My wife and I celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary this Saturday evening by visiting the Famous Mai-Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale for the dinner and show. Neither of us has visited for over 15 years.
The Mai-Kai Restaurant coincidentally is also celebrating their 60th anniversary of operation. Think about that; a restaurant in South Florida being around for 60 years. How is this possible when so many others continue to fail?
I’ll tell you why. First, they are extremely systemized. It all starts with the Maitre D’ escorting us to the bar where we spend $30 on two drinks. He then escorts us to our table where the waitress greets us. Everyone knows their place in the process from the captain who oversees everything to the waiter, to the drink server, to the food runner to the busboy. Everything is systematic throughout the evening.
Another reason is that they know their numbers. In speaking to our Captain Troy, (who has been working at the Mai-Kai off and on for 19 years now) he told us that they seat 300 head per seating on a Saturday night. With 3 dinner and show seatings, of which the 5:00pm and 8:00pm always sell out and the late seating averaging about 100 – 120 patrons. At an average dollar sale of $70 per person that equals $49,000. Multiply those numbers by 4 to represent a month and you are averaging $196,000 on Saturday night alone! In a year that’s almost two and a half million on just one night!
When I shared my story the following day with my son, he replied that it must be a great place to work. My comment was that it would be a great place to own.
In conclusion; to last sixty years in the restaurant or any business for that matter you must first be systemized, know your numbers, and have team members willing to work and represent your brand with many years of loyalty.
By the way, the dinner and show were both great!