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Imagine you have 500k you would like to invest. How carefully would you consider, research, and question your financial advisor(s)?

Investing such a considerable amount of money would take several conversations, the viewing of many portfolios, and the seeking of advice from the right sort of experts required to maximise your investment potential.

And yet …

How many owners in the Hospitality Industry employ key positions who must lead about $500k in business turn-over without asking them a single financial focussed question during their employment/interview process?

How many head chefs and managers have no personal financial acumen let alone enough to ensure that they are maximising kitchen and floor profits for everyone’s benefit in the business?

The answer is … far too often, and far too many.

While issues of ‘culture’ and ‘performance’ are often reviewed – it is rarely done by owners in the context of the ‘business of hospitality’. Few owners prioritise ‘financial acumen’ in their employee performance reviews or employment interviews.

It doesn’t matter if they can cook amazing food – if they are losing you money. It doesn’t matter if they appear efficient with rosters if your wage costs are at 35%.

If your Head Chef is heavily burdened by personal debt, never saves and is always moaning about money … get real! How is he running the business side of your kitchen? If your Manager has bought a gas-guzzling car on hock, gone on holiday on their credit card and doesn’t think twice about throwing back a bottle of Verve AND is sending you ‘eye-daggers’ because they want a pay rise … get real! How are they leading your employees to maximise profits?

You can’t ask employees, potential or otherwise, about their personal finances, but here are some simple and powerful ideas …

  • Make it clear in ALL recruiting material that financial acumen is desired and encouraged. For some key positions DETAIL the financial skills required.
  • Make financial acumen part of the culture in your business.
  • Praise employees who make excellent personal and work-based financial decisions.
  • When interviewing ALL positions of employment ask questions that reveal a potential employee’s general attitude to money.
  • Understand that some young staff/applicants will never have considered the ‘idea’ of financial acumen, but are they obviously teachable and enthusiastic for your financially literate business? Can you see that it interests them and that they are willing to learn?
  • Invest in your employee’s financial professional/personal development – it will pay you back many times over.        

 Simple and powerful … yes, but not widely practised.

In the end there is no point grumbling about how much money your thoughtless employee is costing you if you did not make your expectation clear from the get-go; and there is no point continuing to grumble if you have not provided several opportunities for them to learn.

Of course, what is really happening here is not the lack of financial acumen from your employees, but the lack of your own ability to prioritise what is important.

07/03/2016 Mr Hospitality