Small Business Academy

11 Oct

10/10/2011

 

Q: You own a pub or a restaurant. You are struggling to stay alive. Where do you turn for help? What help do you need the most? If you are in this situation and you feel that there is a chance that your business will not survive for very much longer, what do you think you need to do to stay afloat? Who do you turn to for some sound advice? How do you understand why your business is suffering?

First let me start by saying that what applies to your industry will also apply to many other types of small businesses as well. However, for the moment let’s speak specifically to your type of business. Often restaurateurs forget that their guest come for a dining experience not just a bite to eat. This is true if you are a small diner or a four star gourmet restaurant. How you serve your guest is just as important as what you serve. Making an adjustment here usually cost nearly nothing but can render multiple blessings of revenue, branding, and publicity. Use your imagination and be creative. If you need some specific help go to my website (AlexzandraD.com) and click on the Ask Alexzandra tab to send me a message. I will be happy to help you with ideas for your specific business.

The second part to the dinning experience and perhaps the most important is that the dining area, bathrooms, and kitchen must be spotless at all times. It is a well know fact that McDonald’s attributes the success of their best performing restaurants to the cleanliness of their bathrooms which are completely scrubbed and stocked each hour. Take a close look at your dining area, in the corners, on top of picture frames, and door posts. Cleanliness should be maintained at all times and especially when you are busy. Each guest should have a spotless place to eat before they are seated.

Now, let’s talk about making money and that means we are going in the kitchen. If your food is lousy or presented poorly nothing else you do will matter. Not knowing the type of restaurant yours is makes this a little difficult, but I have a few ideas that may help you. First of all, if you are in the food industry you know that we eat with our eyes first so presentation is key. A true chef can do amazing things even with a hotdog. Of course, the next thing is the quality of your food. Organic food tends to have better flavor and aroma but can also be a bit pricey. If you are barely staying afloat as it is you might be tempted to cut corners but I wouldn’t suggest it. Instead turn it into a business opportunity. Contact a local organic farmer in your area. Your farmers market would be a good place to start. Try to strike a deal with the farm and do the following. Ask the farmer to provide you with the very finest of their current crop in exchange for a publicity event at your restaurant. Invite the local press, food critics, chamber members, church groups, civic groups, city council members, and anyone else you can think of to a one night only event. Ask the farmer to be present and provide a place card about his farm and where the public can buy his food for each table. What is good for the farmer is good for you. You generate publicity, branding, and revenue all in one shot. The farm provide the food which reduces your expenses and you provide the service and publicity which aides the farmer as well.

I hope this has helped and inspired you. If you need more in depth help please feel free to contact me on my website.  I would also strongly suggest that you order or download a copy of The Princeton Principle.  You will find a lot more detailed information than what I can provide to you here.  For more free business success tips, tools, and support go to AlexzandraD.com.  Good luck and I wish you continued success.

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