Make Yourself a Priority

By David Scott Peters

Independent restaurant owners tend to be the nicest, most generous people on the planet (even the grumpy ones). Think about it. They put others ahead of themselves all of the time. They will bend over backward to take care of guests’ needs. They will run all of their credit cards to the max in order to make payroll. They’ll even go for years losing money, while their guests tell them how to run their restaurants and their employees drive nicer cars than they do.

So stay with me and listen to what I have to say, even if it’s not the first time you’ve heard me say it.

“You Have a Responsibility to Run a Profitable Restaurant…”

Responsibility to your customers. You have a responsibility to run a profitable restaurant for your customers. Look, there is a reason they dine in your restaurant. You provide an obviously much needed service to your community and guests, otherwise you would not be in business. You must be profitable to stay open for them.

Responsibility to your employees. You have a responsibility to run a profitable restaurant for your employees. This is how they are gainfully employed. This is how they pay their bills, feed their families and live. (Yes, half of them may drink their paycheck away, but that’s another story.) You must be profitable to stay open for them.

Responsibility to yourself. You have a responsibility to run a profitable restaurant for you, your family and any investors you might have.

This third area of responsibility is where the lesson begins. A great majority of restaurant owners run their businesses as if they were a charity. Taking care of everyone else first and if there is anything left over that “would be great.”

The reality is you must make you the priority!

Think about it, without you, there is no restaurant for the customers. Without you, there is no restaurant that employs people to work. Without you, there is no restaurant. So you see, YOU are the priority. Without you everyone suffers.

What do you do with this revelation? How does it affect your life? Well that answer is easy to understand, but sometimes very difficult to execute.

First, you have to start making yourself and your family the priority. You need to create a budget, which ultimately shows you how much money you want to make. You need to put into place the systems you know will help you achieve your budget. And most importantly, you will need to manage your business to that budget, which often means making the tough call.

To get you started, here are the key areas where we focus when we start working with a new restaurant:

  • Cutting labor cost
  • Reducing food cost
  • Expecting more from management

This is where we start, but the list goes on and on. It’s a process and lots of tough calls have to be made. But when you change your mind set to “You have a responsibility to run a profitable restaurant,” you’ll never go back to the way it was. Instead, you WILL make money without sacrificing your independence.

Just remember YOU have to make YOU a priority. Without YOU, there is no restaurant. “You have a responsibility to run a profitable restaurant!”

David Scott Peters TheRestaurantExpert (1)David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, speaker, coach and trainer for independent restaurant owners. He is the developer of SMART Systems Pro, an online restaurant management software program helping the independent restaurant owner remain competitive and profitable in an industry boxed in by the big chain restaurants. He is best known as the SMART Systems guy who can walk into any restaurant and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door… Guaranteed! Learn more at


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