Efficiency: Key to Restaurant (and Life) Success

Reading Time: 3 minutes Food Service, Uncategorized

How do I achieve success and how do I measure success?  I’m asked these questions often because of what you see me do on my Food Network shows.  On Restaurant: Impossible, in short order, I have to size up a restaurant and determine what’s holding them back from success and the steps they need to take towards viability and success.

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When I spit out a mouthful of disgusting food, it’s clear that the restaurant’s kitchen team needs help. Why are they warming over expensive frozen food, which has no flavor?  Why haven’t they learned that it’s more cost-effective to cook fresh food?  Many times it comes down to planning and efficiency. They have none!

When I ask a restaurant owner about their finances and they come to me with an old shoebox full of receipts, I have to shake my head. There’s no reason for this!  Efficient technology like POS systems and accounting programs are readily available.  It boils down to being efficient with the time and energy you have.  Make the most of every moment by setting policies and standards.  That’s efficiency.

Being efficient, in every aspect of my life as a restaurateur and a person, has helped to spur my success. I believe many of the problems I encounter with the eateries I help on Restaurant: Impossible are rooted in inefficiency.

Why do I wear the same shirt when I’m filming my programs?  Bottom line: having a uniform, so to speak, is easy and time-saving.  When I’m making-over a restaurant and in the midst of a remodel, things happen than can ruin my clothes.  I get paint on my shirt, or rip my jeans when I’m helping Tom (Bury) move lumber, or stain something I’m wearing as I show the kitchen staff how to make a proper marinara.  It’s simply more efficient to have multiple shirts and jeans that are alike.  That way, if a piece of clothing gets stained or damaged, I simply change into duplicate clothes.

Efficiency plays into every aspect of running a business.  Without setting specific policies and standards in what you do, you’re wasting precious time.  If you’re wasting time, you can’t run your business the way it deserves to be run!

Take restaurant ice machines for example.  I know I frequently harp about ice makers, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.  Torestaurant owners need to be efficient serve safe, clean (slime-free!) ice, you need to spend a huge amount of time cleaning and maintaining the ice machine.  Are restaurant owners ice machine technicians?  No!  Then why are they wasting their time and efforts on a piece of equipment they know nothing about? That’s the definition of inefficiency!



From my workout regime to my haircut, it’s all about making the most of my time.  And that all boils down to my commitment to being efficient.  What’s holding you back from making every moment count in your life?  

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