Running a Restaurant: Adjusting to Changes

When I’m done with work at One Fat Frog, I like to go home and watch some of my favorite restaurant and bar renovation TV shows. I admit it, I’m a nerd about it, but there’s lots of cool stuff I’ve learned. One common mistake that several of these bar and restaurant owners tend to make that leads to a failing business is the ability to change with the times.

In one of my favorite episodes of a show called “Bar Rescue,” they went to a place in Philadelphia that was a champagne bar. You remember champagne bars? Me neither. It was a trend that was hot for a while, then it went away. That bar, instead of changing, stuck with it, and lost customers in the process. Restaurants and bars need to recognize when trends, or other elements, change and shift with them.

One way restaurants can move with the times is with certain selections of food. Certain types of fish, for example, are in season during different times of the year. So if trout is in season, you put a trout special on the menu for a month or two; when it’s out of season, you take it off. Keep an eye on these trends because when they move, you need to move too.

It’s the same thing with types of businesses. Like that champagne bar I mentioned before, there’s nothing wrong with the trend, but their problem was not readjusting when the champagne bar trend went away. You can start a business with a trend, but be ready to move when the trend moves. It’s like with music; right now, Lil’ Wayne is a big name; a few months from now, that could change….and I kind of hope it does.

Trends are called that for a reason; they come and go. Be ready to move with them if you want to keep your success moving.

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