Posted: Apr 11, 2017
Interview with Lisa Mango
1. What are some keys to a successful beverage operation?
Key advice: Sales training not just product knowledge.
Focused offerings, not the unabridged dictionary of beverages.
Know your demographic: Foodie vs. Fast Casual; High disposal income vs. budget; Family and Children vs. Date destination; Business traveler destination vs. locals etc.
Famous quote: “Customers love it when they feel as though they have they upper hand.” A.K.A: Selecting excellent values for the guests, creates trust and increases the velocity of sales creating higher cash flow.
2. What are the keys to a successful restaurant operation?
Key advice: Plan, train, motivate, execute, measure, repeat.
Those that do not plan, plan to fail.
Our job is to make our guest feel special and yes even glamorous. However those who work the long hours must know that they are running a business and it is not for the most part glamorous for them.
This a not a theatre presentation or TV show. The Iron Chef is your Chef, the Iron staff is your staff.
You must be appropriately transparent and constantly share the important business information with your managers at all times.
Manager’s need to receive transparent information and clear goals from you so that they can perform successfully for you.
You must provide structure and systems.
Engagement: You must be present and engage the team because the business doesn’t run itself.
Key advice: The following points and suggestions from Lisa sound serious because they are business critical.
The manager is the center of the business machine.
Build a great team. Each team member is a cog in the restaurant machine. Each one has his or her particular strength and passion.
Track policies and procedures.
They have to respect you not be your best friend.
They have to be able to follow you into the fire.
Your team represents you.
4. Please name a key method to engage guests (Internal and external)?
Key advice: As long as it is appropriate. If you have a positive attitude they will have one too, if you do not they will not.
Follow the Fish philosophy developed at Pike Place Fish Market.
1. Choose a Positive attitude
2. Play at work
3. Making someone’s day
4. Be present
Additional great suggestions
a. Be involved in the community. Market yourself in a way to draw guests in. Work within concentric circles. ( e.g., one block perimeter, two block perimeter etc. )
b. Marketing does not happen once a month, once a week, etc. It happens everyday. Social media, provides one of the most functional, cost effective marketing solutions.
c. Create emotional engagement opportunities: Chef seminars, in house wine festivals, partnerships with charities, wine trivia nights etc.
5. What are some of the best ways to grow profits in a restaurant operation?
Key advice: Money disappears quickly.
• Include your managers in the construction and general analysis of the profit and loss statement.
• Success comes from the daily, monthly, and weekly management of the Profit and Loss Statement. (The P and L).
• Without a properly laid out profit and loss statement there is no way to set a budget
• Setting a budget comes from watching everything you spend.
• Meet with your manager’s weekly to see how money is being spent.
• If you see unnecessary expenses in the operation (excess labor & inventory, uneccessary operational expenses etc.) cut the fat. Make good clean decisions.
By Lisa Mango
April 11, 2017
Food and Beverage Operations Expert
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