Welcome to Part Two of Jim Taylor’s interview with us!
Jim Taylor is the Owner/Principle at TaylorCo Consulting. He’s also a restaurateur & entrepreneur. Lover of family and the outdoors.
Before going into business for himself, Jim had a long and successful career with Cactus Club Cafe restaurants. Operating in multiple roles and several markets, Jim was able to take a lead role in both the growth and financial strategies that helped to make Cactus restaurants a household name in Canada.
Jim is the creator of Benchmark Sixty – A one-of-a-kind, premier restaurant financial optimization platform designed for restaurateurs to dramatically increase their profit margins by understanding data, implementing benchmarks, and using metrics to improve productivity. This signature platform has helped multiple restaurants start on the right foot, land on their feet, or position for strong growth moving forward. It has also been battle-tested during the challenging Covid-19 restrictions.
Born in Calgary, Alberta Jim grew up playing sports and spending time in the Rockies. Both things that he now loves to do with his family in Vancouver, BC. When not working with restaurateur clients, you can find Jim hiking, playing golf, and spending time with his wife Jen and golden retriever Leo.
His business goals are focused mostly on doing what he can to improve the overall state of the restaurant industry. Having grown up in it, and witnessing first hand the challenges it, and the people working in it face, he aspires to make it better for the next generation of restaurateurs.
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Additionally, you can read Jim’s first interview with us here.
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Table of Contents
What led you to start a business that provides services to restaurants during a pandemic that made things so difficult for them?
Jim Taylor: I wanted to genuinely help the industry that myself and so many others love, to recover. Although it was a very challenging time in the hospitality industry, I believed that there were new and innovative ways to do things, and I hoped to be able to expose more restaurant owners and operators to some of the learnings that I had had in my career.
I also wanted to build a community of like-minded people, who were in the trenches of the industry, working to bring it through the challenges of the last two years. I believe that people learn better together, and the people at management levels of restaurants need all the support and mentorship they can get. It is a tough job!
What does your company try to achieve in working with restaurants?
Jim Taylor: My company (BenchmarkSixty) does 2 things. The first one is that we coach restaurant operators on how to look at data in a unique way, in order to measure and leverage business output, and drive profitability. This is unique in restaurants because typically things like labor cost are viewed as a % of sales. Measuring output eliminates the need for this.
The second is we host and operate a virtual network for hospitality professionals. A network called “The Edge”. The Edge is a 24/7/365 virtual networking community: Our workspace is open 24/7 with best practices, support groups, feedback rooms, and more. It also provides;
- A robust events platform: We host monthly events – a mix of workshops that go deep on a subject with open Q&A, interviews with successful operators and restaurateurs, networking events.
- An ever-growing resource center: We’ve got resources on HR, Finance, operations and more, to help you expedite your journey.
What type of impact do you hope to make on the industry as a whole?
Jim Taylor: Our goal is to create a better career path for the next generation of restaurateurs. To create a more sustainable industry that is viewed as a “Real Job”, and to help the industry innovate its business practices in order to keep up with the changing world.
What specifically are you doing in order to try to make a difference?
Jim Taylor: The biggest area of impact that we hope to make is through our virtual network. A typical restaurant manager faces several challenges.
- Long hours.
- Shift work.
- Working weekends and holidays.
- A steep learning curve.
- Managing a young and unique demographic.
- Dealing with ever-changing business dynamics.
- Challenges differentiating themselves from their competition.
The Edge is aimed at providing support to the individuals who are working through those challenges so they don’t have to face them alone.
What are the biggest challenges that restaurant management face these days?
Jim Taylor: I would say that the biggest challenge is lifestyle. From hours, to pay, and other lifestyle issues. It is for these reasons that the industry typically has high turnover rates, low morale, and other patterns. Also, typically people who move forward in their careers will likely have to face fewer of these challenges, ie; better schedule, more money… which is why we hope to support as many people as possible through “The Edge”, in their quest to build a lasting career in restaurant management.
What were the most difficult things that you were faced with during your career in restaurant operations?
Jim Taylor: The biggest challenges for me were always based around a few common things.
- Schedule – I often found that when I was working nights, without anyone more senior than myself around to ask for guidance, a lot of my learning came from trial and error. There was a lack of mentorship, training, and experience around me, so I had to figure it out as I went.
- Learning finance was a challenge for me, as I know it is for a lot of people. Either due to the complexity of the business or due to lack of access to information. It is ironic how this was a challenge for me, yet through education and experience, it has now become a core offer of what my business provides to restaurateurs.
Our aim through “The Edge” is to make this learning curve easier for today’s, and tomorrow’s restaurant management.
What would you say are some of the biggest opportunities in the restaurant industry currently?
Jim Taylor: In my opinion, the restaurant industry is a long way behind most other industries when it comes to how businesses manage finances. Overall understanding of the profit model, how to generate more of it, and how to leverage all of the moving parts is a massive opportunity in the industry.
How people are handled. Everything from hours to wages, to training and development and diversity. There is a lack of attention around this in so many cases. One of the things that my business aims to change is how people are paid, trained, and taken care of. This is another reason why “The Edge” was created. In order to supplement the training, development and support for the people trying to make a career in hospitality.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jim Taylor for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jim Taylor or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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