Don’t Let Fear of a Restaurant Bubble Divert You From Success

People always talk about a possible restaurant bubble. It is human nature to worry about things that may impact our livelihoods. Owners of independent restaurant companies wonder, “Does the bubble exist? Is it about to burst? What happens when it does?”

A couple of years ago, the question really took on a life of its own here in the local press, when the Dallas Observer published “Is Dallas Building a Restaurant Bubble?” which took a couple of anecdotes and blew them up into evidence of a trend. There was a lot of posting, tweeting, and sharing of this piece.

Then, Thrillist published another piece — “There’s a Massive Restaurant Industry Bubble, and It’s about to Burst” — looking at a national perspective and painting an even bleaker picture, once again backed up only by anecdotes. And, once again, industry insiders were clicking all over this piece to share it with their friends and fellow restaurateurs on one platform or another.  That was almost 18 months ago and the bubble has not burst.

More Than Just a Chef in the Kitchen

“Chefs aren’t real estate agents,” wrote Thrillist’s Kevin Alexander, explaining his opinion on their challenges, “They aren’t lawyers or social media managers. They aren’t accountants or tax code experts or HR managers or media personalities or improve actors or CEOs.”

No kidding.

Typically, they also are not operations people, strategists, or marketers. They may not even be leaders. That is why, to have sustained success, they must surround themselves with talented people who are as good at what they do as a chef is at composing a plate and executing a menu.

I have been working on this my whole life. The challenge is not about an alleged bubble. There is a low barrier of entry in our business. If you don’t have the whole gamut of needs covered, your dreams are not going to come true.

To increase your revenue, profit, and net worth, I suggest you stop worrying about a bursting bubble and do what the best restaurateurs do: spend time every day making your restaurants better.

Four Areas of Focus for Success:

  1. Make them better for your guests through food, beverage service, and atmosphere.
  2. Make them easier to understand by making your brand stronger and clearer.
  3. Make your business more profitable by improving the way you manage.
  4. Make them a more desirable place to work by offering people more reasons to be part of what you are doing.

Once you do, you won’t have to worry about a bubble any more.