Why Help the Restaurateur?
Serving those who serve
Why am I passionate about helping the restauranteur? After serving in the military for 23 years, why would I now choose to work with restaurateurs and quick-service franchisees? The answer is quite simple: I want to continue to serve by serving those who serve! Can you think back to some quick-service restaurant that broke the monotony of your day-to-day? What fast-casual dining restaurant answers the age-old question of “what’s for dinner?” Food remains integral to building relationships, our country’s economy, our culture, and our way of life. The restaurant industry is one of the most dynamic, cut-throat, and often unappreciated sectors in today’s marketplace.
GUTS – Radical Courage
It is no easy road to be an entrepreneur entering such a demanding industry. It takes real GUTS—radical courage—to join such a space. Food expenses are rising. Operating costs, to include the rising cost of wages, are a challenge. The increasing price of leased real estate is a looming foe. In addition to these costs, the complex nature of marketing, sales, and communication make running a restaurant no easy task. Never mind trying to infuse a level of sustainable growth.
In the NRA’s 2019 State of the Industry Report, they highlighted five key trends that continue to be at the forefront of the challenge:
- A competitive business environment.
- Staffing as a top challenge.
- Pent-up [customer] demand remains elevated.
- Technology incorporation continues.
- Food preferences continue their rapid evolution.
Past performance does not dictate future success
Unfortunately, these trends do not soften the statistics of the past two decades either. As you often hear it said, past performance does not dictate future success, but hindsight makes it clear that it is a significant challenge to be a successful restaurateur in today’s environment. The numbers are staggering, with no relief in sight. Research has estimated some 60% of restaurants don’t survive their first year; Anywhere from 70-85% of restaurants either change the owner’s hands or go out of business in the first five years according to a 2005 study. And personnel turn-over within the restaurant space is commonly observed to be as high as 70% annually. There is much to be gained as a restaurateur. However, it takes something special to not only survive but grow.
How can I serve you best?
I have spent the past six months transitioning from my career in the Army and thinking about this VERY blog. My aspiration: how can I serve YOU best? I have visited a countless number of quick-serve and fast-casual dining restaurants. I have watched and spoken to the men and women who are doing it, day-in and day-out, and my hats off to you!
Three action steps
Here are three small things that may serve you well in your endeavor to be the best in your business:
- Take deliberate time to reflect on this year’s five trends, and rate your restaurant? How are you doing in those challenge areas?
- Rank order them. Which presents you with the most formidable challenge? Is it staffing? Are you meeting customer demands? Are you integrating the newest tech? Is it staying food-relevant? Rank-order them, one to five.
- Do ONE thing about the top three. You can’t fix everything, but you certainly can do one to three tangible tasks to make your business better today.
You can do IT!
Don’t know where to start? Please feel free to reach out. You can do IT. Whatever IT is.