Manage Systems, Not People

By David Scott Peters

Managing systems and developing people works

If you are a manager who isn’t great at finding each person’s exceptional skills and then developing those so that they’re better at the job, don’t worry. When you put the systems we teach into place, you will automatically be on your way to becoming a great manager.

This is because systems give you the ability to train employees at all levels in your restaurant to make sure your team knows what their job is, how to do their job and how well you want the job done.

When you are this specific, it makes it much easier to get your people to perform tasks and do their job the way you want it done — without conflict — when corrections are made. Systems allow you to stop managing people because you are actually managing the systems the employees execute on a daily basis. You simply see that things are being done, and whether they are being done correctly or not done at all.

Now implementing systems doesn’t make your people great. What it does is makes sure they are getting the job done. Systems allow you to virtually eliminate conflict and make it easier for you to manage your restaurant.

The development of your team starts when your employees know what their job is, how to do it and how well it should be done. This is because you aren’t fighting them to do what you need them to do. With systems in place, you can now focus on what makes your team members unique, identify their talents and instill a belief that their work is critical to the restaurant’s success.

In other words, implementing systems allows you to capitalize on the people part of the business.

This is exactly why I preach:

Managing People Doesn’t Work. Managing Systems and Developing People Does!

It’s dead on.

We see this play out on a weekly basis with our consulting clients. As we help them implement systems, the natural progression is that we teach management how to hold people accountable to the systems. Ultimately this means coaching them on how to get the most out of their team.

Notice the progression starts with systems. Developing their people comes second.

The reason for this is that without systems in place, most restaurants operate on some level of chaos. Order comes with systems that are used on a daily basis. And where there is order, there is time and opportunity to develop your people.

The secret is to stop managing people! Implement the systems that give you the ability to hold people accountable for doing their jobs to your standards, and you will be on your way to developing your team. Ultimately this is what takes your restaurant to the next level.

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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