Final Call...

Within a week, I’ve learned that six restaurants have closed or will be closing and one that was sold at a loss. The economy has hit all of us really hard, including those in the restaurant industry. It doesn’t matter what type of cuisine, fast casual or upscale, all restaurants are having a difficult time. I cringe when I’m watching a morning show or the news and someone is saying “don’t go out, stay home and eat.” I’m all about saving money and consumers need to save money by eating at home these days. Don't forget about the local restaurants in your area, they might not be there when the economy improves.

Consumers are looking for value right now and probably for the future too. Local restaurants should take clues from the chain restaurants and offer value added meals. McDonalds has been successful with their value meal promotions and Subway has a $5 foot long sandwich promotion too.

Hey Restaurant Owners! Take a clue from the big boys and start offering VALUE to your customers, I bet you might even see your customers more often. Having a “50% Off” promotion only hurts your business, to me that’s “Jumping the Shark” and you’ll be out of business very soon. Not many small businesses can give that much away and still stay in business.

Idea #1: Value Added: I tried to help a restaurant owner with a value meal promotion. She couldn’t afford my services, so I tried to give her some ideas. I actually wrote the value menu and pricing for her. She never tried it and her restaurant closed 3 months later.

Idea #2: Be involved in the community. If you know the people in the community and you’re involved in the community projects or hold their meetings at your place, people will take notice. Good Will is a bigger push than advertising.

Idea #3: Take care of your customers and give the best customer service. Consumers have less dollars to spend at restaurants and they want a bigger bang for the buck. Make it a reason for them to come to your restaurant and serve each person like they’re family. If you take care of them, they’ll be back and they’ll tell other people. Don’t be satisfied if you get a good review on Yelp.

Idea #4: Hire someone who knows your business, what consumers want, and combined with what you do best. If you think everything you do is the best, you have bigger issues that you realize. We all can’t be the best in everything we do.

Let’s try to help out each other during this tough economic time.


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