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How to Make Challenges Opportunities and Lead Your Restaurant

How to Make Challenges Opportunities and Lead Your Restaurant

By David Scott Peters


If you’re looking in certain corners of the Internet these days, there is a lot of information about mindset, specifically a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset. In my world, a restaurant owner with a growth mindset is more successful, better able to lead in their restaurant. Unfortunately, a lot of restaurant owners are holding onto fixed ideas that are hurting them and their restaurants, making them unable to lead a team or their business. Let’s talk about what separates restaurant owners with a growth mindset from the rest of the world and why they’re so much more successful.

What is a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset? What’s the difference? Let’s start there.

For a restaurant owner with a fixed mindset looking at their restaurants right now, they are looking to blame their challenges on outside factors. It’s never their fault. It’s the vendors’ fault for raising prices. Or the employees’ fault, the government’s fault, the customers’ fault. They don’t look inward and consider what role they have in the big picture. There are always these outside factors that are out of their control that seem to control their life, their world.

A person with a fixed mindset looks at failure as a limit of their abilities, so if they fail to do something, they think it’s because they can’t get that done, they don’t have the skills and there are too many factors working against them.

A person with a fixed mindset doesn’t see room to learn, increase knowledge or improve skills. They think their abilities are unchangeable, what they know now is what they’ve got. They stick to what they know and don’t want to learn something new. They see challenges as obstacles they can’t get through and give up more easily.

This is a kind of victim mentality that can really suck the love out of the business and drive you towards failure, whether it’s failure to see your family, failure to pay your bills, close your business, it doesn’t matter.

Restaurant owners with a growth mindset see the world so differently. If I look at the restaurant owners who join my coaching program, they are looking to improve their lives and their operations. They face all the same challenges as restaurant owners with a fixed mindset. The difference is they’re driving their business and their lives with a growth mindset, so they don’t look at these challenges as something that should stop them dead in their tracks. Instead, they see them as opportunities. They see failure as an opportunity to grow. They forgive themselves for mistakes, even when it costs them money, and focus on what they can learn to not make that mistake again.

For those with a growth mindset, there are always seminars, workshops, trade publications, books, coaching programs, etc. They’re doing whatever they can because they understand they don’t know what they don’t know. They’re always looking to become better. These owners with a growth mindset see challenges as a way to grow, to find solutions, to get new information, to find the time, to find the money, some way to become better.

Restaurant owners with a growth mindset are inspired by the success of others. They don’t look at people and get jealous and say, “Oh, they only got there because of some advantage or other.” They don’t think, “Oh, that should be me.” Instead, they go, “Man, that is awesome. What did they do? What can I steal from what they’ve done and do it myself to have the same success?” A fixed mindset allows you to prop people up instead of tear them down.

Restaurant owners who seek answers, who want to grow their knowledge, who look for ways to improve their own abilities, these restaurant owners make stronger leaders. At the end of the day, that’s the job of a restaurant owner: to lead the restaurant business, not run it.

The restaurant industry, the business itself, is probably the toughest business I know. There will always be challenges. In fact, solve one challenge and a new one is bound to pop up, but with a growth mindset, you understand that you have put forth the effort and come at it with a positive mental attitude.


About the Author

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert who teaches restaurant operators how to cut costs and increase profits with his trademark Restaurant Prosperity Formula™. He’s taught thousands of restaurants how to use operational systems and create a hospitality-based company culture to skyrocket their profits. He travels the world teaching his formula to restaurant owners, food distributors and a variety of hospitality groups. In his past businesses, he used his formula to rescue a multi-unit restaurant sports bar chain from bankruptcy and helped the owners sell it for a profit. He built a restaurant management software from the ground up based on his formula and sold it to a group of investors that included satisfied software users.

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