Goals: Sell Your Restaurant and Set Pins at the Bowling Alley

[Ed. Note: Since the time of publishing,Tipped Off has severed professional ties with contributor Bobby Fry; as such, the series as previously planned will not be published.]

I think we’ve all had just about enough of the restaurant owner who can’t stop telling us how much is beyond his or her control.

If you're looking for your goals to be easily managed and controlled, perhaps you should just sell your restaurant and set pins at a bowling alley.

More importantly, the doors didn't get opened with that attitude, and I don’t know what happens between the building/opening stages breed this attitude for the operating stages, but these restaurant owners inevitably start talking like they’re pickling a fist-full of duck nuts under their tongues; they're not making any sense.

Look, no great leader has ever asked to be a leader. And its true; those leadership classes you’re taking are as much a waste of time and money as an addiction to scratch-offs (and they're equally annoying).

But it barely matters whether or not you choose to admit it my restaurant-owning-homie: you are indeed an owner and you now bear the associated responsibilities.

What follows is five things.

It is a matter of my highest recommendation that if you're not already doing these five things, start doing these five things, and even consider telling people that you've always done these five things.

Number 1: Every small business owner I've met who is winning instead of surviving, has a meticulous notebook or includes writing as a primary goal for regular planning sessions. Create and maintain an eccentrically meticulous notebook.

Number 2: Are you a small business owner who doesn’t read for at least 20 minutes per day? In your free time, do you douse your socks with kerosine and screw around playing strike-a-match? You might as well…

Bill Gates and the like read like 50 books a year on average, but what do they know, right?

Number 3: Oooooooh...you’re the guy that can quote me industry statistics for the generally accepted gentrification multiplier, and how it was born out of gratuity and corn syrup, but can’t quote your average Wednesday guest check with any more accuracy than if I asked you to disclose the true location of Biggie and Pac?

You own a business, fella. Your number game should look like your 23 and Me results showed that you're at least 29% astronaut. And you should have five questions per week for your accountant.

Number 4: Do not be hanging those computer print out schedules on the wall. Your team is either going to sell you experience to the nine’s, or they’re not. If you can’t even give them a team email address, to send things like the schedule, electronically, how well can you possibly expect them to sell your game?

Gmail accounts are like $5 per user per month in this context, which is like selling an extra order of mediocre garlic bread. What are we saying here?

Stop sticking that stupid, ugly thing on your wall and put more time and thought into your team.

Number 5: If you feel like an apology is in order for my candor, you’re not getting it. Stop looking for reasons to ignore the fact that you need to work smarter, and get back to work. Working smarter is the key to going from survival to winning, and complaints are not smarter. Processes and time spent writing and planning are smarter. Be smarter, and work smarter.


Bobby Fry


Bobby Fry is a co-founder of Bar Marco and the founder of Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club. Prior to the restaurant world, Fry spent three years on Wall Street in New York City. Currently, he focuses on strategy and marketing projects as a consultant for start-ups, including but not limited to the food service industry. As a writer, he enjoys sharing the things he has learned in these fields.

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