My family went out for dinner last weekend. The food was great, but the service was horrible. Horrible! We usually have a great experience at this restaurant, so my wife asked me “What is going wrong?!”

The answer to that question is almost always the same:  They were focusing on the BOTTOM LINE and not the TOP LINE.  

I can usually prove my point in under five “WHY?”s …

The service was slow.

Why was it slow?”

They were understaffed.

Why were they understaffed?”

They expected less business than they had.

Why didn’t they staff a bit higher just in case?”

They wanted to save labor dollars.

Why would they try to save the amount equivalent to 2 additional servers at $5.46/hr for 4 hours… roughly $44??”

Because they were too focused on the BOTTOM LINE! 

They saved $44 in labor at a restaurant with a $55 per person check average. The tables all around us had a terrible service experience. If each person tells even 2 people (or more – thank you, social media) … that is a $44 savings that will have significant impact to your TOP line. And THAT is exactly where restaurants need to focus: driving TOP LINE sales!

Instead of focusing on CUTTING COSTS, which can have a direct impact on the guest experience, consider where you can ELIMINATE WASTE. Where did you waste $44 in labor? Could you bring a couple of cooks in later in the morning and still accomplish goals … without impacting the guest experience?

Have you had success in eliminating waste and driving top line sales? Let me hear your success stories! I’ll share a few of mine in upcoming posts.

Your guests will see you cutting cost. Your bottom line will see you cutting waste.