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What I learned from a McDonald's Manager

Noah Kagan
Noah Kagan

October 18, 2014

I met with Josh, one of our members, while traveling in Australia and he told me his amazing story

While traveling Australia and New Zealand last month I got to meet some really great people and learn some new things.

Fun fact: Australian’s don't actually drink Foster’s beer!

One of the most memorable people I met was Joshua Chapman, who lives in a small town in the middle of New Zealand.

Josh is a member of our How To Make a $1,000 a Month Business course and like most of our members, has a day job. And not just any day job, he runs a popular restaurant called Silver Spoon.

Josh and I hanging out at his restaurant

Josh and I hanging out at his restaurant.

While eating at his restaurant, Josh told me his story of working at McDonald’s and how he got to where he is today.

Josh dropped out of high school and his dad told him he had to get a job. So he chose McDonald’s to learn how to run a business and be a successful manager.

Within 5 years of HARD work, Josh was overseeing 70 people and 2 stores. Hell yeah Josh!

He learned how everything had a system. There was even a method and checklist for cleaning the toilet. When doing anything within the business there was a system so variabilities and talent were less important. All of that added up to a consistent experience with every customer.

After McDonald’s, Josh bought a restaurant that had just gone out of business and has since built it into a successful and profitable restaurant.

There were 4 lessons that Josh taught me about his restaurant that can be applied to ALL businesses:

1. Remove EVERYTHING that’s non-essential. Many customers requested French Toast so Josh spent months adding it to the menu and trying to get people to buy it. But they didn't actually buy it ... so eventually he cut it. Focus on what customers actually buy.

2. What matters gets measured. Josh's restaurant, like many restaurants, had a baked goods counter as you walked in. What he noticed while reviewing his numbers each month was that those customers come in, spend $3, and leave. The overall profit was pretty insignificant and it took time away from his staff helping the lunch customers (the profitable ones). He then removed the baked goods for a month to see what happened to revenue. It wasn't adding, so he cut it.

3. Implement systems. Systems reduce variability and ensure consistency throughout your business. Josh learned this at McDonald’s with all of it's checklists.

4. Learn and iterate from your customers. Josh was really smart and left feedback cards on every one of his tables. At the end of the meals it helped customers re-enforce how great the meal was, provide suggestions for improvement and their contact information. They documented all of this and reviewed the suggestions that people wanted. The business was continually getting better.

Here I was getting schooled by someone that’s taking my course on how to start a business. You never know where you are going to learn something. But I was able to teach Josh 3 things that can apply to all businesses.

1. Your customers WANT to hear from you. Josh had collected over 1,000 peoples email addresses from his feedback form. He hadn’t contacted them ONCE. This was the same case at AppSumo. We didn’t email every deal cause I felt bad showing up in people’s inbox. Surprisingly I tried it out and people didn’t unsubscribe. Not only that, but they were also asking when the next email was coming.

2. Just focus on 1 person. Josh wanted to show others how he created a profitable restaurant. He was worried about scaling, internet marketing, etc. Instead we discussed just focusing on one restaurant locally that he could help. Most people get so overwhelmed with scaling that it stops them from ever starting.

3. Document your process/teaching. Say you want to create an online course. Most people get SO caught up with all the technical mumbo-jumbo. That’s never the issue ... the issue is getting customers. Just help someone and record the process of what you did. Now you have a process you can try with another person.

If you've tried to start a business but failed ... I want to help you.

Join the How To Make A $1,000 A Month Business course today and we’ll show you the blueprint to starting your business, give you the personal support you need, and connect you with a community of others like you making the lifestyle they want.

How To Make a $1,000 a Month Business Monthly Plan

  • Interactive assignments teaching you everything from failure to validating your business.
  • Access to a proprietary online web tool to help make sure you are on track.
  • Access to the online wantrepreneur community.
  • 60-day money back guarantee. No matter the reason.

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