Not necessarily. Or at least, not always.
Knowing how to cook is never a guarantee of success. And we all know of restaurants with “so-so” food and recipes that have managed to create a virtual monopoly in their markets.
One thing is certain though: If your product is bad, you can’t fix it with more marketing. The product needs to be at least “okay” or “good enough.”
The food is only a small part of the equation. Your customers have a number of “wants” and “don’t wants” when they visit you. The “don’t wants” are rather basic, really:
(a) They don’t want to get poisoned;
(b) They don’t want to be ignored or — worse — talked down to or yelled at; and
(c) They don’t want to wait too long.
The “wants” are a bit more elaborate, but they are nothing that you can’t provide if you’re running what could be the beginnings of a real business:
(a) They want their entrees hot and their salads cold;
(b) They want the wait staff to be helpful yet relatively invisible; and
(c) If they are dining with someone else, they want that person to commend them for suggesting your restaurant.
Notice that the grandma’s recipe from the old country or the fancy wallpaper on the wall don’t even enter the equation yet. Nor does it matter if your recipes are authentic, exciting, or were devised by Gordon Ramsey himself — unless and until you can fulfill the basic “wants” and “don’t wants” of your clientèle.
And if you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, but we’ve got it covered; these things never happen in my restaurant,” think again.
Even the best restaurants can’t deliver on all six items with any level of consistency. They recognize this fact and they work on it daily.
Which is what makes them the best restaurants around.
Hey, did you just say, “But my business is different!”?