Steve in Florida is writing…
Hello, I am based in Miami and have been following the <type of concept> that seems prevalent in CA and almost non-existent here in South FL. I am a business person who is seeking to open such an establishment … I do not have experience in the food industry but would be “passionate” about starting this kind of concept here in FL. With this said, would you happen to have any advice in starting things up (other than the usual stuff such as money, etc.)… I’m looking for investors yet but more importantly… looking for some “wisdom” from veterans of the biz who have been in the “trenches”.
Okay, Steve. Congratulations on having a dream that is big and a passion for the restaurant business that is contagious.
As for the restaurant business “wisdom” piece, here’s a little something I want you to take to heart. (And it applies equally to those who are just starting out and to those who have been running a restaurant for decades.)
Here it is:
Don’t be a restaurant owner.
Be a Strategic Business Owner.
I could — and one day I will — write an entire book on this subject. Until then, here’s the “skinny” for you, the 9 traits that make your restaurant success more probable (those in the right column):
|Restaurant Owner||Strategic Business Owner|
|Spends most of the time working “in” the business||Spends most of the time working “on” the business|
|Assumes better food and service will cause customers to beat a path to his door||Has a marketing plan in place and creates special reasons for customers to come back|
|Thinks “everyone” needs his food and “everybody” should want it||Has a clear picture of “ideal customer” and knows exactly what these people want and don’t want|
|Considers the equipment in the kitchen, the furniture in the dining room, and the building the restaurant is in the biggest assets his restaurant has||Knows that the customer list is his business’ biggest asset, is a freak about adding more customers to it all the time, and follows up with them relentlessly|
|Can’t see any other way to make more profits in his restaurant other than sell more food||His mind is open to creative ways of adding more value-added goods and services that customers happily and eagerly buy|
|Is focused on building a “transactional” income||Is focused on building a “relationship” income|
|Tries to win in the marketing game all by himself||Is always on a lookout for profitable joint venture opportunities with other local businesses|
|Owns a job||Owns a real business|
Some of these may appear cryptic. Many may seem to fly in the face of the “restaurant marketing” common sense.
So they are and so they do.
We’ll expand on these in our future newsletters. Until then, print out this list and post it in a place where you’ll see it often. The more you read these, the more sense they will make to you. And the better you understand them, the greater your chances will be of creating a successful and profitable restaurant business.