The idea that you need a weekly manager’s meeting in order to do anything is just plain dumb. And the idea that it is a “characteristic of successful independent restaurants” is complete hokum. It is not.
Do you need to follow-up with your managers to help them understand theirs/your expectations with their responsibilities and outcomes? Yes.
Offer help and guidance? Yes.
Work on innovative approaches to growth? Absolutely.
But you can’t schedule these things. They have to happen at the point of the experience or opportunity.
The time to talk about food cost issues isn’t at the weekly meeting on Tuesday when ordering and inventory happens on Sunday.
The time to talk about service issues isn’t once a week – but when they happen – in the dining room – with the people involved.
The time to talk about P&L results isn’t a week after the P&L comes out.
Get the drift?
Nothing happens “weekly” in our business. It happens moment by moment, which is how you should train your people to act. If it’s happening now, it needs action now. Which means you need to work through what your action will be and it’s impact on your people and the business – when it most affects them – not a week later when the emotional and intellectual impact is diluted by a factor of days and a legion of other events.
Why does the service manager need to be involved in a BOH issue when he may never have worked in the kitchen?
Is a more diverse perspective needed to determine a direction for action? Absolutely not. Can your action be refined later with additional input? Of course. But it’s not necessary at the point of decision. If the BOH manager needs the input of the FOH manager on food cost then you have the wrong BOH manager in place.
Are there issues where a myriad of input is required? Yes. The number of variables in any given issue can be exponential but most are not. It’s all about context.
The bottom line: Huddle with whomever you need to, whenever you need to, in order to solve a problem or innovate a process – when the opportunity to do so presents itself.
One of the biggest problems created by operators is their inability to make decisions at the point of opportunity. Weekly meetings are a symptom of this disease.