The 1 Hospitality Industry Habit That Needs To Change

Emma Griffiths, Feb 2017
- Time to read: 3 min
The 1 Hospitality Industry Habit That Needs To Change

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

Viability is here to introduce a new habit to the industry. But why does it need one?

The ambience of cafes and restaurants is one of bustling excitement and smiles. Meanwhile, behind this facade often lies poor profit margins and a struggling business owner. There is an undercurrent of real stress for operators, and it’s all caused by a simple lack of knowledge.

Business owners in the foodservice industry generally fly by the seat of their pants, making decisions based on hunches and error-prone mental arithmetic. It’s not hard to see why when you know how most businesses record their operational data. Payroll gets done at the end of a week, or month, along with a whole lot of other paperwork. It’s only at this point that the business owner knows how their true costs stack up.

This “do it all in one hit” habit is quite simply bad, and puts a limit on how much you can make as an operator. This is all part of getting caught up in day-to-day requirements of running a store, as opposed to taking a strategic business approach.

It’s easy to say you’re different, but every business owner strives to make a success of their dream, often with great passion.

This passion often runs low when tiresome, confusing tasks begin to weigh on the business owner. They seek refuge and solutions from their bookkeeper and other advisers to gain control of their situation. In doing so, they lose control by handing it over to people who know less about their business than they do. This is where we have developed the habit that I call “number chasing”. As hospitality people we’re constantly reading fluctuating numbers in weekly, monthly, and yearly reports. Chasing the numbers.

Let’s get something straight here. Accountants are good at accounting, and things like reducing your tax. They’re excellent at it. They’re good with numbers, so we automatically assume they’re able to give us advice on how to improve the inner workings of our businesses. They simply cannot know this, because our operations need to be closely monitored (by us) on a weekly basis if we have any hope of taking total control of our situation.

Viability shifts financial control and authority from advisers to the business owner. It enables operators to know the health of the business at all times. All they need to do is record important activities on a daily basis, for a couple of minutes a day. No more number-chasing. Operators now have complete control over their numbers.

Viability enables a powerful new habit — we’re creating a “map”. The simple act of recording our daily info like POS reads, managing rosters, creating purchase orders, setting budgets, etc is what creates this “map”. A map that allows you to plan on the fly, knowing your true position at all times — like a GPS. I don’t know about you, but knowing where I am (good or bad) helps me sleep at night.

Co-founder, Pius, uses a “lighthouse” metaphor for the Viability platform. As business owners, we’d all like a light we can trust to lead us towards a positive outcome. In hospitality I learnt it was a continuous pattern of ups and downs, like waves. With the “lighthouse” in mind, Viability aims to calm the waves as you work toward your goals. We’re passionate about making business decisions clearer, to give owners true control.

The more control you gain, the more you can meet your customers needs as well as your own.

With better knowledge, we can ask better questions, like “should we reinvest the profits?”, “are we maximising tax deductions?”, or “are we on track for world domination?”…

“Knowledge controls our access to opportunity and advancement, so we need the simplest, most accurate info we can get our hands on.”

As long as you’re following the simple habit of recording your daily activities, you’re being mapped. You have the best knowledge you’ve ever had, more power, more opportunity.

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