Digging Up the Root

When coaching new clients I first ask how I may help improve their business. Responses are usually along the lines of “My chef hates the sales team” or “We can’t seem to hire and keep good staff” or “We're always getting beat on price.” Such critical issues are common to caterers and restaurateurs. However, addressing those issues will not solve the root problem. When I dig a little deeper, 9 out of 10 clients eventually acknowledge they want to improve profitability, to decrease their stress level, and to create a culture where everyone works in harmony. Understanding these goals is the first step toward eventually fixing the day-to-day problems that are a blight on every company.

It is common for owners to believe that if they keep doing the same things just a little better then everything will improve. Or they think that if they throw more money at a problem, it will simply go away. Sadly, this is never the case. Real solutions come from understanding your objectives and constantly reminding yourself to value the activities that will help you reach them.

Therefore, if your goal is to reduce stress, the last thing you need to do is mediate a personality dispute between departments. Likewise, once you define your company culture, identifying employees who will be the right fit for your company becomes much easier. If your goal is to improve profitability, the next step is to assess your sales procedures and evaluate your cost of doing business. You may even discover a new appreciation for the all the time and energy you spend on cost-saving operations.

There are many strategies for setting up more efficient procedures or strengthening a team’s unity. Unfortunately, on their own, none of these quick fixes will bring lasting change or progress. Owners and managers need to dig deeper to identify their goals and their company’s fundamental mission. Once these have been unearthed, the whole team will find it easier to work together to help the company flourish.

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