How To Wake Up Your Restaurant Brand and Increase Guest Count

When guests think about your restaurants, do they end up feeling sleepy because your brand looks tired?

Independent restaurant groups that lack the focus or wherewithal to update brands fall behind their competition.

One of my clients told me, “Things changed so much in the last few years, we have simply not kept up.”

It’s the restaurant company version of deferred maintenance.

To optimize revenue and profit, stop deferring and start maintaining on a schedule – just like you would catch up on deferred maintenance at your house.

When I cure this problem, my roadmap process compiles and outlines all line items and priorities in a schedule, which becomes a guidebook to renaissance and accountability.

Signs of “Sleepy Restaurant Syndrome”

Has your logo just celebrated its 20th birthday without a refresh?

Has your menu format remained the same for so long that, as one of my friends who owns over 20 units told me, you “can’t even see your menu anymore”?

You market to people who used to be frequent guests. The problem with that is you miss out on new guests with different needs, wants, and expectations.  

We don’t live in 1999, 2009, or 2019 – guests in 2024 have changed.

Your culture checks in as vague, inconsistent, and undefined, and falls short in enrolling guests and employees.

Physical plants and dining rooms could use a little love, or even more.

What the Outsider Sees

Insiders at your restaurants may find it hard to see these things, and you made all the decisions – taking elements for granted because they worked once upon a time in fairy-tale land.

I’m an outsider. I see neglect an insider misses.

2024 has not started off with great revenue. Thankfully, signs of life are emerging out there right now. 

This market has definitely exposed independent brands that have no plan for how to appeal to today’s guest, that rely instead on momentum, coasting, or memories.

You can be a winner in any environment – even in the challenged casual dining segment. Texas Roadhouse revenue increased 10% last year!


First, Pick on Somebody Else

When you address these issues correctly, you can be one of those brands that outpaces the market.

You may find it easier to see how someone else’s restaurant has become stale than to admit the same things about your own. So start there: Pick on someone else in your mind and then transfer those skills to your own brand. 

Forgive yourself for being human or waiting so long. Then jump into action to update and innovate with your offerings, marketing, branding, messaging, technology, and culture. You have plenty of time in 2024 to make progress and corrections.

Should we work together? I work with owners of successful, independent multi-unit restaurants to grow their profit, sales, guest count, and unit count. My unique approach bonds employees and guests to restaurant brands and allows owners to enjoy the freedom and flexibility they have earned. Schedule a call here and we can discuss how to achieve your biggest goals for 2024 and beyond.

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