This list comes from The New York Times.
“Good Restaurateurs Are Always Learning.”
If you own any type of restaurant, you need to subscribe to Restaurant Startup & Growth. At $39.95 per year, it’s a steal. I rate this magazine 10 of 10.
The magazine has a great website with lots of materials essential for restaurant owners. Click on a copy of the magazine article on the right side of the magazine website home page and get a FREE copy of the magazine. Add your email address and get a FREE weekly newsletter with valuable tips for increasing your profits and running a more efficient restaurant.
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This week’s Restaurant Startup & Growth email newsletter is called “Customer Buying Habits Are Changing. Are You Adapting?”
You may own a very fancy restaurant or a less than fancy fast food establishment. We all have something in common. We are all suffering from a lack of consumer spending.
McDonald’s is benefiting from the recession. Many restaurants and fast food establishments are offering value to customers are doing very well. On the other hand, other food establishments are doing poorly and closing.
Much of the success or failure of a restaurant has a lot of do with laziness or lack or desire to change. We have a new President who based his campaign on change. In our bad economic times, it seems that “change” is the magic word. It is no longer good enough to offer good food and service. Your restaurant also needs to change in order to survive.
I live near a very successful local diner. Recently, a competitive diner opened down the road reducing revenues in the original diner by about 50%. The older diner changed some of its staff, added new chairs, a more friendly smile, added a bunch of value dinners and now offers free refills (soda and coffee). They made a bunch of minor but significant changes. The diner got back its old customer base and is now busier than ever. The diner’s profit margin has gone down somewhat, but total gross profit is up due to higher volume.
A restaurant that starts a birthday club, keeps in contact with its customers, and adds value to their menu, will overcome the temporary consumer spending reductions.
Need to assess the profitability of your menu? Go here to download Menu Engineering Worksheets:
Is it time to discount? I say never. Lots of restaurants are offering discounts to customers in order to draw them in. Once you offer a customer a discount, it’s hard to take it away. Look at the auto industry.
Restaurant Startup & Growth,
“Instead of discounting and cutting already thin profit margins, some of our
members are having success in bringing more guests through their doors by
enhancing the perceived of value of certain
It’s a great magazine and a great web site. Go to:
As the owner or manager of a retail store, you are constantly being asked to contribute to various charities and other types of organizations.
Giving to charities and helping out is a good thing. I am not advocating ending your charitable contributions, but here’s an idea that one of my favorite restaurants, The Dog House, shared with me. The idea will work with any type of retail store (restaurant or non-restaurant).
When a local organization such as a school asks for a contribution, you can turn it around. The Dog House organized a Dog House week for the school. They distributed menus to the entire school. Anyone who made a purchase at The Dog House during the week referred from the school filled out a short form. At the end of the week, The Dog House contributed 10% of their total referral sales to the school.
Better yet, you can have referral customers give their email addresses on the form and be included in future mailings.
The police, firemen, local churches, cancer, heart, and other health related charities, ASPCA, schools, baseball teams, GM (just making sure your reading this) and others are all asking for money. Most of the these causes are good causes, but many retailers just can’t keep giving. Now you have a way to turn it around. Make many of these charities into customers.
Give each charity its own week. Make up some specials, especially for members of the organization. Collect those email addresses and give back enough to make it worthwhile for the organization you are working with.
Purchases may be tax deductible. You would have to ask the proposed new Secretary of the Treasury about that.
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