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'Quality Always Beats Quantity' in Staffing, RFDC Speaker Says


“Steve Jobs once said, one home run is better than two doubles,” declared Joleen Goronkin, CEO of People & Performance Strategies and a speaker at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Monday in Las Vegas.

People might say Jobs, the late founder of Apple, wasn’t in the baseball business, and so discount his comments. But to Goronkin, Jobs was “ in the impact and innovation business. That’s to say quality always beats quantity,” she said, and went on to describe how restaurant operators should approach talent development.

She pointed out the challenges restaurant operators face: “The minimum wage is increasing, and it’s not a matter of if but when. A Gallup poll last year said 70 Pepercent of Americans want to see an increase in the minimum wage.” Likewise, she said, Obamacare is a done deal; Republican control of Congress is going to mean just tweaks, not wholesale change to the Affordable Care Act, so restaurant operators need to adapt.

What should an operator do? Goronkin had four suggestions:

No. 1, manage performance, she urged. “People need to rise above. They need to continue to increase performance, and if they’re not increasing they need to be managed out,” she said.

No. 2, embrace technology. “It’s already left the station,” she said about technological change. “The iPads at the table, it’s old hat now. Who’s watching the technology? Who’s looking at ways to move your brand forward?” She mentioned Do-Right Donuts, which on Fat Tuesday offered all people with an Uber app, the driving service, to order six donuts via and have them delivered.  She applauds that type of innovation.

No. 3, expose the hidden paychecks. “Start getting credit for all the things you’re paying for,” she urged, from sick pay to uniforms to health insurance to meals. “All these things add up. All these things are an investment in your employees. Make sure you’re getting credit for it.”

No. 4, innovate. “You can’t always do what you’ve always done. You have to look at ways to move forward, to find different ways of doing business,” she said. As an example, she offered the idea of nixing the tip system in favor of a house service charge, funds from which would be distributed among all staffers.

The bottom line? “Be open-minded,” she urged. “Be open and adapt to the changes that are happening around us, because we are all in the impact and innovation business,” just like Steve Jobs. 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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