Most of us spend long hours in one capacity or another on our business. I know I do. I oversee not only the food aspect of the business, but also coordinate the carryout aspect. Which means ordering from 5 beer vendors, Pepsi and Frito Lay, as well as stocking candy, tobacco, and grocery items. I’m sure you guys know all about this. Even if you don’t do all that, you may do other things or higher volume things than what we do.
I guess what I’m trying to figure out, is where is that dividing line where the money I save by not hiring an extra person or two is lost by me not having the time to grow my business because I’m busy building a pizza or manning the oven? How do you guys and gals juggle this? Or is there a better way that we can be doing it?
I would be interested in seeing not only your poll responses, but also why you have the role you do. I have fewer employees so I have to do more in the kitchen because our sales don’t justify a larger staff. But I also feel that we haven’t begun to tap our market fully. And I think we could do a better job of that if I focused on that side more. What say you, Think Tankers?
I think that for most businesses that if you do not have a meaningful amount of time available on a regular basis to work on growing your business, establishing systems, useful business measurements etc that you are probably costing yourself money. I would suggest that 10 hours a week to work on those things would be a good place to start.
Furthermore, people who work too many hours get burned out and are not effective. If it costs you $60 a week to put someone in place to take care of five hours of lower level tasks that you have been doing to save money and you just take those five hours OFF to relax and do something else, my bet is that most people who work 70 hours a week would come out ahead due to be more energized and effective for the 65 hours they are still there.
I run a unique set up in that we are a licensed bakery/pizzeria but I am a full time special education teacher and the bakery is my classroom. I am involved in every aspect of what we make. I will soon be opening my own pizzeria and will do the same. I was raised in the business (NYC area) via my mother and her family from Italy and that was the model I learned under. I am not after big volume or multiple stores. It will be a small shop with prices high enough to allow for low volume and a quality of NY style pie that is not easily found anymore. It will be my wife, myself, and people with developmental disabilities doing the entry level work and they will start as interns via a University program they are enrolled in. If one shines we will hire them. We will only be open 5 days a week, 5-6 hours a day. So, like my current set up, our pizzeria will be equally unique in its setup. Walter
I feel that the day I stepped away from the food side of the business was the start of really good things. I spend 99% of my time as the face of the restaurant pretty much cemented behind the front counter either answering phones, slinging slices, ringing out dine-in customers, staging deliveries, expediting dine-in orders, and putting out fires, etc. Any down time is spent doing all the other managerial duties like ordering, payroll, scheduling, bookkeeping, and most general repairs, etc. We have had to expand our kitchen a few times so I lost my office years ago and now only have a laptop and a file cabinet…turns out that has allowed me to keep a much better eye on the operation although my managerial duties are difficult to complete and are mostly done afterhours at home these days. We are open 6 days a week 11-9 for a total of 60hrs and I work approx 50hrs in the store down from over 85-90hrs back in the day so I can no longer complain…did I mention I am a control freak?
If it needs to be done I do it. It’s called running your OWN business. Nobody cares as much as I do! It’s my kids shoes, my kids schooling, it’s my mortgage, it’s how I pay for the things that I need to survive in this world. Why would I leave it up to someone else? Just my thought.
I have a team in place that manages customer service. I spend my time training and improving the managers effectiveness. I make sure the systems in place are being executed and holding the appropriate people responsible. I also reach out to schools and other organizations like churches to make sure we are on top of donations and sales to them. It’s hard to grow if you are on the line, let your crew step up and fill roles they may surprise you.
I had this same mentality for a while until I realized that sure, I COULD do it all, but that didn’t mean I SHOULD do it all.
Getting my hands on every aspect of the business only held me back. I was just kidding myself thinking I was great at everything. Once I realized that others DO care and that they were BETTER than me at their specific positions, I created a bulletproof hierarchy filled with competent employees. I could essentially take off of work indefinitely and my team wouldn’t skip a beat. Granted we are well established so this would be a little different if we just opened up a new concept in a new city where nobody knew us…
I’ve spent 30 years in the pursuit of the first and never made it past the last.
I’ve heard it all about stepping back, letting others… etc… and while I think there is some validity to that philosophy, I have control issues. In addition, when I have stepped back and let others step up, it’s never worked out or been a good thing.
I’ve always been envious of those who seem able to assemble “that team”… it’s not one of my strengths, I guess.
As stated (above posts), it’s very hard to run the “store(s)” AND run the “business”
I have a great team. Some been with me for 10 years. They’re almost like family. I leave the store at 5 on Friday night and take Saturday and Sunday off (most of the time) to be with my family on the weekends, It’s a life style I choose to live. Are there issues and problems over the weekend? Yes! sometimes, but in life you have to find your balance between life and work. I for one work to live, NOT live to work. Would my sales and profit be higher if I were here every minute of everyday probably. But the time that I spend with my family on the weekends somehow recharges me and makes me a better Husband, Father and a business operator. Also it makes me a more focused in running my business at a higher level during the week.
Wow Tony. I’m resigned to working every Friday and Saturday night. Id just like a Tuesday-Wednesday off! That’s where I am on all fronts. I chose this line of work because I enjoy making food for people and making them happy with it. But I also have not been spending enough time at home. My fiance and I work together at the store so we see each other everyday. But we also have a farm with animals (horses, goats, rabbits, ect.) that are basically our kids, that we don’t have as much time to spend with as we would like. I want to reduce some hours not just to spend more time at home, although that’s important too, but also so I can do the things I need to do to bring more business in. Things like giving back to the community more, being involved in helping and promoting youth sports, and things like that. For example, there is a ball diamond a hundred yards down the road from my store. No one really cares for it and it sits unused, despite having many youth baseball and softball teams around that need practice space. Having that mowed and drug daily would not only be good for the community, but it would also pull lots and lots of eyes right past my store that otherwise wouldn’t come out this way. Especially since I am also a little carryout. Little brothers and sisters buy lots of candy while waiting for practice to end! I just feel like there is so much more I can be doing if I were released from the day to day a little bit more.
I aspire to be at Tony’s level someday ! I found a way to have time to live life every day and still work, i closed lunches except thur,fri,sat 12- 1:30,so my days are 1hour to set up salad bar and then work 5-9;30 close,5.5 hours, 5 nights a week,when busy season hits July and August back to longer hours,reducing the not so profitable hours has enabled me to be there when it counts.(hands on operator and still enjoying it!) Can’t stand being at home at night when we are open and THEY"RE GETTING TO HAVE ALL THE FUN !!! Like a big huge magnet it just draws me in !
After three years straight, we are searching for a manager that can give us a couple of days off. I understand this is my business but I also want to live a life… I’m married without kids, I want to go do stuff with my wife before we’re old and regret not enjoying our lives when we had the chance. I can still hike up a mountain, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to say that in 10 years. Business is really good, we can afford it, my systems are finally in place… I don’t see why not.
Just got back from hiking in Moab with my son for four days. Now in my mid-fifties I can still hike, but not like I used to. Once you find that manager, use them to free up some more of your time to get out in the community and to work on building sales from here. It can be done!