Potential upside in a downturn?

November 16, 2008

The upside of a downturn . . .

Despite the gloom and doom of the financial news, this could actually be a good time for wise restaurant operators. Just consider:


People have to eat


Designer kitchens and Williams-Sonoma catalogs notwithstanding, many of your customers don’t do that much cooking. Hectic schedules and over-programmed children leave little time for preparing and serving a meal. Make sure that you are convenient and easy to use. You will be rewarded.


People want to drink


Alcohol sales have traditionally surged during tough economic times. Open your 401k statement, drown your sorrows. ‘Nuf said.


Misery loves company


A gathering place that provides warmth, food and beverage, and congeniality has a special appeal during tough times (“Cheers” premiered during the recession of 1980 – 1983)


Good people are looking for work


A career as a cook, bartender or waiter looks awfully appealing to many mortgage brokers, bankers, or stockbrokers. Use this as a time to upgrade your staff.


Costs might be actually dropping


Oil prices are down. Delivery surcharges should follow. Many of the increases that we have seen in the world commodities markets may be leveling out – – or actually dropping. Pay attention and purchase wisely.


Loyalty takes on a special meaning


Customers don’t want to risk their dining dollars. They will return to the restaurants that have taken good care of them in the past. Find a way to stand out while your competitors are cutting back. Try a new promotion. Mix up your menu offerings. Embrace regulars.

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