Today’s ideas are like fresh produce: wonderful but perishable — and, as an independent restaurant company owner, you constantly need a new supply.
My most successful clients combine innovation with a robust social media presence to stay fresh, and make things happen. Why not look at your social media feed right now — what do you see that is new? Do you really stand out?
The Reason to Innovate
To maximize the success of your independent restaurant company, you have to move fast and constantly innovate. You need both a culture of innovation and people who can make new ideas real.
Your guests are in a constant device-fueled discussion with each other, and constantly on a search for the new and different. It’s not just shiny objects that attract us; we are naturally drawn to the new. What your guests want right now may not be the same tomorrow, so by steadily introducing the new and different, you stay relevant.
Make Social Media is Your Restaurant’s Best Friend
Twenty years ago, if someone in your position had a vision of the future we’re living in today — where there’s a mobile device in every hand with access to unlimited information, where old advertising techniques are close to useless, where everyone self identifies as an expert or foodie, and where the most important influencers are diners who contact their friends incessantly about what they are experiencing — they might think they were having a nightmare.
Now we know how to turn that nightmare into a dream. When you do things right, new, frequent, and prospective diners can be instantly motivated to dine in your restaurants. When you look at it as a dream, you become inspired to innovate, knowing that, under the right conditions, you no longer have to wait for word-of-mouth — word-of-click is faster.
4 Innovation Steps Restaurants Use to Stay On Top
- Make a list of aspects of your restaurants — including marketing, service, food, and beverage — that are new or have been upgraded in the past 90 days.
- Set a goal of the number of improvements you believe you ought to be making in order to keep things fresh and keep people interested and excited about what you are doing.
- Assign responsibility to your team to create a backlog of new ideas that can be implemented on a steady basis — with a deadline for accountability.
- When that deadline appears, prioritize new offerings and find the right people to roll them out at the pace you established in #2 above.