Time Management for Restaurant Operators | Massimo Montone

Time Management for Restaurant Operators

You like everybody else have a “to do” list that is very long. I will show you how to prioritize what’s important for your business and as result get more benefits from it.


What you want is to function well, whether you are under pressure or not. Therefore, your concentration must be on results in order to limit your stress.

By the way - forget you are busy.

You probably have heard of the Pareto Principle, or the “80:20 Rule.” Typically, 80% of unfocussed effort generates 20% of results. So the remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort.

Even if the ratio is not always 80:20, this pattern recurs so frequently that it is the norm in many situations. I am sure, you run out of time on a daily basis, weekly and monthly. We simply do not have enough time in order to do everything we would like to do. Managing your time means control. You need to choose what to work on and when, but in order to do that you must have a system that works for you.

Goal setting

Sometimes restaurant managers or owners do not set specific goals. Do not let this happen to you.

The benefits of goal setting are:

Sense of awareness | Responsibility | Defines actions | Makes you set priorities | Gives you a roadmap | Guides decision making | Exposes your strengths | Betters your self image | Results in a sense of achievement | Helps you to visualize

Excuses for not setting goals

Waiting for a miracle | Will take too much time | Conditioning | Fear of success | Predictability | Fear of losing

It is said that people give up on goals before they have even started. Do not let it happen to you.

Set your goals well in advance, by following the easy SMART formula


Who: Who is involved?

What: What do I want to accomplish?

Where: Identify a location.

When: Establish a time frame.

Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.


How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?


Develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and you will find the financial capacity to attain them. You start to see yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.


You must be realistic; make sure you are willing and able to work. You can set aspirational and realistic goals; you decide how.

Remember: an aspirational goal is commonly easier to reach than a little one because a low goal exerts a low motivational force.

You must have a time frame that is tangible. Do not say you want to achieve a goal “ASAP,” as this is intangible.


This essential skill can change the direction of yourself and your team;

With good prioritization (and careful reprioritized tasks) you can bring order to a restaurant in chaos, cut stress, and move forward successfully.

Prioritizing by understanding the value of a project; Have time constraints;

You can use the ABCD prioritizing tourniquets. Have a note pad with all the tasks to do, long and short term written, then give them a priority score. A for the highest priority, B for less priority, then C can be achieved if you have time and D is for delegating.

On your daily plan or agenda, rewrite exactly when you are going to do the exact task and by when; if it is a long term task, break it down into small chunks, chase up results and keep track of them.


Procrastination stops you achieving things you are capable of and disrupts your success.

Basically, you procrastinate when you do not do important things. Things that should be done now. Instead, you do something that makes you feel comfortable.

It is essential that if you want to stop procrastinating you understand the difference between important tasks and urgent tasks. If you focus on urgent tasks that aren’t important you are wasting your time.

Reacting fast does not mean doing the right thing.

You can also procrastinate when you see the task as too big and you have a feeling of not knowing where to start. Eventually you will only attempt tasks that you know you will achieve easily.

Remember, the pyramids were built stone by stone.

You are also procrastinating when you wait for the right mood; fear failure; show poor organization; perfectionism; and delay decision making.

If you are procrastinating…work out why you doing so. Be aware of it and recognize it.

In simple words, do the most important task early in the day and then the others will easily follow throughout the day. If you have two important tasks - start with the biggest and the hardest.

Make sure you develop a routine of doing the important task first. Make it happen and it will become a habit without thinking.

To succeed in your restaurant, you need to be action orientated and have a positive attitude. Take action fast every time a task arises and be positive even if you fail a few times. Remember, successful people fail much more than unsuccessful ones because they try more and more; they are always positive and learn from the past.

Do not take shortcuts. With practice you can learn anything. Keep practicing and tell yourself you can do it, and eventually you will do it.

Massimo Montone

Massimo made the progression from direct restaurant operations into a consultancy role so that he could work with a diverse portfolio of businesses – he thrives on new challenges and meeting interesting people, with creative ideas. Massimo felt there was a missing element within the industry, where smaller brands and hospitality businesses could benefit from having the experience of an operational team, without investing in an in-house ‘head office.

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