Embracing Change to Improve Your Restaurant’s Business


You don’t read about marketing to gain insight on maintaining your status quo, you read to learn how to improve your restaurant’s business. All of us seek out ideas, strategies, and technologies that can affect change on the success of our business. That success could be the bottom line, the well being of our employees, or the satisfaction of our customers. In any light it is improved success that we are after.

To get there we seek change, and must lead our teams to accept, embrace, and crave it.

This change after all is not change for change’s sake, it is based on several analytical studies, among them:

  • Our Organization’s Data from successful sales and failed leads.
  • Interpretation of Market Opportunities and unfulfilled demand.
  • Employee and Customer feedback from the POS interactions.

So the change I speak of is another way of saying improvement or strategic positioning.

Am I supposed to do all this for my restaurant?

If you want to improve, yes you are.

  • You should be using the sales data on menu items to sort through the winners and losers, you should be tieing that data into the food cost of each menu item so you can emphasize the winners and work on the losers. Also how many private dining requests came in last month, how many did you book, what was the reason that those that did not book decided to go elsewhere?
  • You should be looking at your city like a consumer; to decide if there is a market opportunity. Like a town that had lines out the door for Sunday breakfast might cry out for an affordable brunch.
  • You should be constantly getting feedback from employees about what the customers are asking for, what they are loving, and what they were not so keen on.

Yes, these things will guide you to the points of change that you need to make, to keep your business getting better, growing, and becoming more successful.

Did someone say #Brunch today? Andolini's gets it going at 11am... #Andover

Employees often resist Change, your job is to lead them through it.

One of the hardest parts of doing something new is that it is unproven, and those who rely on a paycheck based on the current way of doing things often resist and/or subconsciously sabotage the new process. An entrepreneurial leader is one who will face the unknown, take a leap of faith in the decision that was made, and have earned the faith of the company’s employees so that they too believe and will work toward a successful change.

You must build an environment that allows you and your employees to connect with each other over the opportunity ahead of you, an environment that is sustained by trust.

Your employees are your most valuable resource, the genesis of your organization’s strength, and the greatest determinator of your success. You should engage them in the changes you make, let them take part in the determination of what ultimately is the final change, and also reap some of the benefits of the success you foster together.

In this way you are not their Boss, you are investing in them as a partner, and you engage with them on a level of mutual dignity. That should be the goal.

Next: Explain the Change to Your Audience.

Your audience, in truth, is a combination of the following groups:

  • Your current customers
  • The potential customers that exist in your market
  • Your employees

Some of your current customers may be adverse to change and the unknown that it brings. They may be attached to something that is changing or taken out of their comfort zone for another reason by the change. It is important to be clear and direct, avoiding ambiguities and outlining the positives of the change.

On the other hand your potential customers first need to hear about the change so that they know about this new offering that is aimed at them. When they hear about it, you should have the reasons outlined why they will love it, told from their perspective. Why is this what is missing from their lifestyle?

The employees are your ambassadors, they will be face to face with customers when they are asked what the Change is all about. If you do not give them the information they need, your change will be a muddled mess of interpretations not based on anything other than speculation. This is a major fail on your part.

Here is an example of how I addressed a major Change at my Restaurant to all these groups: http://andolinisrestaurant.com/brunch/

In Short, Change is a Challenge which when conquered results in Success.

What does your business need? I would love to talk about it.