Lee Cockerell: It's Time to Raise the Bar!

If you are in the bar business it is time to quit “free pouring” excuses and stop blaming others for the situation you put yourself and your nightclub or bar into. Excellence is a state of mind. If you want it, you can have it. As Bill Marriott told me once, “Lee, if you have flies in your bar or restaurant it is because you like flies.” If you have poorly trained staff or have hired the wrong people then you must like that, because you can change that situation if you admit that your responsibility is to move from average to good, good to great, and even great to greater in your operation.

It is never too late to get better, friendlier, cleaner, more creative, healthier, or knowledgeable. Every day in your operation you are either getting better or you are getting worse. There is no middle ground as your competition is working hard to “eat your lunch.”

The three most important things you can do (after, of course, having a great product) are to:

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1. Hire and promote the right people and get rid of the people who are not right with their performance or their attitude.

Poor employees make a poor operation, average employees make an average operation, and, of course, great employees make a great operation. Never forget: Your employees are your brand. It is not about the beer and cocktails, it is about the people.

2. Train, test and enforce you training and standards.

Lots of businesses say they train their teams, but most don’t do a great job. Total clarity about your expectations for performance is the most important part of training. After being clear like a mother, train your team so they can perform their role in the show at a world-class level. After you train them, test them to make sure they got it, and then, most of all, enforce your training. This is one of the owner’s and manager’s most important responsibilities, and one often not done well. Attention to detail and consistency matter, and they matter a lot. You are putting on a hit show. You are the director of the show, so get in your director’s chair and watch the performance every day to make sure everyone is performing their role in the show to a T.

3. The last and probably the most important thing is for you, the leader, to be a great role model for excellence in all ways.

Understand your most important role in the show is for you to create an environment and culture where all of your team members wake up in the morning and want to come to work versus having to come for a paycheck. Also, your role is to create a culture where everybody matters and they know it.

At my keynote address on March 28, 2017, in Las Vegas at 11:00 AM, I will address these guiding principles and others to show you how “You Can Create Disney Magic Too”! In the meantime, start educating yourself by listening to my weekly podcast, Creating Disney Magic on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, iHeart Radio or on my website: www.LeeCockerell.com. These podcasts are free, which is the best word in the English language (with “discount” being second). Let’s drink a toast to having a great Nightclub & Bar Convention and Tradeshow…. Have one on me!

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