Successful Restaurants “Sweat the Small Stuff”

successful restaurants

Successful Restaurants “Sweat the Small Stuff”

Successful Restaurants “Sweat the Small Stuff”

successful restaurants

Hospitality-based businesses, such as hotels or restaurants, are common places for certified chefs to work. Chefs understand the importance of pleasing the guest/customer. Consequently, customers can also be quite difficult to please. Every minor detail leaves an impression on each guest, from the cleanliness of the windows to the perfect placement of garnishes on each dish. It requires a team effort to build successful restaurants and gain new and returning customers.

In We Are Chefs recent post, Chef Paul Sorgule, Harvest America Venutres, speaks on the important of fine tuning details. He explains “the reality…is that all of the details are important and are cumulative. The experience of a guest is defined through a series of ‘small stuff’  that, when viewed collectively, define how the guest will feel and act.”

The Experience:

In other words, guests almost expect proper service through visible effort in the fine details of their experience. The challenging part is this requires everyone in the operation to work together to “become a willing advocate for sweating the small stuff.”  Imagining yourself as a guest in your restaurant, also known as “restaurant eyes,” is the best was to accomplish this, according to Chef Paul.

Restaurant Eyes:

The term “restaurant eyes” is referring to “the ability to walk through the operation each day as if it were your first and to so with the critical eye of a paying guest.” This is a highly important skill all chefs should learn in order to spot the improvements your business needs. Spotting areas of improvement before a guest is able to will help your restaurant succeed in pleasing the paying guest. Chef should strive to train, teach, and inspire his/her entire staff to see the restaurant through the eyes of a guest.

Comparisons are Killers:

During a lecture for SAS employees, an experienced chef shared a hypothetical situation to demonstrate the mindset of a guest. In this scenario, a passenger on an airplane opens a beverage tray in front of them to find a coffee stain on it. Consequently, this passenger may wonder, “if the staff can’t clean the coffee stain, how can I feel confident that they will do a great job of flying the plane?” Chef Paul concluded that “everything in the restaurant is a detail that provides the chef and restaurateur with an opportunity to prove that they know how to “fly the plane.”’ This is exactly why you should sweat the details!

Sweat the Small Stuff

As Chef Paul puts it: “the detail that is missed today will become the dozen or so details that escape a critical eye. This cumulative effect can be devastating to a restaurant in the long term.” Although this is not to encourage anxiety with perfectionism or worry with situations out of a chef’s control, it is advising chefs and hospitality leaders to train your eyes and ears to be a “detail fanatic.” The more “small details” your business perfects, the greater impression it leaves on your guests.


Based off of an article by Chef Paul Sorgule. “Sweat the Small Stuff,” We Are Chefs, 11 April 2018.

Original Post: