Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant Management Training’

The Daydream of a F&B Five-Tool Player

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Summer is flying by. MLB has just completed its All-Star game and baseball, like any well run sport or business, loves statistics. Baseball (at all levels) takes a very serious (fanatical?) approach when tracking, measuring and quantifying. In baseball you’ll find categories for RBI, HR, BA, ERA, Saves, Wins and many other metrics of the game.  If you’re in the food and beverage business you’d be well served to watch (like a hawk) your ROI, ROA, EBITDA, SpSqF, Comps, “Saves”, “Wins”, and other business metrics.

In baseball, I’ve always been most intrigued by the rarity of a “five-tool” player. A “five-tool” player is thought to excel in all the skills necessary to become an elite player. As you might imagine these skills include hitting prowess (which some measure as “on base percentage” plus “slugging” or “OPS”), base-running and speed, throwing ability, and fielding abilities. In each era of MLB, there seems to be only a handful of players recognized as processing all “five tools.”

It can certainly be stated that by the time a baseball player has arrived at the professional level, they have spent years practicing, being coached and playing in a multitude of actual games, all in an attempt to become more skilled at the above mentioned five “necessities,” but only a few are ever acknowledged as being complete “five-tool” players. It would seem that desire, dedication, fate and DNA all play a role in this designation.

The professional game of baseball would not survive if there was absolute dependence upon “five-tool” players. The game of baseball understands that they are going to have to “make-a-go-of-it” with “four, three or two-tool” players. Depending upon team needs, players that can catch and hit but can’t run, or who possesses any of the various shortfall combinations could still survive and thrive in the “bigs.”  

All of the above – brings a few quick questions to my mind for those in F&B.

1)      Have you ever defined what “five-tool” skills a “top player” (AKA manager) would need to be supremely successful in your organization? If you could draft and track the five essential management skills necessary for success or that you deem most important, what would they be?

2)      Have you developed your “farm system” to the point where your managers (AKA top players) are able to practice skill development, over and over again, before they get to the major leagues? As this is what has been proven over and over again to be the successful approach to professional level skill development.

3)      Have you come to terms with the fact that “five-tool” players and managers are rarer than hen’s teeth, and that you might have to adjust your “game” (systems and support) to acknowledge and thrive in this baseball and business reality?

Daydreaming is not necessarily a bad thing, but when historical facts present themselves – you might be best served by an awakening.

Engagement Buttons: Pressing Players to Invest and Excel

Monday, July 9th, 2012
J.B.S. ASKS…
How do I improve a manager from merely collecting his paycheck to making him or her truly invested in the organization’s success?THE STAFFING DOCTOR ANSWERS…
“Engagement” is a hot topic. It’s a new way of saying, “How do we get them to plug in and fully apply themselves?” The answer is as old as humankind: it’s accomplished through relationship building, and if you’re looking for “proof of life” of that concept, look no further than the success of Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. People want to be plugged in.

The shortcut to improvement is to overcompensate for past shortcomings with Growth, Recognition, and Trust. According to many experts, these are the three bedrocks of employee engagement. Become fiendish about offering professional growth opportunities, provide oversized recognition programs, and transform yourself into the most trustworthy (from within and without) organization in the industry.

If you are looking to improve your manager engagement ratios and you can’t swallow the Big Three in one bite, then take a Vegas approach and increase the odds in favor of the house. In our current world of apps and clicks, you’re not just after job performance; you’ll also need to seize attention and interest. Sorry, but a rule book, time clock, good intentions, and paycheck are not enough to produce riveting engagement. Your odds of engagement success increase with every point of easy participation that you create into the collective/us rather than the individual/you. You need engagement “Easy” buttons.

Here are a few basic questions to get you headed in that direction. Do you have an on-boarding video of the perfect customer/guest experience from start to finish (clear wins for managers from the start)? Are you offering managers subsidies/scholarships toward professional grades/ designations? Have you leveraged your manager crowd-sorcery into “Scout Troops” (Talent Scouts to find fresh talent, Menu Scouts to find new menu items, Idea Scouts to push innovation, Safety Scouts to help reduce accidents, etc.)? Do you have an “Easy” app for at-large volunteerism? Might it be time for an internally facing Manager Concierge, answering questions/ fielding concerns/at-the-ready with helpful in-house navigation?

All in all, if you seek to increase manager engagement, you must create “Easy Us” participation points that engage the Body, Mind, and Spirit of your managers. Come to think of it, you might not want to leave anybody out of that invitation.

Chase LeBlanc is the founder and CEO of Leadagers, LLC, and is a hospitality management performance
coach with more than 25 years of experience. He is also the author of
High Impact Hospitality: Upgrade Your Purpose, Performance and Profits!

http://www.hotelfandb.com/biol/may-jun2012-staffing-doctor-engagement-buttons.asp

Inside Scoop – Being Wrong the Right Way

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

And now…I will shed some light on a not so little secret of organizational life. There are some over-eager beavers who deftly scramble up the political and positional ladder seemingly salivating at the prospect of power. Their mastery of corporate gamesman/woman-ship does not guarantee that they are the “sharpest knives in the drawer.” All too often, my experience has shown that if you were to strip away their job title, many lack the influence or substance for making critical decisions.

Ironically, at times it is the awkward foot-draggers who are more capable of making good decisions, but are unwilling to be pressured into making them and don’t want to be held accountable. This leads me to an important point: Lots of smart and entirely good people have discovered they don’t have what it takes to manage things or lead others.

Leadagers who possess good business judgment, a strong sense of direction, and a willingness to accept the conditions of urgency and accountability without a seedy, overcoat-flashing of their fundamental character flaws are the ideal package. Companies spend a lot of money trying to nurture or “home grow” these traits. Unfortunately, this can be an elusive combination of qualities. Conversely, a lack of motivation, butt-headedness, and proven idiocy lead to professional euthanasia every time. (Trust me on this; the latter traits are pretty darn common.)

So let’s face it. You will have to make many decisions without the experience or the information you may desperately think you need, and inevitably, you will decide incorrectly. You will be wrong, and hopefully, someone will allow you to learn from your mistakes. It might be timing, support from the powers that be, or just luck that saves your job.

Early in your career, one of the most important things to learn is how to be wrong in the right way.

Being wrong the right way looks like this:

  • You made what you thought were sound decisions, striving not to be irresponsible, ignorant, or prejudicial.
  • You can explain your thought process with respect to how you came to the decision in a logical manner.
  • Your values were aligned with the organization’s values.
  • You have shown good judgment on previous occasions.
  • You display a willingness to learn from your mistakes.

If you did all the above, you should come out okay (assuming you didn’t burn the place to the ground).

All new leadagers should be allowed some time to practice alternating the gas, clutch, and brake pedals of managementship (i.e., multitasking and managing/weighing multiple—and sometimes conflicting—priorities [chewing gum and running with scissors for all of you non-driving types]). The fact is most managers are playing the standard game of “catch up” in a starkly maniacal fashion.

I strongly urge you to grow away from being the hapless prey-of-the-day—as events pounce on you—and strive to get ahead of events by becoming a predator of pro-activity, turning activities into accomplishments and churning problems into opportunities.

 

Check Yourself | The Top-5 Bad Things You Can Avoid

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

 

Check Yourself | The Top-5 Bad Things You Can Avoid

Hotel F&B November/December 2011

Chase LeBlanc “Expect the best but prepare for the worst” is a well worn but useful adage for our industry. The following are my top five bad things that can be avoided with proper preparation, priorities, and training/development.

  • Food-borne illness. A prep cook changed his baby’s diaper at home just prior to his shift. He was running late, forgot to wash his hands, and as soon as he got to work, jumped right into prepping lettuce for salads. That one unsanitary act (1) made about 20 people sick, (2) led the local TV newscast after the Super Bowl, (3) cut property sales in half by the next day, and (4) left the survival of the business touch-and-go for about 18 months. Boom, just like that! In our business, you must become a food safety fanatic.
  • Liquor license suspension or revocation. A bartender hoping to impress an attractive member of the opposite sex slides the “customer” a few drinks without checking his or her ID. Just so happens that the customer is an underage/undercover operative, and it is a sting operation. Boom, just like that! It’s a citation for the bartender with possible fines and a violation of the liquor licensing laws, unleashing a torrent of hassles. You must set a serious tone among all employees; the service of licensed beverages is a privilege and a heavy responsibility. Do not treat it lightly or allow others to do so. One misstep can put the property permanently out of the spirits business.
  • Robbery with injury. A friend of mine took a new job as a closing manager. The first week on the job, he walked out to the dimly lit parking lot after buttoning things up and was met by a man with a gun who marched him back inside. Boom, just like that! They spent many scary minutes together as my friend fumbled the safe dial before giving over the money and getting a crack on the head in return. No amount of money is worth someone getting hurt. Do all the things you can do to deter a criminal act, such as brilliant parking lot lights, strict back door entry procedures, frequent lock changes, daily bank deposits, only opening the safe when the office door is closed, secure smoke break areas (if any exist), video surveillance, and consistent diligence.
  • Accidents. An elderly guest slipped, fell, and broke her hip on a wet bathroom floor. A cook slices off a fingertip on an unguarded kitchen fan. Boom, just like that! If a guest or team member is ever at risk of injury, you must fix or repair the problem immediately. A negligence lawsuit (translation: your group can lose big money) originates from a problem that you knew about, or even should have known about but chose to ignore or deny. Push for nonslip footwear, heavy-lifting back supports, etc. From a business culture perspective, constantly build, reinforce, and reward a safe, accident-free mindset.
  • Harassment. I have had friends who were too old, new, wide, light, dark, etc.—and have suffered through the impossible difficulties of workplace harassment. The ideal workplace culture should be all for one and one for all with diversity viewed as an immense plus and an opportunity for new knowledge, rather than a wall between “us” and “them.” Your team or tribe cannot tolerate anyone being harassed because of his or her gender, sexual orientation, religion, mental/physical challenges, age, and so forth. If you ever find yourself challenged by doing the right things when it comes to others at work, you could start by changing your point of view. View all people by our sameness from the inside out, not the apparent differences from the outside in. We all bleed red; we all breathe the same air; we all roll on the same earth. Or, you could just pause for a moment and reflect on this: Would I want my girlfriend, wife, mother, daughter, son, brother, father, or boyfriend to have to take this smack I’m dishing out?

The unexpected can happen anywhere, at any time. Proper preparation, priorities and training won’t stop all the bad things from happening, but proactive actions almost always lead to better results than reactive actions do.

Chase LeBlanc is the founder and CEO of Leadagers, LLC, and is a hospitality management performance coach. He is also the author of High Impact Hospitality: Upgrade Your Purpose, Performance and Profits!