We have been talking a lot about operating leverage and that simply being able to pay your bills on time with a little left over isn’t enough – it’s time to raise the bar, especially with the economy now turning.

Restaurants that win are able to bend the variable cost curve so that their margin increases exponentially as revenue increases. In other words, they get to keep more of the money they earn at a faster rate than in the linear, variable cost world.

The theory behind this is simple. Putting it into practice is the challenging part. 

Let’s talk about a few challenges that leaders run into when doing this and how to overcome them.

1. Avoid Analysis Paralysis

We are all about the numbers. (no surprise – we provide accounting services), so we love when restaurants want to look into the data to figure out where they can find operating leverage. That’s good. 

The problem is when deep analysis leads to missing the forest among the trees. 

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Don’t sweat bank reconciliations that don’t tie out $10 when you are on the tail end of an audit you almost failed. Don’t spend time fixing non-restaurant processes that don’t matter when your customer surveys are tanking.

We are going to recommend something that may surprise you – go with your gut.

You can probably list out a dozen ways to improve your operating leverage in your stores, and you could spend a week proving them with data. But is more really better?

2. Manage the Tyranny of Choice

Frankly, having a dozen new tasks in front of you isn’t helpful – you’re busy.

If you get ambitious and try to tackle them all anyway, you will likely run out of time for the important items. And worse, get burned out in the process.

Success isn’t just what you do. It’s also what you choose not to do. 

Now, we are not saying that you shouldn’t get these other things done – you should! But first, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do you need to be the one to do it?

2) Are you the best equipped to handle it?

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3) Is it a top priority right now?

3. Ruthlessly Eliminate the “Good” for the “Great”

Hopefully, when you pass each of your opportunities through these questions you end up with 1-3 priorities for you to handle.

What to do with the rest? You have a few options: delegatedelay, or delete.

Hopefully, you don’t have many to delete – they just shouldn’t have been on your list in the first place. 

Delaying is an option, but if you are familiar with the Covey Quadrant, then you know urgent/important tasks will always trump non-urgent/important tasks. The non-urgent/important tasks are often where strategic thinking is – delay them too long and you have a crisis.

Ready to Get More Done in Less Time?

The real key to getting operating leverage is to focus on a few things you do best and accomplish the rest through delegation. 

That is where we come in. 

Whether you need more reliable accounting or access to deeper strategic insight, we have the tools, processes, and expertise to help.

If you want to chat about what that could look like for your business, let’s talk.




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