Today’s lesson is to stay relevant. What are you doing in your place? Are people still coming in and excited by what they see? If not, you may want to take a look around to see what is happening out there.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but people are actually getting younger–not older. They want stuff that is new. Stuff that is hot. Stuff they can post on Instagram for all their friends to see how important they are.
My wife often has business associates who come to town from New York, from San Francisco, from Los Angeles, and when they hit Portland, they have already done a lot of research on where the new hot restaurant is, and that is where they want to go.
What is hot? Have you ever used the google to see what the current hospitality trends are? You might want to. What is the market telling you?
Craft cocktails are hot? You should add them to your repertoire. Small bite desserts are hot? Change your approach. Wouldn’t you rather sell 2 of those small $5 desserts to a table than 1 $8 dessert to a table? It’s called check average. The difference between being successful and staying open, and struggling and closing.
Wine pairings? This one comes and goes. When the trend is up, why not work out a program that makes sense for your restaurant?
This is one of my 10 reasons why restaurants fail.
I am not advocating a constant shift in what you are trying to do. That would only confuse your customers. But, staying relevant, providing things that people want is not necessarily drifting from your mission.
I am just suggesting that you morph a little bit. Why not? People are asking for it. People are willing to pay for it. Are you so stuck in your routine that there is no more room for creativity? There is no room left to try something new?
Stay true to yourself, and then look for ways to keep that old self fresh.