Swing For the Fences - Part II

Back by popular demand! In honor of our nation's pastime, we're revisiting this fan-favorite series!

 

At the start of the MLB season, we looked at the parallels between the roles and responsibilities of baseball team owners and those of catering company owners. We are well into the season now and, for some teams, careful preparation has paved the way for exceeded expectations. On the other hand, some of the teams who had high hopes during the preseason are struggling just to play .500 ball. Is it because of unseasonable weather? Injuries? Poor recruitment decisions? Bad coaching? The classic case of unexplained slumps by otherwise dependable stars? There could be any number of factors contributing to a team’s poor performance, but now is the time for managers and coaches to assess their team’s status and, if necessary, make significant changes.

 

Department managers of catering companies are similar in many ways to baseball managers and coaches. Both baseball managers and catering company managers must:

  • Evaluate and hire the best players. The talent pool is wide and deep; it is up to managers to recruit those who will make the best team.
  • Manage an eclectic group with varying competencies and experience. A locker room, like a sales office, kitchen, or staffing office, holds a lot of different personalities and skill sets. Good managers know how to set a tone that fosters teamwork and encourages big wins.
  • Drill players continuously on the sport's fundamentals. Just because we've reached the big leagues, it doesn't mean we can skip batting practice. Catering managers must make sure salespeople are strengthening their negotiating techniques, cooks are fine-tuning their knife skills, and servers are refining their hospitality skills.
  • Eliminate those who don't produce or who cannot blend with the program. Sometimes, regardless of how well-liked or seemingly talented a player is, they just don't blend with the team. It falls to manager and coaches to cut these people so they can take their talents somewhere they can be successful.
  • Be ruthless when examining systems. Be willing to throw out the old and bring in the new. "That's the way we've always done it" is one of the worst things a manager or coach can say. Instead, do what needs to be done to win, even if it's new or unfamiliar.

 

Three months into the baseball season, managers and coaches should re-evaluate what is working on their teams and what needs tweaking. Thankfully for caterers, our season goes long past October and it’s never too late for our department managers to emulate the successful techniques of World Series-winning coaches.

 

Next at bat: The Players

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