If you’ve seen the film, the one with Bill Murray…you know the message take away is “those who are reluctant to change the past are condemned to repeat it”. In other words, we’re all really close to our restaurants and we think we got it covered, but old (bad) habits die hard. I was fortunate to have a seasonal restaurant… true I couldn't afford to make any mistakes in a short weather-dependent operation, but closing the doors for 8 months allowed me to take a fresh look at everything.. from the menu, to kitchen layout, to new drink ideas to marketing, I was never able to get too close to think everything about my restaurant was great and nothing needed to change. That doesn't mean that I went around fixing things that weren’t broken, but in the business of 1000 details, its amazing how many things can be improved.

Unless its Groundhog Day every day or you’re burned out and tired of the business, take this day as an opportunity to do some Spring Cleaning (spring’s just a few short weeks away after all...apparently six) and look at your restaurant with a fresh perspective. Look at everything as if you were your customer. See what the guest sees.

  • When you stand outside looking at your restaurant do you light up and smile like a kid at the amusement park? Is it appealing and tidy all the way around with what Real Estate folks call “Curb Appeal”?
  • Is everything on the menu popular, selling and profitable with perceived value.
  • Are you proud of every dish that comes off your line?
  • Does your staff have chemistry, work well together and pitch in to back each other up or is there a person who doesn't quite fit that upsets the team spirit?
  • Do you have happy and loyal regulars who just feel at home in your place? Do new visitors rave about their experience?
  • Is your place the first to be recommended by other businesses in town?

If not, take some time today, sit down with your team and talk about what’s great and not so great about your restaurant.

A good old-fashioned brainstorm session may be just what you need to shake out the cobwebs, make some discoveries and just maybe surprise your guests next time they come in.