Make an Attitude Adjustment

By David Scott Peters

The restaurant business presents very unique challenges. It is not a business for everyone. For those of us who love this industry and who manage people as part of our daily jobs, there is one thing that is extremely important for us all to remember: be a professional.

If you can bring professionalism into your restaurant, you will elevate everything including customer service, job performance and accountability. If you have everyone doing their best at their jobs and holding themselves accountable as professionals, you’ll have stellar customer service, incredible customer satisfaction, increased sales, lower costs and tighter controls for more profits.

Who doesn’t want that? If you really want to aim for professionalism in what you do and set the example for how you want the people who work for you to behave, then try this formula.

1. Have the right attitude

The key to being a professional is the attitude you choose.

Look, don’t worry about being happy and positive all of the time. Nobody is that way all the time. We all get angry, upset or sad from time to time. I am not going to say you won’t. The whole idea is at least you can bounce back. You tell people you are sorry and maybe you can get your relationships with people back on track.

2. Aim for flexibility

Dr. Otis Maxfield was the gentleman commissioned by the NASA program to select the first astronauts. He was allowed to select the astronauts using any criteria, and he came up with a characteristic that was found most important: flexibility.

You probably think a good astronaut has to be a good test pilot first and foremost. But what they found was the last thing they needed was a good pilot. Test pilots were taught by the book. They were too structured. They would get these guys up in simulators and make something go wrong and these guys would bail out as they were trained as pilots to do.

Instead, they needed the guy who was flexible, who could adapt to the challenge and try to find new solutions.

It’s the same thing with us. Times are always a-changing, and we have to be flexible.

3. Offer trust

Being a professional is to trust your people and create an environment of trust.

You have to build a trusting relationship with your people if you intend to do anything at all. You have to avoid creating an environment where people feel like they can’t ask a question without thinking they’re being set up for a gotcha.

To get the best out of your people — to grow fellow professionals — you have to build safe, positive atmospheres for the people you are working with and for your employees. They have to trust you.

4. Set the example

A professional shows up to work every day, no matter how they are feeling. A professional realizes to be a professional is as simple as choosing a positive attitude. A professional is flexible. A professional creates an environment that facilitates change and trust. In this kind of environment, it’s hard to focus on anything negative and much easier to focus on the success in front of you.

Remember, you are a professional. You’re running a business. You’re managing people. You are the real deal. Choose to act like one, and you’ll see the results.

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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