Set Objectives and Show Pathways


Stop doing what you have been doing because if you don’t stop then nothing will improve. Guaranteed!

As a follow up to my newsletter last month, I have been doing some serious implementation of my theories. I continue to pursue my course of action because, in the longer run, I feel this approach will prevail.

Basically, we have been coaching and encouraging ownership and executive management to set objectives with their key people who want to earn more and to show them the pathway so in fact, this is able to happen.

I will use the Sous chef as an example. I do this because people in this position always want to earn more and they want a pathway for a better, more lucrative career. Assume they are making $16 to $20+ per hour. If you look at working 40 hours per week this is $41,600 per year. Not bad, but hardly enough of a salary to buy a home, acquire a new car, buy new furniture, etc.

So as an owner, how can I provide a pathway for them to $50,000 per year or even more? We are still in the test phase, but we are working with a number of clients with their Sous chefs or staff members who want to be sous chefs. Here are some key questions we pose to these valuable people:

  • How about if you help the company move the food cost from 32% to 30%? Or maybe to 28%?
  • How about if you help the company decrease the kitchen labor from 17% to 14% of sales through some efficiencies you devise?
  • How about if you help the company move the sales upwards by providing some interesting specials that coincide with the Brand thereby making the brand stronger?
  • How about working with the front of the house team so they are more knowledgeable about the food so they are more comfortable upselling the product and increasing the guest check average? And by the way, this will also increase the service levels as well which should enhance repeat business and guest loyalty as well as build the brand.
  • As the Sous chef, you have the responsibility for ensuring your kitchen team members are well trained. Are you working on this in tandem with the chef?
  • How is the maintenance of the cleaning and maintenance program in the kitchen? What is your contribution to ensuring it is A-1?

I think you get the picture of where I am going in this dialogue. The lesson is this: If you enhance people’s responsibility and give them pathways to grow so they can earn more money because the business will flourish and will have the capability to pay more.

Ownership, managers, etc. must provide an opportunity for their people to grow and earn more. Are we doing this or are we just talking about it without putting an action plan together and implementing it? And following up on it?

We believe in weekly management meetings for key staff members to disseminate info on results compared to the plan. During the next seven days until the next meeting as an owner, general manager or chef, you should be coaching, training, following up, and encouraging these people who “want to make more money.”

Are you doing this or are you complaining, whining or wanting to move out of Seattle to another city with your business? Mostly what I hear is the complaining and not the encouragement and coaching. I do a fair amount of coaching of ownership and key management people so they can get on top of their game to move the business upwards. Patience and action are required on everyone’s part!

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For more information or questions, please contact Arnold Shain at [email protected] or by phone at 206.679.1037.

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