Moving Forward

Have you ever had this sensation when riding a train (or bus, for that matter)?   You’re sitting in your seat on the train, looking out the window at another train that’s next to you.  Both trains are standing still.  Suddenly, you sense movement.   You feel yourself moving backward.   But in reality, you’re not.   Your train continues to stand still.   The reason you feel yourself moving backward is because the train next to you, the one you see out the window, has started to move forward.  Yet it feels like you are moving, and the way you feel like you’re moving, is backward.


Actually, in relation to the other train, you are moving backward.  Motion, after all, is a relative thing.  When you’re jetting along in an aircraft at 30,000 feet, you and the passenger next to you, along with your iPad and your cup of ginger ale, are zipping along at more than 500 miles per hour relative to the ground.  However, those things in your immediate vicinity (the iPad, the other passenger, etc.) are moving right along with you, so they don’t seem to be moving at all.

The nature of a train is to move.  That’s what it’s for.  Yes, it has to stop to pick up and drop off passengers.  However, its job is to be in motion.  Your business is the same way.  We measure the success of our business by sales increases, growing guest counts, comparing results to last week, improved profitability, higher PGR/GEM scores, positive guest feedback and plenty of other metrics.  Our business is always in motion…..hopefully moving forward.  

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

There are two fundamental choices in leading your business.  You can either move it   forward or, by being complacent, you can move it backward.  Standing still and just staying where you are is not really an option.  If you attempt to do that, you get left behind and you do, in fact, end up moving backward.

  • Are you holding your team members accountable to the conditions of employment?  If not, you’re moving backward.
  • Are we providing genuine hospitality to each guest (individually) that chose to spend their money in our restaurants?  If not, you’re moving backward.
  • Are you completing line checks and following up on food quality and making sure we have enough product prepared for the meal period?  If not, you’re moving backward.
  • Are we spending quality time training each new team member and testing their knowledge of our menu and specs prior to giving them “real” shifts on the schedule?  If not, you’re moving backward.
  • Are you scheduling properly based on sales projections and trends, SPLH goals and maximizing productivity every shift?  Are you leading by example in the way you hustle and approach the shift with enthusiasm?  If not, you’re moving backward.

If you attempt to just stay where you are, you’ll look out the window and feel yourself moving backward.  It’s time to be Moving Forward!