Don’t Try to Be More

That’s right. Just be who you are and don’t try to be more than that. It will only lead to trouble. I gave the same advice to my daughter when she left for college. It is in line with the Greek credo: “Know thyself, nothing in excess.”

Who are your customers?

It starts here. Who are your customers? What do they want to buy? What are they willing to pay? Know your target market.

Once you have identified your customer, you can now create a product that will interest them. But, once you have done that, you need to stay with that and not shift around. In a much older post, I identified the 10 reasons why restaurants fail. One of those is, ‘mission drift’.

(It is part of #2–no clearly defined market or product).

Mission Drift

Too often restaurants drift away from their original idea. Trying to be too many things to too many people. It doesn’t work.

Bob Farrell, the old time ice cream parlor guru said long ago, “If you are mediocre, stay mediocre, don’t confuse them.” The same logic explains McDonald’s.

Say what you want about McDonald’s, but they continue to bring in billions of dollars every year. One of the secrets (besides portion control), is that they know what they are, and stay consistent with that.

Know thyself

So, I say again, identify your target market, give them what they want, and then stay on task.

Now, I am not saying that you can’t shift a little. It might be time to add a happy hour even though you have never done that before. Maybe now would be a good time to add some signature cocktails to your offerings.

Late nite menu?

Early dinner specials? Those things can still be done without really changing what you are about. No reason why you can’t try to attract new customers. It is actually possible to attract new customers without changing who you are, or what you are about. You can even do it without losing your existing customers.

In my experiences in the restaurant business, if we ever changed what we knew to work, just to accommodate a customer, it usually backfired on us.

Know what you are about, know what works in your space, and then stay consistent with that. There is a reason why you were doing it in the first place.

Remember what that reason was, and get back to it! Your customers will appreciate it.



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