Restaurant Marketing Tip – Staying Zen

I was recently asked by a client how I dealt with stressful moments in my business life, whether they be just the typical stress of working in a restaurant, or a more profound stress of running a business in times of difficulty. This question made me pause for thought. In a high pressure trade like the food industry this truly is an important skill for any restaurant owner and manager to master. So I’d like to share some of the techniques that I use and teach. Being from a 2 entrepreneur family (we own a restaurant and I am a restaurant business consultant) we know the ins and outs of business owner stress. In order to survive we have had to develop coping strategies, and our process for dealing with hard times is many faceted. We hope these tips help:

  • As a first step we get physical – using breathing technics and yoga when the stress is escalating. It is almost impossible to think calmly when you are physically stressed, so although it may sound a bit fruity, it helps you make clear decisions.
  • Then we use a lot of visualisation and picturing in our mind how we want the outcome to look. If you don’t know what solution you want to get to, how will you get to it?
  • We try to have a healthy attitude towards challenges and ‘embrace’ these challenges or turn them around. While this is hard, we try to see these as ways of making the business grow, develop and respond to the market, whether it is pruning products or staff, turning complaints into a great customer winback story, or any of the other tons of ‘issues’ that you have to deal with as a small business owner.
  • But most importantly we keep going back to the fundamental reason that we are in business. For us it is to bring people great dining experiences, and to help society by building strong, confident small business owners. When the chips are down and the stress is on, if you just go back to why you are doing the business in the first place, somehow you can come in off of the ledge and get back to the essence of your business and do what is needed to ride the storm.

Becoming a member of an association, support group, club or mentoring organization. Stress can make you feel lonely and isolated. you need to interact with other business owners to get perspective as well as ideas that can help you out in particular situations.