How Restaurateurs Create Superior Results Through Understanding Their Segment

Every night, before my daughter goes to sleep, I tell her, “Always be yourself.” I know that — when she knows who she is — shiny objects will not distract her. I deliver a similar message to independent restaurant company owners.

Oprah Winfrey made billions helping people “live their best life.” You can make millions in the restaurant business by focusing 100% on making your restaurants the best version of themselves.

Why You Should Be a Power Hitter

None of my clients ever went into business to be average. Baseball players — in a business where even the good ones fail two-thirds of the time — don’t hit for average; they hit for power. So should you.

In the past, I have heard many restaurateurs excuse their slow same-store growth, citing massive amounts of competition in their markets. It is true: there are a lot of seats coming on line in major restaurant markets and it has been harder to get gains than it was in the past. Some people even show me national statistics to prove that their anemic growth or decline is just part of a trend and not their fault. Also true: the market as a whole is challenging.

Don’t Sit Still!

A lot of people sit still, thinking consumer spending will shift in the future.    It doesn’t always work that way.

Operators, who are seemingly satisfied with standing still, do not see what I see. One of my clients had 7% same-store growth last year while everyone else was grinding out 2%. I know why.

My best clients understand their segment, who they are competing with, and why their guests choose to dine with them instead of the competition. Once they figure that out, their decision making process is crystal-clear.

Here is what it takes to get there:

  1. Examine your segment
  2. Understand how your offerings differentiate from others in your segment — and what makes you special.
  3. Give your guests what they want and win over other new guests who are currently frequenting operations that are close to what you offer.
  4. Tell the world about it.