Monthly Archives: October 2011
Don’t screw your employees. Yes, you may save a few bucks on your labor costs, but you will lose out in two ways.
First, your underpaid employees are going to know they are getting screwed and even if they don’t quit they are going to take it out on you in the way you least want to happen- on your customers.
Second, while you may get away with it for awhile, if you do it enough and long enough you will get caught and the combination of fines, penalties and bad press is going to cost way more than what you saved in the short term.
This idea came from an article about something else but the idea for restaurant marketing was so good I simply repurposed it for that.
I know the situation- I’ve worked at places where one of the marketing ideas is the fishbowl of business cards- I’m sure you’ve seen it too and maybe even dropped in a card.
I’m also sure most places are like my place and like the one in the story- no winner was ever drawn. The business cards where never used for follow up marketing, either although that was supposed to be their real purpose.
But what if you turned the idea of one winner a week on it’s head and simply invited everyone who dropped a … Keep reading
For some reason, celebrities imagine that opening a restaurant is part of their job description. Professional athletes are guilty, too.
On the whole, however, I think the odds are not in their favor. Just because you are famous and a crowd will gather if you announce your presence doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant.
Unless you open it right.
That means it has to be good enough to bring people back on its own merits or else be located somewhere that gets so much celebrity enthralled foot traffic that it will never run out of one time customers.
Fail to do either of those things, and you’re just another chicken restaurant waiting to go out of business.
Now you … Keep reading
The following true stories of restaurant owners come from an experienced restaurant consultant. I can entirely sympathize with these stories as I have heard the exact same stories myself.
The problem generally boils down to the owner who is not willing or not able to learn something new and try something different from what they are doing. They can see that what they are doing isn’t working but they persist in doing it anyway. I know there is a certain comfort in it and change can be scary but why wait until things are so bad that they are too late to fix before conceding things should change.
I have two suggestions for making sure you never fall into this … Keep reading
Check out this graphic from FastCasual.com that shows everything about the performance and growth of the fast casual segment.
I’ve included just a little piece here but you really need to see the whole thing to appreciate the opportunity. If you are just getting started on your restaurant business plan this is a concept model you really should consider.
Too soon to start thinking about restaurant marketing for Christmas when we haven’t even hit Halloween yet (which you should already have well in hand as far as your marketing and promotions go)? Maybe, maybe not.
Christmas can be a big profit driver if you do it right and the results of building holiday sales can spill over far into the new year if you do a great job of impressing existing and new customers of how great your restaurant is and how much they will want to come back again soon.
Do a little bit each week now so that when the holidays do roll around you are already completely ready to go for the end of the year … Keep reading
Hey- I did a video! How progressive of me. 🙂
The topic is the cost to open a restaurant. Watch and learn (I hope!):
There is a lot to like about the idea of starting a restaurant with a food truck before you dive into the idea of leasing space and opening the whole business.
For one thing, you need a lot less to start. For another, it gives you a way to test the menu and concept in a way you can easily adapt and change to get it right before you commit to the whole package.
For a third thing, by having a successful food truck operation you increase your credibility a hundredfold in talking with investors and bankers about your ability to run a profitable restaurant operation since you are actually doing it rather than just talking about doing it.
Best … Keep reading
Even in a poor economy there are places that do very well. Just yesterday morning I drove by a local breakfast place with a line out the door. And it’s a big place.
On either side of it are places with no lines, ever. Places that can’t blame the economy for the fact that they aren’t doing well because there is an example of someone doing really well right down the street.
Steve Jobs did a lot of amazing things, and not just with technology. The Apple stores are the most successful retail businesses on a sales per square foot basis of any retail business going.
There is a lot the average business person can learn from him and in this article these lessons are applied directly to the restaurant business. I’m going to guess your restaurant business plan could benefit from improvements in just about every one of these areas.
1. The customer-user experience trumps everything else. Restaurants should treat front-of-house and back-of-house efforts equally, and should subscribe to the mantra that made Jobs famous.
2. Keep the brand simple and contemporary.
3. Get inspired by the small things. Don’t overlook … Keep reading