Restaurant Development & Design

SEP-OCT 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 3 5 Consultant's Take Partnering for a More Successful Project RUDY MIICK, FCSI The Miick Companies, LLC R udy Miick is veteran restaurant and foodservice consultant who has opened hundreds of restau- rants in his 30-plus-year career. Though not a designer himself, Miick has worked as a project facilitator and liaison with many designers, architects, contractors and construction manag- ers at both the independent and chain level. Here, he talks about the benefits of a partnered approach to restaurant design and construction. So, what exactly is a partnered ap- proach? In my view, it is a way of work- ing together on the conceptualization and development of a restaurant that goes back to the '90s. Partnering came out over time as an alternative to the more traditional subcontractor arrange- ment in which it's easy to get sucked into finger-pointing and blame. In any given project, there could be an archi- tect with a design team, contractors, subcontractors, installers, etc., and at any given moment, someone drops the ball. You did that, they did this or didn't do that, and everything falls apart in battle, typically at the last minute. A partnered — or collaborative management — approach, on the other hand, keeps us from finger-pointing, and it can keep us nimble and anticipa- tory, on task and communicating from the get-go all the way to the completion of the project. Good companies work this way as a habit. Partnering as a term seems less acknowledged now than it used to be, but at the same time, it is still a powerful way to bring and build projects together. One might ask who typically initi- ates or facilitates a partnered approach. I've seen partnering or collaborative management come from any one of a few positions. It could come from the clients themselves, a VP of construc- tion or a facilities manager who makes it clear they want to work together in this way. In many cases, an operations consultant functions as facilitator. For example, I have helped facilitate these projects oftentimes at the direction of the operator. The general contractor may look to work this way to keep more on schedule and better coordinate subs. Other times, the project architect may lead or guide the GC and the whole team to work in this partnered process. Regardless of who offers the strategy and structure of partnering, the idea is that when we get in the weeds, every- one is doing their best to work together to get to a solution, rather than scream at and blame each other. In my view, a partnered approach consists of five essential steps. Step 1: Set the tone for partnering. The message that a project will be a partnered one could happen as early as an RFP. This could be set as a rule or a spec in documentation so the intentions are very clear. Setting the tone for part- nering can also happen prior to initial meetings by whoever serves as facilita- tor. Meeting like this gives everyone the chance to clearly hear that fault and blame will not be part of the project process. Instead, we all agree to own re- sponsibilities for our individual jobs and at the same time agree to work together to get the jobs done. Each participant is accountable for attitudes and actions, with the desired outcome being shared accountability for success. Step 2: Choose critical path management. Partnered projects mean having

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