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Summary

There are two very simple rules that I want you to live by in any business, but especially in the restaurant business. I share those in today’s video tip.

To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.

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TRANSCRIPT

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Introduction:

Today I am sharing two simple rules that you must live by to have the success you want in the restaurant business. 

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Two simple rules to live by in your business:

I want to tell you a quick story about a restaurant my wife and I went to a couple of months ago. They had just opened, had a beautiful build-out, a great location, and lots of traffic. We were driving by it all of the time. We decided to walk in at about 12:30 on a Monday or Tuesday, and the first sign we had was nobody in the restaurant, just us. Sign number two: their soda fountain wasn’t working and they’ve been open for two weeks. Sign number three: the menu didn’t exist. Honestly, that’s enough for a restaurant to close and this did restaurant close maybe a month or six weeks after that. 

Here’s the real reason the restaurant closed: the food, the build-out and the location were fantastic, but obviously they didn’t have their stuff together. When they handed me their printed out menu, because the menu board wasn’t done yet, it was complicated. The words they were using weren’t the right words for the right food, and it just didn’t make sense. We felt terrible, so we ordered some food. The food was delicious, but there was no way we were ever going back to that restaurant.

Since then we’ve tried two other new restaurants that have opened in our town and both of them have been so confusing – we literally cannot figure out the menu. My wife and I have eaten at restaurants all over the world and we’re both trained chefs. I’ve cooked for 15 years in five-star hotels…we know food. If we’re confused about a menu, it’s too complicated and taking us too long to figure it out, and we have to ask questions, then how do you think your guests is feeling? 

The two rules that I want you to live by in any business, but especially the restaurant business are very simple: 

1) Find out what your customers want. Too many times restaurants open up and the food is great, but it’s not what customers want. Either the price points, the style of services, or the style of cuisine is not what customers want. You have to find out what your customers want. 

2) Give it to them. Give what they want in a way that they want it. And in a way they can understand it. Just having good food isn’t good enough. The three restaurants that I told you about earlier – one of them has already closed the other two are dying. I don’t see how they’re going to make it much longer, or if they do they’re not making any money because no one can understand it. The food was phenomenal, I want to go back, but I had to ask so many questions to figure out how to order, what to order, and when to order it. The whole process was screwed up. Look at In-N-Out, Chick-Fil-A or Chipotle – those restaurants have it figured out. Even if you’re not in the QSR world. 

I cannot believe how many menus I look at and I can’t figure it out. I don’t know where things are, I don’t know what to order, I don’t know what I want, so you got to find out what your customer wants and give it to them. 

The best way to figure this out is to talk to your customers, sit down and have lunch with a stranger. Invite someone to your restaurant that you just met at a marketing event or seminar, or maybe a friend of a friend who’s never been to your restaurant. Invite them in for lunch and sit down with them while they’re looking at the menu and see how easily they understand it. But if people are confused or overwhelmed, they will either walk out or order the cheapest, simplest thing on your menu. This isn’t a good representation of your restaurant. Or they’ll say that they’re satisfied and they’ll just never come back because they were confused and we don’t want to be confused when we go out to eat. 

Find out what your customers want, give it to them and make it simple. We’re serving food folks, we don’t have to be doing all this crazy stuff that we’re doing. Just give them the food they want, give it to them at a great price, give it to them quickly, give it to them in a way that they want it and you’re gonna do great. I hope you enjoyed this week’s video, I look forward to bringing you another just like this next week.

Your Next Step

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