Large brands started small, as they grew they send more and more communication to their potential market and became wold known.

Your 3-miles radius from your establishment is your zone of influence. They receive your postcards with your offer, if they see it so many times they eventually will come. Repetition is the new word-of-mouth in our electronic age. When they come, its up to you to keep them coming back with your Great Food at a fair price, Stellar Service and an Atmosphere where they feel Welcomed.

Constantly work on those three ingredients, and add communication to become the number one restaurant of your community.

Food Pictures

To show what you have to offer with a picture is great. Don’t forget: A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

If the picture is trash, it ain’t no good for you.  John Tesar of Knife in Dallas dropped a bomb with this dry-aged patty melt. It was simple, but incredible.  Look at the picture of their prized sandwich who would ever want to eat that stuff? Look at the dish how disgusting it looks.

Disgusting Sandwich

This is an example of how never to take a picture of food.

Picture lifted from Zagat

Chipolte Envy

An aberration to common business sense, Chipolte Envy doesn’t work for every body, it certainly doesn’t for a pizza joint. Several outfits have tried it with more or less success; less being prominent.

At a wanna be Chipolte, Midici in Sherman Oaks, people are lined up to the street waiting to place their orders, instead of being seated and enjoy a glass of wine. The manager thinks of getting a full liquor license to boost the business, to the contrary of common thinking––There are too many sport-bars in Sherman Oaks already. People do not go to a pizza joint to drink, the only help they should pursue is to convert to a classic pizza joint.

They have achieved a great improvement of late––It took them 2 and a 1/2 year to learn how to cook a pizza from soggy to acceptable, and not to burn the edges. Congrats!

I have a tip, don’t place the basil leaves on top of the pizza before placing the pizza in the oven, place it after the pizza is cooked this way you woud not get burnt basil leaves, Dah!

Marketing Rules for any Independent Restaurateurs

I'd love to learn how to fly.

 

1 Never invest in a program you do not agree 100%

2 Understand fully rule # 1

3 Throwing any shit against the wall and expecting it to stick is dumb

4 Understand your Marketing Plan thoroughly

5 Establish a sustainable campaign with check points on your progress

6 Correct any flaw and adjust the campaign to its best possible outcome

7 Use all gathered data of previous campaign to optimize your second campaign

8 Keep on Marketing Your Restaurant. The day you *STOP you sign your death certificate. Continue reading

Gorilla Marketing

The only place to eat

Gorilla Marketing is the epitome of the creative mind over the power of the mighty dollar. In this article, we will emphasize out of the box ways to create a Brand, and a *Culture to boost your restaurant on top of your zone of influence.

Here are the steps:

1 Recognize who are those people living in your zone of influence: A 3 miles radius (this is the only zone of influence, you have. People don’t travel more than 3 miles to go out for dinner) from your location.

2 Focus on the makeup of your potential guests (baby boomers, millenniums. According to people’s income?) Remember nobody can please everybody, this is why you have to make a survey to find out who will appreciate your establishment.

3 Establish a sustainable Marketing Plan for your budget.

You do not need a large budget to market your restaurant, you just need to be consistent. You might start as low as $500 a month. Most independents only have few ways to design a Marketing Plan. Direct Marketing, flyers, direct phone calls, collecting guests data, and keeping in touch through emails. Social media is good to a point since you reach the world and the world is not going to come to you. Your website is very important, but it cannot be a dead site like 99.99% of restaurants websites. Continue reading

U.S.P.

Rosser Reeves a pioneer in television advertising pointed out that to work, advertising had, to be honest. The product being sold had to be superior, no amount of advertising could move inferior goods. Advertising is not able to create demand where it did not exist. e.g.: If you try to sell hamburgers right across from a McDonald it might not work. To promote inferior products would only increase the number of people dissatisfied with the restaurant. To be effective with flawed products will accelerate the destruction of the BRAND. It’s a waste of money to claim uniqueness if it doesn’t exist. This is important because fortunes are made from repeat business. The money would be better spent building a meaningful advantage into one or several food items or even specialty drinks before launching a costly advertising campaign for your promotion. Continue reading

A seasoned restaurateur just opened a new restaurant, unfortunately it’s a disaster, Why?

The premises: This fellow has opened several restaurants in the Los Angeles area. His last operation was in business for more than 30 years and very successful it closed for following reasons:

Lease was coming to an end, the landlord as usual was very greedy and came up with  an imposible lease. The health department closed the place for vermin infection [not a very good medal to add to the restaurateur’s blazon.]

Although a very knowledgable restaurateur he made the same mistakes as a newbie will do. Continue reading

The Ten Commandments to Purchase an Existing Restaurant

I recommend chicken soup

I recommend chicken soup

Is this a good business? Follow those ten rules by which you have to abide with to find out.

The 10 Commandments:

Commandment #1 – Purchase the Past, Assume The Present, Buy For The Future!

  • The past financials help determine the purchase price but, they will give you a guarantee of the future income.
  • The future is up to you. You must evaluate the business for what you will be able to do with it.

Continue reading

Food to go is bigger and bigger

 

Cooking up a surprise

Cooking up a surprise

Sales of togo are steadily increasing, the forecast among professionals is a 15 to 18% of restaurant sales within 2018.

Unfortunately restaurants do not keep a close look at how orders are processed and annoying mistakes are rampant. In order to make this niche of your restaurant a profitable source of income you have to tie up the process of FOOD TO GO to your CULTURE.

We started to talk about Culture in a previous posting. There will be more on Culture coming soon. Continue reading

The Options

How much money do you need to start your dream restaurant?

There are two options:

  1. Start from scratch
  2. Buy an existing restaurant

Why should you buy someone else’s joint when you can create your own concept and be the top dude with your own kingdom?

Option 1

If you start from scratch you will need cash to do the following: Continue reading

There are different ways to look at numbers.

On your financial report whether it’s daily, weekly or his monthly P&L, add a column with each number on the report expressed as an amount per guest.

For example, if you serve 1,200 guests last week and beverage sales were $2,800, the average beverage sales per guest would be $2.34. Hourly labor cost of $3,400 would be $2.84 per guest.

What would be the advantage of looking at your financial reports this way? Continue reading

Tuesday the 14th is Valentine, turn a slow night in one of the busiest of the year.

What to do?

  • Promotion. Hopefully you have build up your database use it. Send your newsletter advertising this great event
  • Get rid of most of your 4 tops.Replace with 2 tops [that’s when it was wise to set up your table tops to be polyvalent]

Continue reading

Business Culture

The restaurant business has changed dramatically in the last 5 years.Labor shortages, minimum wage pressures, customers’ expectations on the rise, intense competition from the chains, and new technologies are some of the changes, which make the hospitality Industry more challenging.

The reason for remarkable success of  independents is Not Food, Not Service, Not Concept, Not Cuisine, Not Quality, Not Location.  The answer is with their strong and unique CULTURE!

What is a Business Culture?

Does it has to do with growing your own vegetables? It might be a good analogy after all. You as the captain of the ship (your restaurant,) is responsible to set the pace for a CULTURE Continue reading

A basic outlay of your Employees’ Manual should have at least the following chapters:

1. A statement to acknowledge an Equal Opportunity Employer

2. Background check notification (including a police check.)

3. Employee Classifications (be specific as how they will be employed, prep-cook, line-cook, sous-chef, dishwasher, hostess, bartender, back bar, etc..) Continue reading

Most Independent Restaurateurs Make those 8 deadly Mistakes 

 

The chef is an artist at heart.

1. Sharing your thoughts with friends, family members, customers and staff will prove to be much more fruitful  than trying to think alone. Ideas comes from rubbing brains against each other. Having someone to bounce ideas off and get an objective opinion is critical.

2. Why a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan will help you to navigate through the constant decisions you will have to make on the route to success. There may many ways to market your business at very low cost. A good marketing plan implemented effectively, efficiently, and consistently, will always bring positive results. Soon to come on our site our Gorilla marketing Plan. Shots in the dark, such as adds in throw-away papers, are exactly what is sounds like throw-away $.

Take example from success, McDonald has ten of thousand of stores all over the world. This is a brand recognized my billions, why do they still advertise? The answer is: Whenever they tried to slow down on their advertising programs, their income dropped considerably. If McDonald needs to advertise to keep their sales up, what do you think you need to do, for your restaurant? Continue reading

Who Is Cooking?

Definition: Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies will allow you to determine their strengths and weaknesses in relation to your own restaurant.

A competitive analysis is critical to set up a winning Marketing Plan. With a thorough evaluation, you can establish what makes your restaurant unique, and what will be your marketing angle in order to reach your market.

Place your competitors in strategic groups according to how they compete for the share of the market dollar in your area.

For each competitor or strategic group, list their **cash-cow dishes, evaluate their service, their objectives as well as their current and past strategies. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and *gross sales. Continue reading