Sometimes the best advice is also the most obvious advice, but you needed someone to tell you for it to come to mind. Today’s Restaurant Startup Tip is one example. At One Fat Frog, we know that you’re aware that paying attention to your customers is important. While running around taking care of all of the problems and responsibilities that go along with owning a restaurant, however, it can be an easy thing to forget.
Take our IT guy, for example. The IT Frog has been learning about billboard advertising lately. As a result, he’s paying a lot of attention to the billboards he sees while driving around. The problem is that means looking at something other than the road while he’s driving. IT Frog knows that it is important to keep his eyes on the road while driving, but it took another car honking at him to remind him. “Yeah, I’m probably going to get in a wreck because of these billboards,” he laughed.
In the same way, for the restaurant entrepreneur it’s easy to have a laser focus on what you think the restaurant should be doing and how you think things should be going. You’ve been dreaming about this restaurant for quite some time and probably know in advance how it should go, but reality may be something different.
Pay attention to what your customers want and what they need. Is a particular menu item or category of item selling better than others? Are customers who dine outdoors enjoying themselves more than those dining inside? Do customers feel they are too crowded? Is the music too loud? Is it too dark? Is the atmosphere not kid-friendly? Is no one ordering appetizers because they are overpriced? Are you unable to accommodate large parties on short notice? This is the kind of feedback that is important to get from customers, either through observation or by simply asking them. Pay attention to these when operating your restaurant and they can be the difference between a successful restaurant startup and one that crashes and burns.
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