CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC

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A Nine Step Program

Restaurant managers rarely think of strategic planning as part of their job description. This is partly because the very term “strategic planning” feels theoretical and lofty. Managers fiercely engaged in day to day operations prefer to leave lofty thinking to academics.

Competent consultants must be brought in to teach restaurant managers insightful strategy backed by careful planning. Only on site leaders can develop the special intuition it takes to grasp how the immediate needs of an organization effect its overall direction.

Creating a strategy that reflects the highest goals of an organization is exactly like reading a map. It’s a natural, intuitive nine step program:

Step 1- Decide where you are going.
Step 2- Identify alternative routes.
Step 3- Examine attributes of each possible route.
Step 4- Make choices.
Step 5- Select a route.
Step 6- Start the journey.
Step 7- Evaluate progress.
Step 8-Make alternative choices.
Step 9-Arrive at your destination.

Every restaurant manager worth his salt follows a nine step program similar to this every time he makes a decision regarding his business. He doesn’t usually think of this process as “strategic planning”. He’s just trying to get his restaurant somewhere and he’s trying to figure out how to get there.

For example, perhaps he sees a trend developing in the neighborhood toward Italian food. His delicious Hungarian fare has always been his staple offering but he realizes that everyone is eating pizza and pasta and few want goulash anymore.

1. He decides to go into the Italian Restaurant business. (Step 1)
2. He could stay in the same location but maybe only change the decor and chef. (Step2)
3. Staying put and redecorating saves money and time. (Step 3)
4. Fast and cheap win out over slow and radical. (Step 4)
5. He hires a new chef and starts painting the dining room red, white and green. (Step 5)
6. He finally gets up enough courage to open his new Italian restaurant. (Step 6)
7. He observes the customers’ happy pizza smeared faces but his pasta goes stale. (Step 7)
8. He decides to become a pizza joint. (Step 8)

Strategic planning is nothing more than a fancy name for map reading. Professional consultants can teach hands-on restaurant managers to become conscious of strategic thinking and managers will never leave their strategy to the home office again