Growing sales? Growing units? Every entrepreneur I have ever known thinks about these things every day. And it turns out the people who sell to them are thinking about the same things on their behalf.
In the B to B world, vendors and suppliers come to know a great deal about the people they serve. For 2013 we focused our annual Restaurateur Issues and Challenges Survey on Texas Restaurant Association Allied members, the companies that supply restaurants. The survey is performed in partnership with the TRA. We asked the suppliers what they saw as the biggest challenges for restaurateurs, and what came back was:
- growth of same store sales,
- finding real estate for new units, and
- obtaining necessary financing.
You might find this to be counterintuitive, expecting fundamental topics like training of staff, recruiting management, and preparing for the Affordable Health Care act provisions to rank higher, but they did not.
Top business people are thinking about not only growing current sales but also building more stores. They believe that they are in control of their own future despite the daily dose of negativity that is amplified by the media echo chamber. We see that with our clients, negotiating new leases, building new restaurants, and in many cases having the privilege of choosing investors and banks. Since our clients tend to be established restaurateurs, they are having an easier time raising capital than the average operator in the industry.
Some restaurateurs, especially independents, have opportunities to use all the tools the industry has perfected to grow sales within the four walls. Also, they continue to be educated about marketing, a topic that is often misunderstood. When they improve their organizations and learn how to harness this power, guest counts increase and per person averages increase. Since those are the only two components of revenue, their life becomes easier and more enjoyable as revenues increase.