A Reality of Conventional Restaurant Management Wisdom

Orderly is here to help restaurant owners run a smarter business. And we can’t do that if we’re just giving you our perspective.

So each month our CEO, Bill Jones, takes a deep dive into a topic of his choosing. He’s got thoughts, tips, and things to watch out for – all designed to help you out.

And we have them right here, for you.

When you think about it, we live our lives in a world (thankfully) full of approximations. Your car’s gas gauge. How long it will take you to get to the store. Even your heartrate – your doc counts for 15 seconds and then multiplies by 4!

So, it’s always surprising when I talk to so many restaurant operators that seem to think this doesn’t apply to running their business. They insist on counting every ingredient. They want to break down the amount of an ingredient in a recipe to a crazy exact amount. They obsess over whether some lemons are included in bar expenses or kitchen expenses.

And this obsession leads them into what we disdainfully refer to as the “Swamp”. It’s a place few people survive – and they take their restaurants down with them. I’m convinced the ones that remain there are simply too delirious or numb to even feel the constant mosquito bites of the ridiculous, incessant data maintenance and configuration required to feed their false requirement of exactness.

Most people go into the Swamp and die a little inside before getting out. They resign themselves that they just aren’t up to what they read is necessary to “properly manage a restaurant’s food spend”.

So, they give up. It’s a real shame to think that the assumed choice is binary – live in the Swamp or run your restaurant blindfolded. Nowadays, there is a better way which is driven by technology and common sense. It starts with getting the core business data unlocked out of the paper invoices that detail your spend.

But the real game-changer is applying data science to the flow of this information. And finally, having someone else pay attention to this information and guiding and prompting with ways to operate better. No Swamp, but also no giving up.

The guide can’t do absolutely everything for you, but basic, simple progress markers make all the difference. Someone looking out for you and giving you basic, periodic assistance. Unless you have the budget for a staff of highly analytical food experts (and even if you do!), I encourage you not to give up. Don’t go into the Swamp. Instead, look for someone to help you reach your goal.


Danny Barry

As Orderly's Content Marketing Manager, Danny is always in the weeds of the restaurant business. He's having conversations. He's scouring the internet for research. He's writing until his fingers start to hurt. And it's all to help you run a smarter restaurant. When he's not writing about restaurants, Danny can be found eating at restaurants. Or, you may find him cheering on his beloved Miami Hurricanes.

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