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Last Update: Sunday April 11, 2021

Key Idea: Measure the Right Things

At Wahoo's learning a customer's name is more important selling extras.

Key Question:


Steve does not worry about sales per square foot even though each location has about 2,500 square feet and will do about $1 million in revenue. That is not the goal he asks his team members to measure.

  What does he ask them to measure?

A:  Steve trains managers to measure what will result in the sales. For example, he wants every employee to learn the names of two customers every day. He says, "Don't worry about your quota…can you do A, B, C, D, E, F, G and 'H' will be magical. It will automatically appear out of thin air."

Especially entry level employees would look at a million in sales as too big for them to impact and not be very excited to work on that goal. However, it is motivating and fun to work on a goal that each person finds they can achieve on a regular basis. They can leave work feeling good rather than feeling like just a cog in a machine.

Think about it

What are the steps you ask your employees to take toward the revenue goals and how do you help them measure their success?

Clip from: Wahoo Fish Taco

Mingo Leo, CEO, the youngest of the three brothers

California, Hawaii, Colorado: Something truly special is happening here. The founders of this business are immigrants from Brazil, whose parents are from China.   New Americans continue to introduce new insights and fresh ideas. A beacon to creative people around the world, the USA, more than any other place in the world,  is a place to actualize dreams.

Meet surfers who are building a chain of surfer food joints, Wahoo's Fish Taco. They started from nothing and now have over 40 highly-successful restaurants. They are loved by their communities and respected by their industry. Wherever they go, they have an instant family, an immediate bond with anyone who owns a surfboard, skateboard or snowboard.  Brothers Wing Lam Lee, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee launched the business in 1988.  They adopted a fourth partner as a brother, Steve Karfaridis, a Greek immigrant who managed five-star restaurants in his homeland. He's the systems guru.

Follow the insights of these people and you and your business will prosper.

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Wahoo's Fish Tacos

Mingo Lee, CEO

2855 Pullman Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Visit our web site:

Office: 949-222-0670

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1991

Measure the Right Things

STEVE: A lot of times the simple fact that you have the wrong metric in your business can kill you. You're looking at the wrong thing.

HATTIE: Give me an example.

STEVE: An example is that I have colleagues in this business and they are going into their restaurants and the first thing they say, "Did you meet your sales quota today?" And the first thing I say to my district manager is that I don't ever want to hear you talk about sales quotas to your managers.

The first thing I want you to do is to go in and say, "Did you learn two customers names today?" I said, "Don't every worry about sales." I keep saying that over and over again. They say, "But Steve we have... " I say, "Don't worry about your quota. Can you do A, B, C, D, E, F, G and 'H' will be magical. It will automatically appear out of thin air."

People demonstrate that once they get the idea they are focused. And that is what a lot of businesses... they are not focused enough in the things that make them exist. And what makes me exist is knowing the customer, what they like to eat and cleaning the restrooms.

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