Really? Is it humanly possible for an independent operator, or is it only a pipe dream reserved for the giant corporate monsters? Say it can be so…

It can, my friend, but you might have to go through some hard work to get there.  I remember when I had my restaurants; at times, it felt like I was putting out fires all day. Getting nowhere, ten steps backward for every 1 step forward.

Does any of this sound familiar:

  • The fish supplier didn’t show up with tonight’s special.
  • The kitchen manager called again because the stove went out.
  • The walk-in freezer is hovering at 60 degrees.
  • Julie didn’t show up for her shift, and she has a party of 20 tonight.
  • Some customer slipped and fell in the foyer and wants to the number to our insurance company.

We all have those days.

If every single day of the week seems like that for you at your restaurant, you have a problem. If you feel like all you’re doing is running around putting out fires, your restaurant might be one big dumpster

But there is hope, even for an independent restaurant owner. You can do some simple things to move the needle to sanity owning a restaurant.

Owning your own business doesn’t mean your business owns you.

If you feel you must be there 18 hours a day, seven days a week, it’s not good for your health. It’s not good for your family, your friends, or your staff. It’s not good for anything.

You didn’t get into business to be owned by your business. You got into business to give yourself the
lifestyle that you deserve, that you control, that you can enjoy.

Top 3 Areas To Focus On If You Want To Be Happy As A Restaurant Owner

You Have To Delegate… To The Right People

This one is probably the hardest to fix. You have a really strong vested interest in everything being done right. But you can’t do everything yourself. No restaurant can run with only one person.

You need to hire and manage other people and utilize their talents. You can’t do epic things with ordinary people. You need to have the right people in the right positions. If you need help finding and hiring superstar staff, you can search “Staffing” in the search bar on our Free Resource page. There’s lots of free information on hiring there that will help you.

There are many tasks, especially the repetitive ones, that you can delegate to others. Give them clear instructions, give them deadlines, and hold them accountable.

You become the overseer instead of the doer. This will free up time and stress and empower your staff. They’ll feel appreciated and valued, which leads to better outcomes. I know, I know, I know how hard it is to find great staff, but it’s key to your happiness if you want to survive in this business for any length of time.

Have Systems in Place

It’s a lot easier to manage systems than to manage people. Ain’t that the truth!

When you have a system in place, you can hold people accountable. If they understand the task and how it needs to be done. And it’s not only the day-to-day processes that need systems; it’s the planning for the unexpected things that can happen, like the POS system going down or the electricity going out.

Having a system already prepared for these situations gives people autonomy to handle them without needing you to solve them. It’ll make your life a heck of a lot easier, and it will allow you to take time away from the restaurant.

Know The Value of Your Time.

Are you spending your time on the right things? Are you chopping carrots in the kitchen or working on your next marketing promotion? What would make you the most money?

Write down what you do for two or three days. Then ask yourself, “Are these things helping move my business forward? What am I working on to grow my business?”

Are you working ON the business? Or are you spending all your time working IN the business? If you’re working in your business, you’re probably a firefighter.

Analyze what you’re doing and decide how to spend your time on the right things.

Running a restaurant shouldn’t feel like constantly battling fires. While occasional setbacks are inevitable in any business, a perpetual state of chaos is a sign that you’re working harder, not smarter.

Take proactive steps to regain control. Delegating tasks to competent staff, implementing efficient systems, and prioritizing your time are key strategies for restoring order and reclaiming a healthy work-
life balance.

You can transform your business into a well-oiled machine that will allow for personal fulfillment and
sustainable success.

Remember, your restaurant should serve you, not the other way around. Treat it like a professional

Need Help?

We find most independent restaurant owners all need one thing in common, other than a stiff drink. I can say that because I was one for over 24 years.

No, they need new customers. Every business needs a constant replenishment of new customers, or it will die.

In today’s world, getting the attention and motivating someone to try your restaurant is hard. Sorry, that’s just reality. And you know you don’t have the time, expertise, or inclination to launch some complicated new customers-generating marketing system to fill your restaurant with hungry new customers with fistfuls of cash.

That’s where we come in. It’s what we do. All day, every day, for hundreds of restaurants.

If you need help and want some direction on putting butts in seats, click the button below and jump on a DFY “Fill my seats” Strategy Session with a DFY Restaurant New Customer expert. It’s Free to you becauseyou read our article, and we thank you for that.

First come, first helped.

Michael Thibault

Known as “The Done For You Marketing Guy for Restaurants.” International Speaker on Restaurant Marketing. Published contributing author of 4 Marketing Books. Industry expert on Google Searches and Review Sites. Recovering Independent Restaurant Owner and Caterer of over 21 years. And, all-around good guy.