Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Why Running a Restaurant Doesn't Have to Rule Your Life Using the right tools and strategies to run your business will give you more time to be with your family.

By David Koji Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many restaurant owners are living the dream. They own their own business, control their own future and make their own rules. That said, eighty to a hundred waking hours of the week are dedicated to the restaurant, with another handful of hours spent dreaming about the restaurant. It's hard work and it takes immense dedication and sacrifice.

That means very little wiggle room for vacations or basic quality time with family. But you don't have to sacrifice the people most important to you for your work. Here are four ways to reduce the time commitment to your restaurant without sacrificing the overall operation of the business so you can be more productive and spend more time with family:

1. Automate what you can. Define what is being done now that can be automated. Determine what manual tasks you manage regularly that can be converted into electronic or computer-based operations. For example, we worked with a client who was repeatedly hand-writing his catering menu and pricing for interested customers. We automated this process by posting a standard catering menu and pricing list on his website. He also kept printed copies of it on-hand for walk-ins. Instead of taking time to write a custom catering menu each time, we automated and standardized this process, saving time and effort while delivering a quicker and more efficient menu to the customer.

2. Hire a general manager. If you are looking for the easiest way to drastically cut your hours, hire a GM. As second-in-command GMs have the skills and experience to run your restaurant effectively. With margins thin and budgetary constraints weighing heavily on restaurants, this will be a tough option to swing given that a great GM can come with a hefty price tag. That said, if you want to immediately open up your schedule, this is the way to go. Consider less experienced GM professionals coming out of school as a more cost-effective option.

3. Delegate. Use your people. Don't sell your staff short. Most of them are probably young, ambitious and thirsty for more responsibility. Write out your daily activities to determine what can and can't be delegated. This gives you the opportunity to really showcase your leadership ability and foster a culture of creativity and inventiveness. You'll be surprised at the great results your staff can produce.

4. Use organizing tools. There are some free or cost-conscious tools online to help you stay organized few of my favorites include: Google Drive and Google Calendar to share documents and schedules, Hootsuite to consolidate your social media postings and Shiftgig, which connects restaurant job-seekers to restaurants in need of additional staff.

David Koji

CEO of evolvor

David Koji is CEO of evolvor.com, an online marketing and advertising agency based out of New Jersey, specializing in search engine and content marketing that converts into real results.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


Is Consumer Services a Good Career Path for 2024? Here's the Verdict

Consumer services is a broad field with a variety of benefits and drawbacks. Here's what you should consider before choosing it as a career path.

Business News

'Creators Left So Much Money on the Table': Kickstarter's CEO Reveals the Story Behind the Company's Biggest Changes in 15 Years

In an interview with Entrepreneur, Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor explains the decision-making behind the changes, how he approaches leading Kickstarter, and his advice for future CEOs.

Business Ideas

87 Service Business Ideas to Start Today

Get started in this growing industry, with options that range from IT consulting to childcare.