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Goal setting is a first step toward better results

The concept of my book The Accidental Salesperson is that everything in life is sales. Each part of your restaurant, from the kitchen staff, to the hostesses, to the servers and bartenders, is part of a sales organization. So you can use sales management tools and techniques to see success in your restaurant.

One of the most important functions of a manager is to set goals. By setting goals, you help unite the team toward a common objective and you will find that if you track your efforts as you work towards the finish line, you will see revenue gains that you never thought were possible.

The first step in the process is to make sure you know your metrics. Everything needs to be quantified so that you have a benchmark. You need to know where you are now in order to know where you want to get to. You can use a variety of systems to track what’s going on in your restaurant and I encourage you to research different options.

You should establish a baseline for each part of the restaurant. When you are deciding which numbers to track, pick the metrics that would help you increase revenue. For example, a good metric to track for the kitchen staff is turnaround time from when the order is placed to when it is delivered to the table. A shorter turnaround time in the kitchen translates into shorter time the guests are at the table. As any good owner or manager understands, the faster you can turn tables, the more people you can serve in a night, and the more money you can make.

Once you know the metrics you will set goals against, you should set both a simple short-term and an aggressive long-term goal. You want to gently ramp it up. The short-term goal should be easily reachable based on average performance. This will help you get some momentum going and then you can expand from there. Psychologically, you want to get your staff feeling that they can hit these goals. The long-term goal should be more aggressive and require each team member to improve their current performance. You need to give clear direction as to the steps that each team member needs to take in order to hit the long term goal. This highlights the benefits of setting easier short-term goals. Even though the long-term goal might seem unachievable at first, if you show your team that they can accomplish smaller tasks along the way, you will increase morale and you will see momentum snowball to the final goal. If you succeed, your restaurant will hit revenue numbers that you haven’t seen in the past.

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