Category Archives: Operations

Top 10 Reasons for Bar / Restaurant Failure and 5 Solutions

UPDATED :: In over 10 years as a key player in more than 40 successful openings and long term success of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, I have seen a lot of competitors fail.  As much as I’d like to claim we “killed the competition,” often they actually kill themselves, sometimes before they even open.

Following are the Top 10 key reasons bars, restaurants and nightclubs fail. We are currently offering a free consultation to help in any areas needed!

TOP 10 REASONS FOR FAILURE

(1) The restaurateur/owner does not understand what business they are actually in. Their fantasy does not match the reality of running a successful operation. No one thinks they can hang a sign and have a dental practice with no training because they brush their teeth every day, but many people think they can launch and run a restaurant or bar because they like to go out for dinner and drinks, or maybe they worked in a bar for a while.  There’s much more needed to succeed.

(2) Typically when developing the restaurant too much is spent on construction, equipment and decor and not enough on staffing, training and marketing. Many new owners love to spend on “things” and are reluctant to spend on people which are the #1 key to a good guest experience.

(3) Careful research is not done prior to opening on politics in the community, and vital relationships are not forged with people in local power positions (over your liquor license and inspections for example!) Particularly, beverage driven venues can set themselves up for constant trouble from authorities once they are open. “Connected” experts are needed on the team, as no single person or owner knows enough about the various players and issues. This is survival stuff that all too few pay enough attention to!

(4) Concept Development is not led by someone with a successful track record of launching multiple bars and restaurants, so the right concept is not chosen to fit the demands of the market and the team fails to maximize the best opportunities to make money at the particular site and in the various desired target markets.

(5) Four walls marketing (inside the venue) and generating repeat business are given minimal attention when they should be the most important two parts of the marketing mix after opening.

(6) Lights, music, atmosphere (temperature/comfort) are not consistent and appealing. These are simple basics yet hard to maintain. Circling back to point (1), many who open restaurants don’t realize it’s the details that make or break you.

Continue reading Top 10 Reasons for Bar / Restaurant Failure and 5 Solutions

In N Out, not just great burgers, but a great place to work!

Proud to see a restaurant chain ranked “Best Place to Work,” top restaurant and #8 out of every company in the US by a site specializing in reviews by actual employees, Glassdoor.com.
Thanks to @adamlapetina and @Thrillist for the reporting and cheers to @innoutburger for the excellent burgers and working conditions!

Learn how to survive Obamacare from restaurants that started it early.

Learning from early adopters:  Illuminating article on the ACA from RestaurantBusinessOnline.com.

“Don Fox was busy designing a health-insurance plan for his workers when he got an unexpected reprieve from Uncle Sam: an extra year. Unlike many of his colleagues, he decided not to take the delay.

Before Obamacare’s rules kicked in, he wanted to shake down his insurance program, to find out how it would hit his operations and his bottom line.     …

For at least some early adopters, Obamacare may not be the apocalypse they had dreaded. “The numbers have generally gone down from what people feared would be the worst-case scenarios,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association. There are several reasons, say benefits consultants.

One is that many employees just don’t sign up. Thirteen percent are covered under spouses’ or parents’ plans, according to the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Others decide it’s cheaper to pay a tax penalty for going uninsured than to pay their share of premiums. “You’ve satisfied the obligation to offer the coverage,” says Keith McMurdy, benefit-plan attorney with Fox Rothschild in New York City. “There’s no requirement to force people to be covered.”

Some insurers are softening the blows, too, by offering lower-cost options tailored to restaurants. “Insurance companies have been nimble,” says Gary Levy, hospitality-practice partner with accounting firm CohnReznick in New York City. “They’ve gone out and designed plans that meet the act’s requirements that are very affordable.”

Speaking of work hours, millions of restaurants will need to start tracking them in January, even if they’re not yet offering insurance. That’s because they’ll have to report those 2015 hours to the IRS, to document who’s eligible. Michelle Neblett, director of labor and workforce policy for the NRA, recommends making sure your payroll system is set up to gather the numbers. “You’ll have a hard time if you wait to rebuild this data at the end of next year,” she says. “This is a massive hidden compliance cost, which a lot of people are not paying attention to.”

Try to remove whatever uncertainties you can, experts say, because there will be plenty remaining that are out of operators’ control—such as 2016 insurance rates, most of which won’t be set until next fall. By then, NRA lobbyists hope Congress might raise the definition of full time to 40 hours. That would exempt another 21 percent of restaurant staff from employer mandates, according to UC Berkeley Labor Center figures.”

Read the entire article here.  And thanks to RestaurantBusinessOnline.com, a great site and resource for F&B information and guidance!

 

 

A Nasty Lawsuit at Chicago Hot Spot “The Purple Pig.”

One of the hazards of the cash-based and personality-driven restaurant and bar business are disputes over money, accounting, and partnership agreements. This scandal at the Purple Pig is a prime example to learn from, involving some of the biggest restaurant players in Chicago.

Opening or operating a bar or restaurant?  Got partners?  Want to set up partnerships, management companies or LLCs?  Leverage the expertise of A-List Marketing and you could save yourself problems like this in your future.  Contact us for a free strategy session …

Here’s the Purple Pig saga, thanks to Peter Frost of Crain’s Chicago Business.

 

#Chicago #Food #Business #Crains #Legal #News

Don’t Let Mobile Pass You By

The TechCrunch article below is hugely applicable to our hospitality business. Restaurants/Bars/Nightclubs/Hotels, how are you going to leverage the move by consumers to mobile? Diners, what do you want from the hospitality business on mobile? Big questions sure to generate some market moving answers – the tipping point is now.

Apple Pay will finally bring phone payment to most restaurants.

It will take a few years as Apple Pay is only available on the newest iPhones, and restaurants are slow changing beasts indeed.  But this is good enough that it will be the tipping point. Customers want to pay by phone now!

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Tim Cook of Apple announces Apple Pay showing an example of using the Apple Watch for touchless payment.