How to be more competitive in the toughest economy since 1973

As I talk to a large number of our restaurant clients, I hear the same bad news about their decreasing sales. Empathizing with how bad they feel, I have given them ideas on how to increase their top line. However, some of them have a “down” attitude.

Assuming that your outlook is also negative, your restaurant(s) will be adversely affected.

In these tough times, you first need to increase your own happiness. What works to improve your outlook and behavior?

The first two items are from Welcome to your Brain written by Sandra Aamodt Ph.D. and Sam Wang, Ph.D.

1.“Focus on positive events. Schedule a time each day to write down three good things that happened that day and explain what caused each of them”

2.“Remember to be grateful. Every day write down five things that you are thankful for”. If you can’t think of anything, what could you be grateful for?

3.Be optimistic. Remind your team that this is a great time to build market share because competitors are in a “funk”.

4.Make others feel special! You have heard “don’t kick the cat”. When our attitudes are negative, employees are negatively affected. Good employees may be insecure about their jobs because of management attitudes. They may look for another job. Turnover of good personnel reduces revenues and profits.

5.Remember: you get the best results from people who feel best about themselves and good about you. Once you understand, accept and APPLY this behavior, employees’ motivation will increase. Only by increasing your employees’ self-esteem and getting rid of the “bad apples” will you build revenues.

6.Listen to your employees. Ask their opinions.

7.Use the 1 hour rule. When an employee does something wrong, don’t react immediately. Don’t be the critical, judgmental parent. Talk to your employees as an adult to an adult.

8.Consistently ask yourself “how can I build this employee’s self-esteem?”

9.Being a Restaurant CPA, I have to be a perfectionist. When I am critical, I learn from my mistake and apologize to the employee for my behavior. Team Members appreciate open communications. Telling employees about mistakes I have made, helps soften feedback to employees. Assuming a team member has the skill set and attitude, I am more concerned with how employees respond to mistakes with a process to avoid the same mistake.

10.Most employees want to do a good job. We have developed an outstanding “behavioral hiring interview” system. We look for people with the right skill set and conscientiousness.

11.Because sales are down, staff has had to be reduced. Terminations affect morale. Reducing staffing results in you and your team having to work harder. When your team is spread so thin, guest experiences are going to suffer. Simplify and document your processes and train employees to take over your lower priority work. Trusting people by giving them more responsibility, self-determination and freedom to act won’t work unless you have a proven detailed “recipe process” in place.

12.Think outside the box. Many years ago, a light bulb went off (an epiphany). Humans get into habits. One of the biggest reasons for turnover is employees get bored in their jobs and do not feel appreciated. While advising one of our CPA firm clients who were having problems with employees’ performance, I came up with this process to improve the restaurant team. List specific duties required in your restaurant(s). List the strengths of each employee. Now match up the strengths with the job duties.

13.Reduction of administrative overhead. List those expenses that must be reduced. Brainstorm with your CPA to reduce expenses. Maybe your accounting and tax return fees can be reduced without adversely impacting you. Payroll service fees can probably be reduced.

14.Minimize income taxes. Are you paying more than you should? There are many new tax savings tools that can be used to reduce your tax bill.

Hopefully, I have been of help to you. Please call me with any questions or suggestions. Thank you. Jeff Brooks, CPA, CFP, MBA 602-292-2009.

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About Jeffrey Brooks

Jeffrey Brooks, CPA, CFP, MBA since 1976 has specialized in helping clients save significant taxes, help businesses increase their cash flow, revenues and profits while increasing their control and satisfaction. Jeff and his accounting firm sincerely cares about the happiness of his clients.

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JBrooks Wealth Advisors, PC.

Certified Public Accountant
Address: 4647 N 32nd Street, Suite B245
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Phone: 602-292-2009