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Eight Basic Fundamentals

I have good news!

I just published my new book! It’s called Restauranting 101.

It focuses on Eight Basic Fundamentals of the restaurant business.

I have been working on this book since 2009…. That’s about ten years.


In this decade of research, soul searching and trail and error, I have found that most restaurant owners and managers are buried alive. Most restaurant managers and owners wear themselves out trying to do 1000 different things all at the same time. They are like fire fighters, who run from one problem to the next, trying to get through the day, the week or the month. Most restaurant owners and managers are exhausted and rarely take a day off, and when they do, they are often too tired and too broke to enjoy it.


I have found that most restaurants are hanging on by a very thin financial thread and they survive by robbing Peter to Pay Paul. One wrong move can put most restaurants out of business for good.


I have discovered this cold hard statistic – out of every 100 new restaurants that open their doors, 86 of them will die within the first 5 years. And only 5 will make it to their 10 year anniversary. This means that someone takes every penny they have, plus all the money they can borrow from the bank, plus all the money they can scrape up from their friends and relatives and bets all of it on a restaurant.

Then, they flush it straight down the drain. GONE forever. And if going broke isn’t bad enough, this loss of money also destroys their relationships with their employees, suppliers, their friends and their families. THIS BREAKS MY HEART!


My heart goes out to the people who get destroyed in the restaurant business. Because I know how bad it feels. That’s right folks I Peter Harman the Food Guru had to close one of my restaurants back in 2009 in the midst of that big bad recession. It was terrible! Then, I got into a war with another group of investors and eventually had to pull the license agreement from them. It was terrible.


Restauranting can be a very Nasty business. I’ve seen the ugly side of the restaurant business too. I know what it feels like to get swallowed by the beast and get shat out the other end. I know the struggles, the trials and the tribulations that you face every day. I am a hands on chef and restaurant owner and I have all the battle scars to prove it.


I wrote a book to help restaurant people like us find a better way to win - faster and more successfully than ever before. I started writing this book as a manual for my managers to follow and it expanded into a book to help us all move forward to success.


Thanks to the power of Amazon, this book is available to you today as a Paperback and Kindle version.


Restauranting 101, contains timeless principles that can save you a decade of trial and error and get you on the path to success quickly. Restauranting 101 will increase your chances of being one of the 5 out of 100 restaurants that make it to their 10thAnniversary!


In my 40 year career, I have discovered that there are 8 Basic Fundamentals that all winning restaurants possess. These Eight Basic Fundamentals are not Voo-Doo secrets, they are timeless truths that anyone with a 5thgrade education can understand and follow. These Eight Basic Fundamentals are not a short cut through the woods. These Eight Basic Fundamentals are simply the most Direct Route to the Target.


The Eight Basic Fundamentals are.

1. Set & Achieve a Noble Goal

2. Develop the Owner Mindset

3. Build a Winning Team

4. Build a Customer Focused Brand

5. Build a Better Marketing & Sales System

6. Build a better Money Management System

7. Build a Bullet Proof Operating System

8. Improve, Innovate & Adapt


Here’s the cool part that most people don’t understand. When we do any one of these Eight Basic Fundamentals we will improve in that area. BUT - when we combine all Eight of these Basic Fundamentals into a COMPLETE System we will see - Dramatic - Exponential - Growth.


Let’s take a deeper look into each of these Eight Basic Fundamentals.


FUNDAMENTAL # 1 – Set & Achieve a Noble Goal

This is about getting you headed in the right direction. I have found that most people (80%) have no clear goals, dreams or plan for their lives. Most people spend their days reacting to external stimulus, the people, events, and situations around them. The average person wanders around, and life just sort of “happens” to them.


It is the same for restaurant owners, they often chase the latest fads trying to stay relevant and run from one problem to the next, trying to do 1,000 different things – every day.

Simplicity, repetition and consistency are the key to success in our business. People with clear goals succeed, while people with vague, ambiguous goals, flounder. Building a great restaurant requires a clear goal and a simple plan to get there.


FUNDAMENTAL # 2 – Develop the Owner Mindset

You are the sum-total of every thought you have ever had in your entire life. Your actions have created the life you have today, your decisions have put you exactly where you are today. If you are not happy with your life or the performance of your restaurant – something needs to change and that change begins with you.


Ladies & Gentlemen - This is the best time in history of the world to be in the restaurant business and the future will be even better. If you know what you are doing.


The truth is, if you are struggling today, it’s your own damn fault. It’s time to be honest with yourself and face the truth: You are the one who is writing the script for your restaurant and your life. It’s time to stop blaming other people for your personal situation. It’s time to face the truth and accept responsibility. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making adjustments that will move you forward to victory. Everything BAD that happens in your restaurant, in your business – is YOUR Fault.


You must accept this fact, before you can move forward and start to improve. It’s time to STOP blaming your people and take responsibility.


FUNDAMENTAL # 3 – Build a Winning team

In August 1980 on my first day as the Head Chef of the Vernada in downtown Ft. Myers Florida. My mentor Bob Muzio told me two things that have always stuck with me.

1. You will only be as successful as your people want you to be.

2. Your level of acceptance will determine your level of success.


These two basic ideas have stuck with me ever since. I may not have always understood them, or acted appropriately, but today, I know them to be 100% accurate and the bedrock of all success.


Think about these points for a second. You will only be as successful as your people want you to be. Your level of acceptance will determine your level of success. These two points are profound, give them some thought as you go through the week.


Build a Winning Team is about being a great recruiter, developing talent, setting expectations and building a team of FULL TIME winners who work as hard as you do to bring your dream to life. The key word in that last sentence was FULL TIME. Here is the one thing you will never read in a trade magazine or any politically correct place. You need to build a team of FULL TIME people who work as hard as you do. This is the KEY to the whole thing.


We can’t build a dynasty with part time people who are only here for instant gratification. We need to surround ourselves with WINNERS! Period.


Building a winning team is about becoming a better version of yourself. Because BETTER people build BETTER restaurants, Better people make BETTER cooks, waiters and managers. Better people also make BETTER husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles. Better People build better lives.


FUNDAMENTAL # 4 – Build a Customer focused Brand

This fundamental is about creating a brand that your customers will love, support, and rally behind. This is about determining the exact experience you want your customers to have from the time they enter the restaurant until they pay the check and leave.


We are in the hospitality business, and the customer is the real reason we are here.

This fundamental is about writing the script for your restaurant and delivering the customer promise. The Customer Promise is what we promise to do for the customer in exchange for their money.

And then, here comes the tricky part – Doing it over and over again, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year… the exact same way to the exact same standards.


This fundamental is tricky because most people THINK they need to change and follow the latest trends - and that is where they get into trouble. Because CONSISTENCY is the hallmark of success in the restaurant business. Sure we need to innovate and adapt, but constant change only leads to confusion and turmoil.


This fundamental focuses on the things that are really important to EVERY customer, no matter who they are and these fundamentals are timeless.


They are things like: Clean Safe Comfortable Place

Hot Food Hot and Cold Food Cold

Handling the Financial Transaction smoothly, giving me MY bill not the bill for the table next to me.

I’m talking about the waiter or server knowing what’s on the menu and what is in each dish.

I’m talking about Hospitality… Not the empty word but the memorable act of making someone feel special and important.


Service is bringing someone a burger and a beer. Hospitality is making the customer, the guest or the client feel special, important and respected.


Building a Customer Focused Brand is about engaging with the customer, providing excellent food and drinks. This fundamental is about looking the customer in the eyes and saying Thank You. This fundamental is about giving them heartfelt gratitude, because they chose to come see you and your restaurant.


FUNDAMENTAL # 5 – Build a Better Marketing & Sales System

I call it Marketing and Sales because marketing happens first and sales happen second.

Marketing is the air campaign that gets the customer to the door and sales is the one on one selling that happens at the table.


With this fundamental, I will show you how to effectively use marketing and in-store sales to dramatically increase revenue. I’m going to show you how to increase your sales by 10% - TWICE in the next 90-days.


One of my restaurants used this system, and sales went from $840,000 to $1,050,000 in the first year (that’s a 24% increase). Another restaurant I work with used this system and their sales increased by 56% the first year, 40% in the second year, 20% in the third year and they are still up 13% the last two years. Another client that I started a restaurant for, has just opened their THIRD location. This can happen to you and your restaurant, if you have the guts to make tough decisions and do the work.


The goal of the Marketing & Sales Chapter is to help you get TWO 10% Sales increases in the next 90-Days. That’s right I just said TWO 10% Sales increases in the next 90-Days.


The ideas in this book are very simple and straightforward. These ideas WILL work in any type of restaurant! These ideas WILL work for you.


FUNDAMENTAL # 6 – Build a Better Money Management System

Most restaurant owners work for the landlord, the bank, their investors, their employee and customers. They are selfless and rarely think of their own personal financial situation until it’s too late. Restaurant owners who rent their properties are like modern day share croppers, trying to squeeze out a living while the landlords get fat and happy. Something needs to change.


The goal of money management is simple: Your Sales must be 10% greater than your expenses. This fundamental is about re-imagining your money management system and building a thriving business that earns a ten percent profit, year after year, after year.

This fundamental is about using my 30-30-30-10 system to achieve a 10% profit.


As you know, in the restaurant business we have three main cost categories. Cost of Goods, Labor Cost and Other Cost. Most restaurant owners are good at paying and taking care of their costs, but they forget to take care of themselves. It’s how we are wired, we are in the hospitality business because we love people and want to see them happy. The problem is we usually forget about ourselvesand ourfamilies.


Money management is not about greed. Money management is about building a simple system and taking small daily steps to achieve the goals. This simple process will make you money—lots of money!


FUNDAMENTAL # 7 – Build a Bullet Proof System?

Here’s a tough question.

Can you take a month vacation right now today? How about two weeks?

If you took two weeks off right now, what would you come back to?

Would your restaurant be thriving or will it be shattered?


This fundamental is about working ON your business not IN it. This fundamental is about giving our people the information (the answers) that tell them how we do it here. We use the system to train our people to run the business in an effective and professional manner, without us, when we are not there.


The system includes, food and bar recipes with pictures. Checklists and procedures for everything, from sweeping the floor to answering the phone. It also includes a check list of everything that must happen at the end of the night before your manager locks the door to go home.


The strength of your system will determine your level of success. To put it simply - Great systems create wealth and freedom - while bad systems destroy wealth and freedom. Think about that for a second. Why did you get in the restaurant business anyway? Did you do it to create a really hard and risky job, or where you looking for personal and financial freedom?

The goal here is the build the system and get out of the way. The goal is to be the orchestrator and master architect.


Chain restaurants operators get an owner’s manual with clear directions on how to make money. Independent restaurant owners must build their own systems. The truth is that most independent restaurants systems are poorly designed and the net effect is - they destroy wealth and freedom instead of creating it.

The good news is – there is a better way.


FUNDAMENTAL # 8 – Improve, Innovate & Adapt

This fundamental is the action and improvement fundamental. When you have gone through each of the steps above, you will learn to ask the most important questions:

· “How can we do this better?”

· “How can we add value to the product, the team, the business, the brand and the customer experience?”

· “How can we create more abundance?”


The goal of this fundamental is to help you improve by 1% every day. If you take a two week vacation every year and one day off every week, that leaves you with 300 days for work each year. When you improve by 1% every day, that improvement will add up to a 300% improvement every year.This process can literally change your life.


The goal of this book is to help you set and achieve a strategic goal. A worthy goal that will make your life worth living. The most important part of achieving any goal is to have a winning attitude and never, never, never give up, no matter what.


Ok, It’s Time to Wrap This Up:

I have written a book called Restauranting 101. Restauranting 101 focuses on Eight Basic Fundamentals that will move you and your restaurant forward toward success. These Eight Basic Fundamentals are not voo-doo get rich quick schemes; they are timeless truths that will lead you directly and quickly to the target.


I wrote this book for every restaurant owner, manager and star of the future. I wrote this book to help you find a better way. The life of your dreams is within your grasp, all you have to do is make a few minor changes, a few small course corrections and your outcome and results will improve dramatically.


This change my friend begins with you, right here right now. If you want to improve your restaurant and your life, I believe this book can help and it’s available on Amazon right now – today.


You can read it on your kindle right now for less than 10 bucks, or you can get the paperback for only 15 dollars. Think about that for a second. What if this book helps you improve your restaurant. What if this simple little book has only one great idea that works for you? What if this one great idea changes you, and helps you move forward to a better place. What if this simple little book helps you become a better person and improves the lives of your family and all the people you love and care about?


What have you got to lose? For the price of one hours pay to an average employee, you just might unravel the mystery. The mystery that keeps you shackled to a lack luster performance and lackluster life. For the price of an appetizer or a glass of wine, you just might change your life. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.


My Name is Peter Harman, I am The Food Guru. I’ve been in the restaurant business since 1975. I have enjoyed the thrill of success and suffered the agony of defeat. My goal is to help you build a better restaurant and live a better life.


My goal is to start a restaurant revolution, a revolution where every single restaurant owner, manager and team member in America achieves their goals and lives a great and fruitful life.

A revolution where every restaurant in America – achieves the gold standard and earns a 10% Profit.


I invite you to join the revolution. Don’t do it for me, do it for YOU and YOUR Family - and the families of all the people who are impacted by who you are and what you are able to do.


I’ll leave you with this thought. The feeling of angst that you feel in the pit of your stomach is not from the sins and mistakes of your past. This feeling of anxiety in the pit of your gut, is from your future self, calling you forward - toward the greatest life you could ever imagine. Calling you forth toward a life of abundance and freedom.


For thousands of years our ancestors have dreamed of living with the amazing resources and opportunities that we have today. What are you going to do with the amazing opportunity that you have before you today?


Now, I want you to go to Amazon, buy the book and start a revolution…

While you are at it, maybe you should buy one for each of your managers and team leaders. Restauranting 101 just might be the perfect tool to help get you and your people all on the same page.

I wish you all the BestPeter