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Christmas Day Massacre - Death of a Restaurant Owners Business

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At some point in the lives of most, we decide to give up the stress and hours of preparation to host Christmas Day and elect to go to a Restaurant instead. So this year, a friend of mine in Sydney decided to try this option and as the saying goes, “the rest is history"

THE BACKSTORY

My friends wife was incredibly loyal to the owners, their restaurant concept and their success. As a couple they had dined there quite regularly despite the costs of doing so because the food, wine list and ambience was worth it. I HATE seeing businesses go broke, especially now that I can see the early signs long before it actually happens. It’s like a clairvoyant haunted with ghosts or insights into ones future, same experience just a different topic. So back to the Christmas Day Massacre. My friend told me he was gob smacked when shortly after arriving at his restaurant of choice with his family, they learned the restaurant had run out of bread. Now if you’re a “walk in” late into the evening then you might expect some shortages but if you’re booked into a set menu with only one “setting” for the entire day this would be a pretty big warning sign yes? Next was the service. With a long wait for food and only drinks to refresh my friends family, eventually they all started taking note of what else was going on, the body language of other guests, the status of their meals and what these other guests were communicating to restaurant staff. It was a disaster zone more like an episode of faulty towers (google some of their restaurant scenes - priceless) than a real situation. Multi generational families trying to make the most of a bad situation. My friends children were so hungry in the end that his wife asked him to “drive to Maccas” with their kids and just as he stood up to do so, their kids meals arrived, over seventy five minutes after sitting down for the first time. Just under two hours after arriving, the main courses arrived for the adults. By this time people were so hungry they were observant however not concerned with how much variation from plate to plate was experienced on multiple orders of the same dish. So disgruntled my friend and his party packed up and left before the desserts were served.

THE EGO OF A BUSINESS OWNER

The sad truth is that four months ago this Restauranteur was encouraged to seek my help by the same loyal customer I call “my friend” in this article. After one meeting in Sydney with the restauranteur I prescribed a 3 hour video on how to restructure his business but knew the restauranteur was more likely to do nothing than to take action.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

It’s logical for a great Chef to tell themselves its only a small step up to become the restaurant owner but in truth, running any successful business takes much more than the core skills (or the trade expertise) of say a Chef to actually go to the next level and run a highly successful business.

SO WHAT ARE THE “SIGNS” THAT INDICATE SOMEONE NEEDS HELP?

If you are time poor or struggle to find good people to work for you, or struggle with cash flow, or don’t have enough new customers then you are staring down the barrel of the core indicators that suggest you don’t know what you don’t know about how to run a business.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Every single day businesses owners go about their own way of doing things but THE FACTS DON’T LIE. 52.5% of them go broke in their first 3 years, 76% within 5 years and 92% within ten years. My friend and his family will laugh off their Christmas Lunch experience but sadly the restauranteur will be out of business before next Christmas.

DON’T BE OR LET SOMEONE ELSE BE THE NEXT MASSACRE

Please heed my warning or perhaps if you are not a business owner then take note of this example and when you see a business owner you know or care about that shows some of the symptoms mentioned in this article, do not turn a blind eye. Instead take a leap of faith and approach them and ask them how they’re really doing and if they’re open minded then hopefully its not too late for them to get some help.

Until next time!

www.johnpeterson.com.au

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