Debra Hermansen has over 35 years of experience in restaurant operations and 20 plus years of experience at the executive level. Debra has single unit experience, multi-unit experience, Franchise experience, multi-concept experience, and experience as an educator. In other words, our girl Debra is experienced. Debra served Share Our Strength for over 16 years, where she was awarded Humanitarian of the year. Today Debra serve as Regional Operations Director at Restaurants Unlimited where she has, at one time, been responsible for leading 10 restaurants across 5 states.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
Point your index finger to the sky, and then point to the wall. There will be one finger pointing forward, and three pointing back at you. Every time you think someone else dropped the ball, take a look at yourself because there are always more fingers pointing at yourself.
What I’m always looking for when I am hiring is that affirmation of people, that drive to learn more, to ask questions “why is it like this?” “has it been tried this way?” and to have a heart of a servant- where they always put people first. That they would exceed expectations!
Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
Always being positive, and finding the good in all that you do.
What is your biggest weakness?
I take on too much, because of that positive attitude I can never say “no”!
What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?
To role model the behavior that YOU want, and be true to yourself
Whats one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
I always ask someone “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I want to know what they are hoping to gain from this experience and how I can help support them in that process.
Whats a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
Current labor and compliance laws. We need to prepare to manage it, and are taking it case by case- and cross training team members that can do multiple positions.
Whats one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?
Personalizing with people.
Whats one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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“Setting the Table” Danny Myers
Whats one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
HotSchedules– it’s a great planning tool, a great finance tool, and helps managers make good decisions.
With all the knowledge you have now, if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?
At the end of the road, where do you see yourself? If you had to write your own obituary, what would you want to be remembered for? In restaurants- it’s the same. What do I want people to say about Deb?
What is one question you think should be added to this interview?
What is the one constant that you wish had never changed in this industry? And THAT is that we make ALL of our decisions around GUESTS.
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Debra for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!