduled for March 23-26.)

Once you’ve done the easy stuff, then it is time to make some real change and attack your Prime Cost (total labor + total COGS).

The very first thing in this phase is making the budget. The budget is the ultimate goal setting tool for your restaurant. Everything you do and every system you implement stems from your budget. The budget is your business plan with the numbers.

If you implement a purchase allotment system, how do you know what your food cost should be? As a restaurant coach, I am often asked what food cost should be for a restaurant and the answer is that it is unique to every restaurant. All costs affect each other and all your costs put together determine your food cost goals.

In California, I run a high labor cost because of the high minimum wage and high cost of living, so I must run a low cost of goods sold. If you have a high capital expense, maybe your target prime cost becomes 60 instead of 65. You have to set a goal of how successful/profitable you want to be and then work the systems you learn at the workshop towards the goals you set for yourself in your budget. It is the roadmap to the life you envisioned for yourself when you first opened your restaurant.

The next ingredient to achieving your goals is having a support system around you. This begins with having a plan for when you reach a roadblock. What do you do when you don’t know what to do next? The first thing you do is get on the phone with people who have been in your shoes before. You find the answers in the Smile Button Elite and Champion level mastermind groups. These groups are made up of like-minded restaurant owners who aren’t your competitors.

Decide to make some change in your business to achieve what you originally set out to do and then act on it. When you feel lost and need help, call on us here at the button to help you navigate the roadblocks you will face.

Fred Langley is the executive chef and owner of two restaurants in Windsor, Calif., in the heart of the Sonoma County wine country. Langley’s on the Green, a fine dining establishment, and Pizzeria DePaoli, a family style Italian restaurant, are living, breathing examples of how essential systems can be to a successful restaurant. He is a part of restaurant expert David Scott Peters’, coaching team and his unique restaurant setup, family involvement and high standards make him an incredible asset and coach.

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