The Mindset of Change

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.” – Pancakeism

Change itself is not good or bad.  The situations that are brought about by change can certainly be good, bad, or, more often, a combination of both.  Yet, change itself is neutral.  Change can become either a powerful, positive tool or a cruel oppressor, depending entirely on how we respond to it and make use of it.

There is something in every one of us that welcomes change and also something that fears change.  We welcome change because we know it can make life better.  We fear change because we know it can be challenging and risky.  We are correct on both counts.  Nothing happens without change.  Yet, Change freaks us out!  Things cannot get better without change.  Change is absolutely essential and ,in change, there is risk.  Change brings the element of the unknown.  Change is necessary and it’s not evil.

Change creates opportunity.  Opportunity does not exist without change.  Opportunities are too often portrayed as something for nothing.  In reality, there is no such thing.  Opportunity involves effort and a big part of that effort comes about through change — changing your attitude, changing your perspective, changing your mindset, changing your thinking, changing your actions.  Change is a BIG part of being successful. 

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Arthur Baldwin

You cannot get improved results by continuing to do exactly what you’ve been doing.  While it may be comfortable, it’s easy to get stuck where you are because all you have to do is do nothing.  But, is that what you really want for your team, your business, your career or your life?  Leaders must learn to embrace change and even encourage change.  Great leaders, by definition, are change agents, the catalyst and support of change.

To improve your team/business/career/life, upgrade your attitude, your expectations and your actions.  In order for things to be better, they must be different.  If you want to make improvements, you must make changes.

  • Are the guest counts in your restaurant where you expect them to be for each meal period?  Change it!  Set daily goals.  Invite guests back.  If the average guest visits our restaurant four times per year and we got each one of them to return twice as often as they normally would, what would that do to the empty seats in your dining room?  Your schedule? Your sales?  Teach servers/bartenders/cashiers how to sell instead of taking orders.  Print the list of who made the highest percentage of tips and share with the team (Tips = Sales).  Hold to a $20 rule at the end of the day (if you don’t know what that is, well, you should ask your MUM).
  • Is the hospitality provided by your team the best in your town?  Change it!  Practice positive responses with your team.  Hold doors open for guests.  Demonstrate positive body language.  Put your best team members in the places where they shine.  SMILE!  Make every guest a repeat guest.
  • Is your food cost variance in line?  Change it! Talk with your team about the cost of every item.  Follow recipes.  Use measuring devices. Eliminate waste/theft.  Sell more of what you have!
  • What area in your restaurant is the cleanest?  If it’s not the restroom, Change it!  You are already a step behind in this business.  Take pride in the sanitation of your restrooms.  Make them #1!  Clean/organize your managers office (That’s how your team knows your standard).  Wipe fingerprints off entry doors.  Pick up litter off your parking lot.  Pre-bus tables.
  • Do you spend your entire shift coaching?  Change it!  Teach someone something new every shift, every day.  Catch people doing things right and make a big deal out of it.  Don’t walk past something that needs to be corrected.  Hold your team to the standard, don’t lower the H5H standard.  Lead by example.  Remember that you are a coach, a mentor, a manager, a leader.

The price of doing the same old thing is higher than the price of change. – President Bill Clinton