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 The biggest mistakes restaurants make

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Dr of BBQ

  • Total Posts: 3716
  • Joined: 10/11/2004
  • Location: Springfield, IL
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The biggest mistakes restaurants make Mon, 01/13/14 6:36 PM (permalink)
The biggest mistakes restaurants make. This is an excellent article explaining why Good/great food and/or service is NOT the answer!
The restaurant business is tough. Everyone in it knows it. Everyone looking to get in it ignores it.
The cold fact of the matter is that opening up a restaurant may be one of the worst investments you could make with your money. That’s a horrible, sobering statement coming from someone like me who’s in the business of helping restaurants succeed, but it’s the truth. Most restaurant fail. Oh, the failure rate isn’t the “90%” you may have heard from friends and family, but according to Cornell University, and the National Restaurant Association, 60% of restaurants fail within the first three years of operation. After five years, the number might be as high as 75%.

    • Total Posts: 6227
    • Joined: 3/22/2003
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Mon, 01/13/14 7:04 PM (permalink)
    None of my restaurants ever failed.  But I was only the chef.  There was also the awesome owner of the building and our outstanding dining room manager.  It's mostly about the food.......why else would you go to a restaurant?  But it's also the service and the ambiance.  We had a 3 hour wait for a table.  Something was working right.
      Dr of BBQ

      • Total Posts: 3716
      • Joined: 10/11/2004
      • Location: Springfield, IL
      • Roadfood Insider
      Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Tue, 01/14/14 8:36 AM (permalink)
      Reread this section again"
      Certainly there has to be some sort of magic formula you can follow to make sure your restaurant gets these incredible returns, isn’t there?
      Unfortunately….. no. There is no magic formula. Experienced operators have businesses go belly up every day, and just as often, novices open up with no clue of what they’re doing, and make a killing.
      And I might add If just one person had the formula on success for a restaurant they would sell it for a zillion dollars and retire from the business.
      But the reason I posted the story/link was it shoots a big hole in what is posted by 90% of the new posters here wanting to get into the business. And that is as follows:They all promise "I will provide Great food and Great service."
      But Brandon points out that isn’t the reason someone is going to try your restaurant. Having great food and/or service is not a UNIQUE selling point. While you may honestly believe that your food is better than your competition’s, I guarantee you your competition thinks the same thing, and they are telling everyone they know. This means that your promise that your food is better sounds just like the message of every one of your competition.
      But copy and save the article read it again and again do your research on a unique selling point and you'll be miles ahead of the next guy that is going to just promise, I will provide Great food and Great service..
        Dr of BBQ

        • Total Posts: 3716
        • Joined: 10/11/2004
        • Location: Springfield, IL
        • Roadfood Insider
        Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Tue, 01/14/14 9:53 AM (permalink)
        Let me share a story about a unique selling point. I used to be on the board of directors of a national association. We would meet in a different large city every quarter.
        One meeting was in Chicago and after the meeting we went to The Pump Room (1301 N State Pkwy, Chicago)
        The association always paid for dinner and drinks and we ate and drank the best.
        When we were seated and had our first round of drinks, the maitre d approached the table with menus and asked if anyone at the table would require a special service. I said yes I drink Bud Light and never wanted my bottle to be empty, which was a long standing joke among the group. He said ok.
        A few minutes later a 14 year old looking red headed kid with freckles walked up to the table with a big tub of iced beer (my brand) and set it right behind me, on a kitchen cart. That kid never moved during the 3 + hours we ate and drank except to open beer for me and remove the empty's. We had a great time, good food and you know I gave the kid a $50.00 tip. I'll never forget that night great food, great friends, and the 14 year old bartender LMAO. And I go back when ever I'm in Chicago.  That's a unique selling point.

          • Total Posts: 118
          • Joined: 9/25/2013
          • Location: Delaware
          Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Sat, 01/18/14 1:24 PM (permalink)
          Awesome info thanks for posting!

            • Total Posts: 9551
            • Joined: 9/1/2006
            • Location: Gilbert, AZ
            Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Sat, 01/18/14 2:59 PM (permalink)
            And that's why the Pump Room is still in Business. It's a totally unique experience.
            Some restaurants just develop and nurture a "Karma". It could be a hot dog stand or a Top of the Line place. They range from a Portillo's to a Peter Luger's.
            Many of the places that have been covered here on Roadfood have that "Karma". Their names appear over & over again. I've read several articles similar to the one the Good Dr. cited and the failure rate for restaurants is not much different than other small business startups.

              • Total Posts: 4
              • Joined: 12/29/2013
              • Location: negeri sembilan, XX
              Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Sat, 02/1/14 8:05 PM (permalink)
              Thanks for a great article. Its true about having a large menu. In Malaysia a high percentage of people open restaurants with a large menu. They don't have the unique selling point.What the next shop sells they will sell.
              So they have high inventory. The kitchen cant cope, food quality drops, they loose regulars and eventualy they close. I have seen some restaurants very successful only selling one or two items their speciality.

                • Total Posts: 2
                • Joined: 2/3/2014
                • Location: Southport, NC
                Re:The biggest mistakes restaurants make Mon, 02/3/14 9:12 AM (permalink)
                Thanks for posting this. I have been following this forum for several years. This thread nails what so many in business, let alone raunts, miss. You have to connect with your customer. I like what Foodbme said about developing 'Karma'. I have worked for a company that tried so many programs, just to see what sticks. And in the end, it failed. The company failed and all those attempts to find one program to stick on the wall failed. Haphazardly trying to go along operating a business hoping it works is a recipe for failure. O'dell hits on several huge keys in his blog. This wanna be restauranteur is grateful to this community.
                <message edited by Puddlejumper06 on Mon, 02/3/14 11:25 AM>
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