Today we interviewed Bob Sargent, a successful entrepreneur who has been in business for over 15 years as the owner of Savory Cuisines and The Ghost BBQ Catering in Boulder, CO. Over the course of his career, Bob has changed his management style from the brigade system in which he was managed, to a new philosophy that he’s found that works even better.
Three Management Tips
- Always be willing to grow with the times. Bob has been in business for over 15 years and has seen a lot of catering companies come and go, but through tough times, has stuck it out. Early on in Bob’s career kitchens were very militaristic and chefs were mean and rude and that just doesn’t work anymore. Bob says to be successful now, you need to listen to your whole team and it needs to be managed more as a team and not a military.
- Keep your cool. Bob was taught by a lot of chefs who lost their cool when things went wrong which resulted in a lot of yelling and demeaning comments. That used to work, but now, there is a lot of competition and employees will just leave. People don’t like it when they are yelled at, so if you are able to teach someone what they have done wrong instead of screaming at them, they will stick around longer and you will be able to have the best employees in town!
- Managing Millennials is different. Bob has a wide age range of employees, but many of them are Millennials. A lot of people have a hard time managing Millennials, but Bob has found that they just want to be respected. They have a lot of creativity to bring to the table, so if you can find a way to let the create new things and experiment while they are working as opposed to keeping them in a lane, they will thrive, work harder, and be happier.
These are just a few ways that Bob is able to keep two successful catering companies running in the extremely competitive Boulder market. The key to good management is really understanding who your employees are and listening to them. Respect all of your employees and they will likely have a lot of success in your business. Always remember that the people that work for you are not just numbers, but humans and wanted to be treated as such.
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