Do you love lists?
You have to make lists to be successful-just read any success/leadership book. As a personal tool I use them more and more because I am so easily distracted. Perfectionism can be debilitating. I once read a quote that says Lance Armstrong doesn’t have to do lists – he just does them. Interesting. Lists as a tool in my restaurant I feel differently about.
“You need lists in a restaurant. How else will anyone know what to do?” If you know me, you know that quote didn’t come from me. It came from one of my servers. D bar Desserts is a small restaurant. Very small. In my mind you should be able to look around and do what needs to be done-especially if you have to do it every day. I learned early on that doesn’t work in a restaurant. Lists provide organization, direction, efficiency, accountability and consistency.
I also feel they take the soul out of a task or situation or restaurant or organization. That is of course, not always true but it is always how I feel when I have to make a new one. It is a huge step towards a corporate mentality – inherently stepping away from mom and pop family owned small business which I’m.
Opening and closing lists are my least favorite and the most necessary. My fear is that I will put together that list and everyone will turn off their brains and robotically go about carrying out the tasks on that list. Anything that needs to be done that is not on the list doesn’t get done. In fact the list almost gives you permission not to do it. If there is a booger (is that how you spell that? I don’t think I have ever written it before) smeared on the front glass door and it is not on the list for closing will anyone clean it? Probably not. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. Thanks to the advice of a customer who very simply asked how many things are on the list -to which I replied 17-she suggested: “why don’t you make #18 be: look around, find something that is not on the list that you know needs to be done and do it. Genius!!! Especially if they actually do it! J
I hope and pray to solve all my restaurant challenges in such a simple and beautiful way.