A Book All Restaurant Owners Need to Read: The One Thing

If there was only one thing you could do in your restaurant to dramatically change the destiny of future profits and performance of your restaurant, what would that one thing be? In this video, I talk about a fantastic business book that answers that question. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I have to tell you, it is at the top of my must read list.

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If there was only one thing you could do in your restaurant to dramatically change the destiny of future profits and performance of your restaurant, what would that one thing be?

I am continuing my book report series, Books All Restaurant Owners Need to Read, with a book called The One Thing by Gary Keller and . It’s not a restaurant book by any means, it’s just a great business book. The idea behind “The One Thing”, is finding your “the one thing”. But, they don’t tell you what that one thing is because that one thing is different for everybody.

The Book:

I want to share a story from the book that I love sharing with clients, and, honestly I love this analogy. It will get you thinking about what that one thing is for you. But more importantly, a lot of time the one thing that we think of is usually five or six steps down the road. The important note here is that the one thing is at the beginning of the process – think of it like dominoes; when you do this one thing, it starts a chain reaction and all of the other dominoes fall down. And you’ve met all of your goals!

For example: Let’s go back to talking about dominoes and the scientific studies that were done with them. Researchers figured out that a domino can knock over another domino approximately 50% larger than its original size/weight. So, if your first domino is 2” tall, then it can knock over a 3” domino. A 3” domino can knock over a 4.5” domino, and so on.

We’ve all played dominoes at home. You’ve set up 100 dominoes and then knocked them over. If the dominoes keep getting bigger and bigger in size (like in above example), by the 10th domino you could knock over a domino the size of a person. By the 23rd, you could knock over a domino the size of the Eiffel Tower. The 31st domino could knock over a domino bigger than Mount Everest. How many dominoes do you think it would take to knock over a domino that would bridge Earth to the moon? 51 dominoes – that’s it!!!

Imagine you’re working on a project in your business and you’re on step 20, think about much effort it takes you to try to get to that domino that goes from the Earth to the moon. It’s seems like a massive task. But in reality, if we started back at number 1, with only one tiny, small domino.

So what’s something in your restaurant that you could do that is small, but impactful? What that if you spent a year working on this one thing? Imagine how good you would get at that one thing and how much of a difference it would make in everything else!

Clients are complaining to me that finding good staff is hard right now. I get it, really! Maybe, just maybe, if you put together an incredible recruiting and training system and spent a year worrying about nothing but figuring out a way to find interview, recruit, hire, trained, on board, hold your employees accountable, and develop them into amazing employees – I have a feeling that a lot of your other problems would go away.

I don’t think you’d have to worry about marketing because your employees and food would be so good and your restaurant would be so clean, people would want to come back. Everything would be working so well if you had that amazing staff! But a lot of times we’re working in the middle. We’re trying to train our staff, trying to put systems in place, and never take the time to figure out how to find the right people, onboard them, train them and get them to the point where they’re awesome. This is your one thing!

We just talked about only one chapter of an incredible book called The One Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan. I strongly encourage you to read it – it’s phenomenal.


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