If you've been dreaming ever since you were a child about how you could make a restaurant fail quickly, and you're ready to walk the walk and take some serious action to make your dream a reality, I'm here for you.
Here are 11 highly-effective and powerful tactics that will help you drive your restaurant business into the ground faster than you can say "bankruptcy".
1. KEEP IT MESSY
If you're looking to stamp out repeating customers from the get-go, there's nothing like a smelly, dirty, sticky, fermented restaurant with plenty of fruit flies hovering over the bar to ensure that first-timers never come back again. The worst thing you can do here is have some clean towels and hot soapy water at the end of the night to wipe everything down. Cleanliness will only encourage paying customers to return.
2. ALLOW YOUR BARTENDERS TO SET THE STANDARD
This is a fantastic way to go out of business in the quickest way possible. Allowing your bartenders to go unmonitored, pouring heavy and giving away drinks to regulars and friends has the same effect on your profits as poking a hole in an inner tube with an ice pick and watching it leak and deflate until there's nothing left but a rubbery, misshapen blob.
The best way to execute this strategy is to trust that your bartenders are unlike all the other bartenders on this planet and assume that they would never steal or give away drinks. After all, it's just money. What could they possibly want with that?
3. ASSUME YOUR STAFF CAN FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN
Training is for winners and people who want to succeed (gag!). For those of us pursuing failure, releasing your staff on to the floor to wander aimlessly like a waddle of curious penguins is the perfect way to achieve the failure you're looking for.
Who needs customer service and menu knowledge and teamwork and efficiency? Or up-selling, the Kryptonite of failure.
Remember, an untrained staff = an ignorant, indifferent staff, which is a staff you can be proud of on your way to the bottom.
4. KEEP MARKETING THE SAME WAY YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT
Attracting throngs of new paying customers is the fastest way for you to fail at failing. If you find that your marketing dollars simply don't seem to have much bang for the buck and you feel like you're flushing money right down the toilet, just keep doing what you're doing until your business is lying on a desert highway gasping for its last breath while vultures circle overhead.
5. BE INVISIBLE
Being present and ensuring that high standards are being met in the business is heading in the exact opposite direction of your goal. To remedy this positive tactic, simply disappear into your office to play solitaire on the computer or roam Facebook for funny memes you can share with the world.
If you want to become a master of invisibility, tell the bartender that you are going to check out the competition down the street to see how busy they are and then go get sloshed.
6. SIT AT THE BAR AND DRINK
Nothing will sling-shot you down the fast track of failure faster than a sloppy owner or manager who slurs at his/her guests and complains about health reform or (for the less-intellectual) how much the Jets suck. If you really want to turn it up a notch, be the creepy-drunk owner and walk up next to a guest sitting at the bar and rest your hand on their lower back or leg. Trust me: when it comes to failing, this is a home run.
7. ALWAYS BE RIGHT
No matter how unhappy a guest is in your place--even if their food came out overcooked or they had to wait 40 minutes for their appetizers--always justify why it happened and make them feel small for questioning the way you do things in your place.
Whatever you do, don't approach the table and ask if everything is ok or make things right by apologizing. Kindness and humility might make them come back, and repeat customers will destroy your dream of failure.
8. PROVIDE A PAINT-DRYING EXPERIENCE
Surely you've heard the expression, "It's like watching paint dry," inferring a dull or even painful experience because it seems to take forever. A true ninja at restaurant failure will make sure to provide such an experience for his/her guests.
Promptness is the enemy here. When guests walk in, do not greet or even acknowledge them until it's clear they aren't going to leave. Then approach them with a heavy, indignant sigh.
After seating them, again, do not greet them for at least 5 - 7 minutes or until they are swiveling their heads around like an office chair looking for a server. Whichever comes first.
Refills? Don't even think about it. Shouldn't have sucked that Coke down so fast, Mr. Slurpy McSlurp.
Continue in this fashion until they are clearly frustrated and your table turnover rate is almost non-existent.
9. NEVER CHANGE YOUR MENU OR OFFER SPECIALS
Fresh and creative menu items and happy hour specials keep butts in the seats and the cash flowing, which will definitely hamper your ability to fail. There is an easy remedy to this though: keep the same boring menu and offer no specials or fun deals and people will eventually get the message and go somewhere else to spend their cash.
10. NEVER PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE
Ugh! Systems. There's nothing like a well-organized and systemized business to absolutely destroy your objective to fail. Systems are designed to make everyone's life easier and for profits to increase on grand scale. If you're really serious about failing, you need to get your priorities straight and come in to work (late of course) and just wing it. "Winging it" is basically flipping-off systems with a big fat middle finger that says "F-you, success. You'll never win while I'm in charge."
11. TREAT YOUR STAFF LIKE A BUNCH OF PEONS
Communicating, listening and supporting your staff is the fast track to success. Which in your case is failure. Because you’re trying to fail. So success would be failing. Got it?
Besides allowing them to go untrained and unmonitored, make sure to chastise each of them in front of each other to humiliate them and make them feel bitter towards you so that on a daily basis you can be assured that they will put out as little effort as possible as a revenge for the resentment they feel for you.
Appreciation and words of encouragement should be avoided at all costs. And if these tactics don’t quite push you to the brink of failure with your staff, you can be confident that sleeping with one of them and then ignoring them at work will push the train right off the cliff.
I hope this was a helpful lesson for all the aspiring failing businessmen and women out there.
I have to be honest though, I secretly hope you all fail at failing on a massive level and that instead you make a million this week.
Cheers, until next time.
Tags:how to run a restaurant how to run a bar restaurant management bar management restaurant profits bar profit show to open a restaurant how to open a bar