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Vision is the base for everything

If you follow our blog, I’m sure by now you’ve noticed we use the “v” word a whole lot. To many of you this notion may sound fantastical and irrelevant in the business world; nothing more than the fairytale created in your mind when you knew you wanted to start a restaurant. I assure you, however, that it means much more. Think of your vision as the foundation of your house.  It’s the bricks and mortar holding everything together and enabling your restaurant to evolve over time. Without it, there is no base for an outstanding product and certainly no direction to keep you moving forward.

In our latest Podcast Episode, RSI Partner and Strategic Development Officer Matt Vannini, trekked out to Seattle to discuss summer time execution with a few restaurateurs who have truly done it right: Tom and Tessa Aydelotte, owners of the Doc’s Marina Grills out in Washington. If you’ve ever stepped foot in any of the Doc’s Marina restaurants, you’ve had the opportunity to witness genuine success firsthand; you can smell it, taste it, touch and see it – the best part is, they’re not done yet. So how is it that these two restaurant mavens have created such a successful empire? They started with a precisely clear vision, and stick to it in everything they do.  Before you can properly execute on any aspect of your operation, it’s critical to have your blueprints clearly laid out. For Tom and Tessa, it was as simple as knowing they wanted their restaurants to become synonymous with FUN. That in itself became the backbone to every decision the duo has made in their respective careers as restaurant owners. It has trickled down to the locations of their restaurants, the physical layouts of each joint, the food served, the team members hired, even the management style within. When you start to dissect out and review every individual facet of the restaurant that is strongly affected by vision, you can easily see how consistency makes a solid, positive impact on your restaurant as a whole.

This leads me to my next point: when it comes to your vision, stick to your guns. Undoubtedly, you’re going to come across those who want to change everything, tell you to do things differently or don’t see what you see. Ready for a little self-help tip? Do not second guess yourself! You’re the one in the driver’s seat controlling your destiny. That’s not to say you can’t heed advice from others; having that support team who shares your vision and goals are critical; I’m simply saying that you do not let others take total control of the wheel.  This can be a challenge; it’s risky and it takes perseverance but I guarantee you it’s worth it in the long run. If you commit to the notion that it’s not always all about the bottom line, you will ultimately put everything you have into your restaurant and failure won’t be an option. Stick to your guns and profit will become a byproduct of the vision.

The proof is in the puddin’ people, and Tom and Tessa are living proof. The Aydelotte’s set out to create a fun environment with a great product that people want to come back to. They stuck to their guns when others weren’t sure it would work and enabled themselves to make decisions that were good for their guest, their team and finally for profit. The first Doc’s Marina that opened 13 years ago performed so well that Tom and Tessa were able to open a second Doc’s Marina Grill and plan to open 3 more in the future. Like I said before, vision is the base for everything. Make sure you check out our upcoming blog post where we’ll talk about strategically executing that vision!