How Mindfulness Training Helps You Become A Better Restaurant Leader

Posted: Aug 05, 2018



Technology has undeniably made us more efficient, but it has come at the cost of interpersonal connections and mindfulness.

Technology was supposed to make things simpler; robots and computers were supposed to help us complete tasks and breeze through work so we can devote more time to what really matters – being with our families and friends.

Unfortunately, by adopting technology into our everyday lives, we inadvertently made it more difficult to sign off and disconnect, most notably from our professional responsibilities.

With your phone always at your side, it’s hard to ignore – or justify ignoring – work commitments; you’re always on call, and expectations have gone up. Our workload has not decreased, it has actually increased.

According to Bustle, four out of five employees complain about work-life balance issues, likely stemming from their inability to disconnect from work and reconnect with what makes us happy in the real world. A LinkedIn study found 70% of employees aren’t even disconnecting from work when on vacation!

We aren’t giving ourselves a chance to rest and recharge, which is hindering our performance at work. Your difficulty disconnecting from technology is hurting your restaurant management potential; thankfully, mindfulness training offers a cure.

What Is Mindfulness?

Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention on the present.”

Pretty straightforward stuff. To be mindful is to clear your mind of all the chatter in order to give your full, undivided attention to what’s happening in this moment.

Seems simple, yet too often our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re caught obsessing over thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future rather than living in the present.

Over the years, I have dabbled with mindfulness training in an effort to become more present and a better restaurant leader. You’d be surprised at the benefits you can unlock by simply stepping outside the restaurant for a moment or closing the office door and practicing a few easy breathing exercises.

Before we dive into ways you may begin your own mindfulness training, let’s explore the benefits.

What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness Training?
Benefit #1: Mindfulness Training Will Help You Be More Present
It’s very difficult to be the spouse, parent, manager, or leader your team needs when you are not present and participating in the moment.

If you are busy thinking about a problem instead of listening to the person talking to you, your energy is split and you're not serving either person; you're just wasting time.

According to Inc Magazine, one of the top complaints that employees have about their boss is that they don’t listen.

If you find your mind wandering elsewhere during a conversation with a member of your restaurant staff, bring yourself back and even apologize to the other person. Let them know you lost track of them for a moment and ask if they would not mind repeating so you can be totally there for them.

Put yourself in their shoes – how does it feel to have a conversation with someone who isn’t listening or is visibly checked out? Not too good. You’d feel disrespected and unimportant, two reasons many employees leave their jobs.

Point blank: being present leads to increased productivity. (You also won’t have to waste time asking your restaurant staff to constantly repeat themselves.)

Benefit #2: Mindfulness Training Will Stop You From Constantly Reacting
How often do you stop to ask why you are doing something before doing it?

Restaurants are busy places and too often we are reacting to whatever is coming at us, putting out fires and solving whatever is most annoying to us at that exact moment.

It’s hard to move your business forward when you’re always playing defense.

Take a moment and ask yourself: Why am I always reacting? What is the root issue?

It likely stems from being overloaded and having your mind in too many places at once. This is the opposite of being mindful.

By being fully present in each and every moment, you’ll be able to directly address the situation at hand, solve problems on the spot, and anticipate new problems as they’re still in the forming stages.

Mindfulness has the power to transition you from playing a frantic defense to a strong, strategic offense.

Benefit #3: Mindfulness Training Will Make You More Creative
Operating a business requires both sides of your brain. Certain tasks require tactful strategic thinking (right brain), while other tasks require the creation of new ideas and strategies (left brain).

The restaurant industry is not only fast-paced, but oversaturated. In order to make your business stand out from the fold and thrive, not simply survive, restaurant owners and operators need to challenge themselves to always think outside the box with regard to ideas and execution.

If you find that you are not as creative as have been in the past or that ideas are not coming to you – and your business – need to change things up, mindfulness will allow you to clear your mind and allow it the space to think properly.

A busy mind is a crowded place where your creative juices can’t flow freely, a present mind free from constraints.

Benefit #4: Mindfulness Training Will Increase Efficiency
Of all the reasons people pursue careers in the restaurant industry, freedom is not usually one of them.

There are never enough hours in a day to accomplish everything a restaurant owner, operator, or manager needs to get done.

What’s so unique about a restaurant owner's role is that besides tackling operational duties vital to the health of the business – including employee scheduling, payroll, balancing budgets, cutting costs, and daily performance reporting – restaurant operators and managers also have to be on the floor delighting guests, building relationships, and putting out fires.

There are never enough hours in the day of a restaurant operator or manager. The thing is, if you were to analyze the amount of time spent getting lost in your thoughts, scrolling aimlessly through social media, or playing on your phone, it's amazing we get anything done at all during the day.

Productivity hack: Ever wondered just how many hours you’re spending on each of the apps in your phone? If you’re an iOS user, it’s pretty easy to find out.

Warning, you’ll definitely cringe at what you see.

To find out how much time you’re spending on each of the apps within your phone, click on the settings icon on your phone.

By Ryan Gromfin
July 30, 2018
Source and Complete Article: Pos.toasttab.com



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