Have you ever watched Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay? It’s become a guilty pleasure of mine as I’ve recently taken to watching whole seasons in a row. I know people see him as the obnoxious jerk on television who yells at everyone, but I don’t watch the show for the drama. I think under all of that rough swearing he has some valuable advice not only for restaurant owners but anyone who owns their own business.
Here are some takeaways that Gordon loves to share in each episode:
Give it your all or get out of the kitchen.
How are you going to convince people to love what you do when you don’t even like doing it? Without true passion, you are just being a phony – to your customers and to yourself. Find joy in what you do or find something else.
Use fresh ingredients.
Avoid canned responses or pre-packaged material. Instead create content that comes from the heart and uniquely reflects you and your business. Keep up on the current trends and refresh your menu when necessary. People come to you for one-of-a-kind flavor. Don’t give them generic and bland instead.
Have pride in what you serve.
Don’t send out something that you know stinks. Your work reflects you. Regardless of who you are, if you don’t produce quality work your customers will go elsewhere. Don’t send something to a customer just to get it out the door. Take the time to do it right.
Communicate with your team.
You can’t have a proper workflow when people aren’t speaking with each other. Keep in touch to let team members know how you are doing and what you are working on. Let people know when you encounter problems or need help. Give each other positive words of encouragement. Often it’s the good rapport and connection between individuals that gets you to your goals.
Mentor those working under you.
You are responsible for their nourishment. Don’t fear that your employees may outgrow you. As manager your job is to manage their talents. When they improve, your business improves. Limiting them only limits yourself. Invest in your staff and the quality of your output will show.
Keep it simple and don’t over complicate things.
Focus on a few base items instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to do too much. Not only will it make it easier on your customers, a more streamlined menu will make it much easier for you to process your workload as well.
Have confidence in what you do.
Or, as Gordon would say, “grow some bollocks.” Don’t do things halfway or give in to your own self-doubts. Put yourself out there and act with assurance. Your confidence will attract others turning to you for direction and advice.