To operate a successful food and beverage outlet or a chain of eateries and reach the pinnacle of this demanding and grueling business – there are a set of habits that are supreme to follow unfailingly.
One can come across numerous individuals, affluent or struggling, alike, who would like to be successful restaurateurs. To make this dream a reality and operate a successful food and beverage outlet or a chain of eateries and reach the pinnacle of this demanding and grueling business – there are a set of habits that are supreme to follow unfailingly.
Let us start by understanding what “habit” is – Habit is a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day. This is a definition given by well-known author Charles Duhigg who wrote an absolutely fascinating book called “The Power of Habit”.
We would list the top most and the finest habits of a restaurateur supported by my own personal feats, due to these remarkable rituals at my F&B brands like Kebabs & Curries Company, Thali & More, So Hi, and many more.
Habit 1: Practice Time-blocking and achieve only three tasks daily that add value to the restaurant or the outlets. Following the simple discipline of time blocking and achieving just three meaningful errands daily that add value can create awes for the restauranteur.
I used to always have a To-do-list to be able to accomplish my work tasks. I moved to the concept of Time-blocking and started allocating specific time to each task. Blocking time for at least three tasks each day that could add value to the business was a game-changer.
A typical day would look like this, 10.00 am to 11.00 am: meet the kitchen team to discuss the new outlet’s kitchen design. 11.30 am to 1.00 pm: create a wedding event menu for our catering brand – K Fine Catering. 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm: have a Zoom call with team of management information system for our outlets. Such focused time allocation enhances productivity immensely and adds huge value to the organization.
Habit 2: Sharpen the Saw – in the vibrant arena of food and beverage, learning new trends, practices and developing oneself and one’s establishment is necessary. Hence, always focus on learning and developing the team and oneself as a restaurant owner to be the better version of yourself.
Few years ago, I read a book by John Doerr – “Measure What Matters” and learnt about how organizations like Intel and Google keep their vast teams focused on goals consistently by practicing OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). I was fascinated by this idea. To adopt this practice of OKRs at our restaurants, I did not stop at reading this book only. I watched numerous videos online and read articles written on topic of OKRs. Finally, after long 3 months studying this topic, we launched OKRs across our outlets. Accountability and eagerness towards achieving more is now at next level across our outlets and teams.
Habit 3: Keep a close eye on guest feedback and be action-oriented when it comes to fixing up operations at the eatery as per the received feedback. A F&B business owner may be an introvert or extrovert, does not really matter. There are numerous ways in today’s time to keep a tab on what guests are thinking about us.
For an introvert owner – use social media platforms and guest feedback surveys to find out how guests feel and go all-out, aggressively, together with your teams to fix the offerings.
If you like to talk and be present in your day-to-day operations, be on the floor and talk to customers and devour their feedback first-hand. Very effective indeed. Regardless of the nature and orientation of the restaurateur, guest feedback and positive action on it is decisive. Greatly empower the guest facing teams.
Habit 4: Visit the outlet and walk the outlet with team members – walk into the kitchen, storeroom, restaurant area, open up side-stations, open kitchen cabinets, talk to the team members, listen to them, spend time with the team at the outlet. This when done consistently can make the place excellent. Happy and engaged team can do wonders for a business.
Habit 5: Be very dedicated towards social media handles of the restaurant brand. Visit, view and act upon your brand’s social media channels together with your social media team. Being personally and actively involved with the world of your brand’s social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Telegram, etc.) could always keep you ahead in the dynamic game of gastronomy.
Habit 6: Meditation or mindfulness practice could be a far-fetched thought for many in the fast-paced world and especially in the hectic world of restaurants that operate for extensive periods in a day.
I started to practice this, 20 minutes a day and I became much calmer and more focused at my work. It took a little more to get me agitated and this was a blessing in the high-stress world of F&B – I am a happier soul now.
Habit 7: Do some kind of physical exercise (at least 5-6 days a week). Really? – an individual may ask that there is a lot of physical work already involved in the restaurant business hence is daily work-out actually needed.
Simple reply to this is – YES. When I started to exercise regularly, I became stronger, alert and agile to take upon the strenuous hours that this work demands. This one habit gets taken for granted, though it is the critical one to follow for sustaining success in food business.
A write-up on habits – meaningful and amazing habits – cannot end without a mention of an awesome book written by author James Clear – “Atomic Habits”. In this book James talks about the phenomena of little habits when done consistently can result in compounding of results and can help one achieve great feats.
Like money grows enormously when the principle of compounding works on it, little consistent daily habits could make a superhuman of a human or a super restaurateur of a standard restaurateur.
So, aim and plan to take-in and practice the above mentioned seven outstanding habits and see magic happen as a restaurateur is elevated to a level of a celebrated restaurateur.
Varun Behl, Managing Director, KCCO India Pvt. Ltd.
Varun Behl is a Jaipur based restaurateur operating a chain of restaurants and QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants). Varun is a seasoned food & beverage and hospitality management professional with experience spanning over 17 years; a decade of which is with Marriott International in India and its global operations. Food and beverage and entrepreneurship are his forte – which he lives every day and is keen to share his insights with peers and mentees alike.