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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Smarter Than Groupon- Filling Restaurant Seats During Non Peak Times

This article is actually from awhile back and I haven’t checked to see how they are making out. What I do know is that Groupon has tanked (why do you think the insiders cashed out before the company even went public?) as I expected, and it will not be around long term as a restaurant marketing solution- not that it is much of one now while it is around!

On the other hand, the service described below sounds like it has a lot more promise. For one thing, it seems like something put together by people who understand restaurants rather than people who simply are trying to sell as many coupons as possible to whoever will buy. For another thing, … Keep reading

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Renegotiate Your Restaurant Lease to Lower Your Rent

While this article is about small business in general it could very well be for restaurant owners. Many of them are getting hurt by having a much more expensive lease than they should based on their business volume and expected growth.

Rather than simply complain, however, take the time to try and do something about it. Not every landlord is going to say yes to lowering the rent- some woujld rather sit on an empty building for years than offer a concession to a tenant. But many more are reasonable and would be much happier getting something rather than nothing.

Follow the steps below, be factual not emotional and you may just end up adding a nice chunk to your … Keep reading

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Restaurant Trend Opportunity- More People Eating Snacks and Shifting Meal Times

Mealtimes are not what they used to be and as you plan your restaurant concept you might want to take that into account.

For years I’ve loved McDonald’s pancakes- since I was a kid, really- I’ve always known if I slept in late I would be out of luck since they stopped serving them after 10am. Apparently, though, I’m not the only one who wouldn’t mind getting my pancakes later in the day. And more and more people are not only willing but want to eat whatever they want to eat at whatever time they feel like it. This is causing problems for some and obviously, opportunity for others.

Before you decide what you will serve when, if that is … Keep reading

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Online Ordering Restaurant Trends

Online is coming to your restaurant ready or not. More and more people not only like to be able to place an order online through a mobile website or a specific restaurant app but they are going to start expecting it.

It still isn’t right for every concept every time but more and more you should take a serious look at adding it before simply assuming it isn’t for you.

Mobile apps versus optimized websites

We see that app customers order 35% more often than people who use mobile websites. When somebody downloads an app, they want to dedicate space on their phone to that app, so they’re a more loyal customer anyway. But, also, making the decision to download … Keep reading

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10 Pros of Restaurant Franchise Systems for New Restaurant Owners

We have a pretty extensive restaurant franchise section on our website so some of this might already be things you’ve red but it doesn’t hurt to go over the high points again if you are considering a franchise.

My personal take on them is that unless you are buying a proven concept of a reasonable size that is still in the growth stage rather than at the saturation point you might be onto something good.

On the other hand, buying an over-staturated brand, one with only small volume potential or one from a relatively small or unproven concept is not any better and very possibly worse than buying an existing restaurant for sale or starting a restaurant of your own.… Keep reading

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Restaurant Alcohol Sales Growing

Good news if you serve alcohol in your restaurant and for the restaurant business in general as predictions for next year come in. It also sounds like a good time for starting a bar if that is the direction you are leaning.

Keep in mind however the specific recommendation found in the article to pay attention to your whole beverage program. Or simply watch a few episodes of the Spike TV show “Bar Rescue” and you will see how serving mediocre drinks and/or the same thing everyone else has is going to be hurting your business.

This past weekend I went to a local venue for a wedding and was served a Mai Tai. I am not a regular drinker … Keep reading

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Build a Restaurant Board of Advisors to Fuel Success

This article is pretty close to what I recommend although it is targeted at high growth startups like tech companies versus the restaurant industry. Still, however, the general rules apply and you can definitely put this advise to good use.

In fact, I strongly suggest that having a solid board can be the difference between success and not. More so than your plan, more so than your idea, etc.

With a solid board you can work to shape these things into something that will be successful from the point you started at and this is even more true if you have limited or no experience in the industry yourself. Nothing is better at preparing you for the real world than … Keep reading

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Restaurant Training- The Secret to Restaurant Success?

The article below explains research done on restaurant failures and tries to figure out what lies behind them. Their answer is training and to a certain extent I agree. But I also know the answer you get depends on the question you ask.

The problem with laying the blame at the feet of training is that you have to look at the bigger picture. You can’t have a training plan if you don’t have a general plan.

You can’t train your people if you don’t have goals and metrics to measure their learning against to see if they got the training or not. You can’t put your money management training to use if you have no idea what successful management … Keep reading

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Eating at Your Own Restaurant: A Unique Marketing Idea

This is a good idea I haven’t seen spelled out before.

I wouldn’t do it every day but it is something you can put into practice a few times a week and use it to both get to know your customers as well as keep a better eye on your business and the quality of work coming from the kitchen and the servers.

It certainly can’t hurt and you have to eat anyway.

Many restaurant owners undoubtedly eat at their own restaurant often (sometimes more than once per day). They may eat at off-peak hours, in the kitchen, in the office, or some other location that is out of sight. I make a point of being highly visible when I … Keep reading

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Restaurant Business Improving Again

The question that often holds people back in starting a restaurant is whether or not now is a good time to do it. After all, we are in a recession and spending is down, right? Well, according to the story below spending has come back up. More importantly, my suggestion is to look at the bigger picture.

Do you plan to only be open a few months? If so, then by all means wait for those few months to happen during a boom time. But realistically, you plan to be open for years to come. Therefore, you are going to experience both good and bad times and you need to plan to offer a great and unique concept to ensure … Keep reading

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