What restaurants can learn from auto racing

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Yes, it’s true that not is the same between restaurants and auto racing in face value, there are actually enough similarities between the two disciplines that restaurants today can learn a thing or two from the world of auto racing. While this article won’t be focusing on a specific racing discipline, but across racing in general.

Speed is key.

Every racing car aims to capture the fastest lap time, that much is obvious. But racing teams sometimes go to extreme lengths in order to make sure they have speed down tap. In fact, the Williams Formula One team brought in track-and-field legend Michael Johnson in 2012 in order to speed up its pit stops (and this year it seems to show, as they have recorded the fastest pit stop in every race so far this season). And in fact, it’s been commonly known (at least relatively in the F1 fanbase) that teams will spend tens of millions of dollars just to cut a tenth of a second off their respective car’s lap time. While it doesn’t necessarily mean have have a team of servers ready per table like a pit stop, don’t be afraid to keep developing new technique to keep service speed and table turnover as short as possible.

And so is quality.

Have you heard about the fact that then-reigning F1 champion Damon Hill could have won the Hungarian Grand Prix in 1997 if not for a washer in his car that was less than a dollar? Or how about that Carlos Sainz lost the 1998 World Rally Championship in the last round, within 500 meters, all because of an engine failure? While this might not sound much in restaurant terms, but what is crucial is tackling mistakes and mastering your presentation. Even the smallest mistake might convince a patron to leave a negative online review or provide negative word-of-mouth for your restaurant. Make sure your service and your meals are reliable and make sure your restaurant operation is as flawless as possible.

And so is the constant need to innovate.

While in some racing series, cars are constantly developed throughout the year, the same cannot necessarily be true for restaurants. If chefs constantly had to change menu items, it would likely overwhelm them. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t think ahead. Think of seasonal menu items, think of what can be improved for next year, think of the attire of your staff. Regardless of what you do, make sure your restaurant is always on the top of its game, otherwise your restaurant will be eas