Specializing in Restaurant Start Ups, Restaurant Turnaround, and Profit Improvement




     Ron's Tip Jar/Insights - Published by Ron Santibanez   

February 2, 2015


In This Issue:

Problem Solving

Effective Food Cost Control

Quick Tip

Problem Solving

I began my consulting career focusing on helping restaurant owners solve day-to-day problems. Below are some techniques I found to be effective in rapidly solving problems.

  • Focus on cause, not blame. The former provides an objective search, the latter provides emotionalism and recriminations. Don't seek vengeance.
  • Problems usually DO NOT go away by themselves. Face the issue, and deal with it. Procrastination exacerbates problems and builds stress.
  • Ask yourself immediately, "Is this important?" If the answer is "no," then live with it. Not all problems need to be fixed. (All of my cars have imperfections somewhere that don't merit my time to eliminate.)
  • Look for comparisons. If a door isn't closing, look at other doors and determine if you can spot any distinctions. These will often lead you to the cause of the problem.
  • Ask yourself "What's changed?" Virtually all new problems are caused by some change (else nothing would have gone wrong). Find out if the nature of a relationship has changed, something new has been installed, or someone made an alteration.
  • Use only empirical evidence. Focus on what you can see and prove, not what you suspect or are told. Validate assumptions. ("Yes, she has been late each morning," or "No, we aren't having poor responses to the offer.")
  • Be aware that to solve a problem you must remove its cause. Otherwise, you're adapting to it, which may be appropriate, as well. Putting additional air in a slow-leaking tire is adaptive, but plugging the leak (or replacing the tire) is corrective.
  • Interim actions can buy you needed time. Covering a hole in the roof with a tarp is an interim adaptive action which saves the furniture until a permanent patch can be installed. (Asking someone to "sleep on it" and talk in the morning when you are both calmer is an interim action to create a better environment for reconciliation.)
  • Make your process transparent. Let others know what you're doing and why. Unlike decision making, problem solving is basically an objective, logical pursuit and the more people sharing, the more positive suggestions and the less suspicion as to your motives. ("What do you mean by that?" is one of those emotionally pregnant accusations which often follow what was thought to be a rational suggestion but the intent of which was not shared.)
  • Validate to ensure success. Test your thesis on paper (it's easy to turn buttons on a machine and reverse them, but far more difficult to take back what you've said to someone in error or confusion). After you take your corrective or adaptive action, check to ensure that the problem is either removed or accommodated successfully.

Thought For The Day

"Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it."

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Effective Food Cost Control

Four Standards are necessary for effective food cost control. They are:

  • Standardized purchase specifications
  • Standardized recipes
  • Standardized portions
  • Standardized Yields 

Quick Tip

Major Points to Consider When Selecting Menu Items

  1. The menu item must be of superior quality.
  2. The raw materials used must be readily available year-round at a relatively stable price.
  3. The menu item must be affordable and demanded by your customers.
  4. The menu item must be acceptable to the preparation and cooking staff system.
  5. The raw materials must be easily portioned by weight.
  6. All menu items must have consistent cooking results.
  7. All menu items must have a long shelf life.
  8. All menu items must have similar cooking times (approximately 8 to 15 minutes).
  9. The storage facilities must accommodate the raw materials used in preparing the menu items.
  10. Menu items should be creative and not readily available in other restaurants.



You can now read todays Restaurant Business News on our website .  


Additional "Tips" are now available on "Ron's Blog."



Follow me on Twitter @ronsantibanez. I post frequent tips and suggestions to Improve Your Profitability.

Visit our web site RestaurantExperts.  You can view additional tips and techniques in addition to restaurant industry news that is regularly posted on our web site.


 We encourage you to contact us if there are specific subjects you would like to see addressed in "Ron's Tip Jar/Insights".

"Ron's Tip Jar/Insights" is a newsletter discussing issues that affect your restaurants profitability delivered by Ron Santibanez. You may also view past issues of "Ron's Tip Jar/Insights" by clicking here.

Contact us at RonSantibanez@gmail.com

For information regarding our start-up and profit improvement services, call us at 866-903-5875. You may also reach me by email at RonSantibanez@gmail.com



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