Recent years have redefined our value systems. The debate of "recession" will depend on which part of the country you are in. Those who are innovative and open minded will not only survive but thrive as they adapt to the new culture and re-invent their restaurant marketing plans.
Those who continue to repeat old patterns will struggle and resort to trying to out-working issues instead of out-thinking them. Instead of focusing on rising food costs, rising minimum wage, customer purchasing power and the like... my preference is simply to look more closely at you, your team, your business, and your community.Whether times are good or bad, there are three methods of improving sales:
- more customers
- customers spend more with each visit
- customers return more often.
Evaluate what is GREAT about your business. What are you so proud of that you want to tell everyone you meet? Is it a product, service or both?
One of the best sources for this is your customers. Those who are most successful in the restaurant business have their finger on the pulse of those they come in contact with.
Are you in need of an evaluation tool? Click Here for free restaurant forms.
If you are unable to hear any good things come from the mouths of those you serve and your restaurant is simply functional, its time for more thought about your identity. Even being a part of the franchise community is no guarantee for success. The internet has become a tool and there are many trade magazines.
Each state has its own restaurant association and becoming a member can bring you big benefits and provide support for cost reduction, training, collaborations, etc. Link to National Restaurant Association Here >
To keep your customers feeling great about your business, add something new & different about every 60 days.
If you observe shoppers in the grocery store or visit Google with "hot food trends" there is much to learn.
Here are hot trends to consider:
- Gluten free
- Eco-Friendly Foods
- Wheat free
- Sugar free
- or alternative sweetener options
- Fresh, local grown
- Healthy menu
- soups, salads, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are examples of these healthy foods that multitask
- "Biggest loser" Watching weight menu
- when a TV show is made about eating, it should perk your interest
- Vegan (Vegetarian)
- the definition of gourmet can get lost so caution is needed
- this includes the exotic grains such as amaranth, quinoa, teff, millet, and Kamut which are becoming more popular
- Foods that are safe
- Prebiotics and Probiotics
- i.e. Yogurts and other foods have "friendly, bacteria which is beneficial and the consumer's awareness of this is growing
- Bold flavored foods:
- like goji berries, yumberries, pomegranates, blood oranges, colored and flavored salts, and grains such as red rice, amaranth, and black quinoa.
- Low Salt
Since technology is providing more food processing optons and choices for importing continues to grow, the choice to have your personal palet pleased is the all around.
What is your community interested in? What type of customer frequents your restaurant?
Meet with your staff. Your staff can be the most valuable asset you have as they connect with each guest.
If the goal is to attack the "recession", the rising costs and lower consumer resources, determine what you can offer to keep you in the game.
Summary of ACTION ITEMS:
- Evaluate your business with restaurant marketing forms.
- Have products to meet the needs of your customers that sets you apart from other restaurants.
- If you need help, watch what people buy in grocery stores or Google resources.
- Consider becoming a member of your restaurant association.
- Meet with your staff, they have good insights.