The first part of this post covered the 4 keys of “Creating a Great Restaurant Concept”. The second part of the Restaurant Formula involves 6 Critical Success Factors.
While your Concept is important, it will only attract customers if it is executed effectively. There are six Critical Success Factors for executing a great Concept. Most restaurant failures happen because they are not executing well on these factors. Having a powerful Concept combined with excellence in execution is a winning combination.
FOOD – SERVICE – ENVIRONMENT – EXPERIENCE – LOCATION – PRICE
Of course, your food is the foundation of your entire
restaurant. People want to eat food that tastes good, is
consistent, and is accurately made. If you don’t provide this,
people probably won’t be back
Many restaurant owners underestimate the value of good service. Good service makes your food taste better, your prices lower, your environment cleaner, and your location more convenient. Research shows that when your service is excellent, consumers perceive that everything else is better. And, importantly, their intent to return is much higher.
Great restaurants find repeatable ways that their staff can create surprising service. Make great service part of the DNA of your restaurant.
Even in a chain, the environment can vary dramatically from one restaurant to the next, even hour by hour. Is your environment clean, and do guests see the staff cleaning consistently? Are the bathrooms clean? Is the trash empty? Is the music at the right level? We get used to being in the restaurant because we’re in there every day, day in and day out. Guests see it through different eyes. They only see our environment briefly, so everything stands out. Not only will they notice, they’ll take pictures and post them on social media if they see something particularly bad. On the other hand, a clean, inviting environment will make them want to come back frequently.
Creating a memorable experience turns customers into fans. When that happens, they share pictures, stories, and come back often. Your experience has partly to do with your environment, partly to do with your service, and partly to do with your food. It engages your guest on an emotional level. Great experiences don’t happen by accident; you have to create them. When a guest leaves your restaurant, what is the experience that you want him or her to repeat to others?
Yes, your restaurant may already have a location that is not changeable in the short term. But how do you leverage the location you are in? Who is around you? How are you delivering an experience that is perfect for their needs?
This section could also be called “value.” The prices you can charge are directly related to the value that your customers get from everything you do. Value can be enhanced or reduced by everything in your Restaurant Formula. Your goal should be that every element in the Formula adds to the value you deliver. Value isn’t just one element. It’s not just portion size, or food quality; it’s the whole package.
This article was written by Gerry O’Brion, creator of the Restaurant Formula Series.