The mindset of incremental improvements

Question:  How do you climb a mountain?  

Answer: By taking lots of single steps forward. 

Question:  How do you achieve all of the ambitious goals you have for yourself, your team and your restaurant or sports bar?

Answer:  By utilizing the small, available moments to persistently work on those goals.

Question:  How do you keep yourself motivated, inspired and encouraged to continue doing all that work?

Answer:  By observing and celebrating the small victories, the ones that come on an hourly or daily basis, as you take one incremental step after another to improve your life, your team and your restaurant or sports bar.

March was full of BIG menu enhancements and plate ware changes in our sports bars.  There were leadership changes @ the Stone Balloon and Limestone BBQ.  Our leaders for Eggspectations began their training.  April has arrived and we can take a deep breath, evaluate our successes and opportunities and set goals to make incremental improvements in everything we do.  There is no time to relax!  There are new menu items coming to our sports bars, a new menu rollout @ the Balloon, BBQ season is coming, and we are about to grab the day by the eggs as summer begins.

In addition, flipping the page on the calendar does not solve the sales deficit that we have YTD nor does the sunshine and spring fever magically send guests through our doors in droves.

We have some mountains to climb and we must take those steps forward and embrace the MINDSET of incremental improvement.

The biggest improvements are incremental improvements. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  No one can build a 100-story skyscraper (or a restaurant) in fifteen minutes.  It takes many, many people doing many small jobs to get the building constructed, inch by inch, month by month.  It takes goal setting, planning, determination, action, encouragement and celebration to accomplish great things. 

The most durable improvements are incremental improvements.  It’s a mindset.  It’s setting goals with your team that we are going to be 1% better in sales than we were last Friday.  We are going to improve ticket times by one minute compared to yesterday.  We are going to sell one more dessert during dinner than we did last week.  The 1% solution will change the culture of your business, create a competitive spirit among your team and help you climb the mountains you thought were impossible.

Incremental improvements can happen all day every day.  If you have just five free minutes, there is some incremental improvement you can make in that time.  You could clean out a hundred old emails from your inbox.  Sure, you might have thousands to go through.  It won’t make a huge dent, but it will be something….and something is a whole lot better than nothing. 

  • Improve the sanitation of your restrooms
  • Show a server how to sell vs. taking orders at a table
  • Teach a HOH team member something every shift
  • Practice genuine hospitality every time you are in the dining room. 
  • Every morning, write a list of things that need to be done.  Do them.

Even the smallest improvement is better than standing still.  Standing still is effectively sliding backwards.  If you stand still, the world moves forward without you. So, your choice becomes this:  Either improve by utilizing the opportunities for incremental improvement or fall behind.

Mindset Matters and having the Mindset of incremental improvement will move your team forward in ways you never thought possible.  Start today.  Write your list.  Set your goals.  Begin to climb the mountain.  Achieve small victories.  Celebrate.  Do it again tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.