Multiple Perspectives Offer Opportunity for Real Change
By Fred Langley
Anyone in TheRestaurantExpert.com’sElite Group who has the privilege of hosting 20 other restaurant owners walk through their restaurant and give critiques to their restaurant has firsthand knowledge of how valuable it is to have someone with outside eyes peer into their operations.
Getting feedback from likeminded people – a mastermind group – who have experience and expertise in the restaurant business to offer input and solutions to issues you have in your restaurant can be a huge wakeup call and a breath of fresh air at the same time.
The Champion Group is the next best thing because although these restaurant owners may not be in your restaurant they are at sitting around the same table as you addressing issues and concerns with your restaurant.
Aside from a mastermind group, where else might you find feedback?
It is a must that you have a comment card in your restaurant because hearing feedback from guests and being in tune with their needs is very important. Not to mention you should be getting the names and addresses of all of your customers.
While comment cards and surveys are very important and useful, another extremely valuable activity is to put together a couple of focus groups.
I start with two:
1. One randomly selected from a list
2. One made up of your very best customers
Serve samples of new and old dishes, pour wine and ask a ton of questions. You will find out exactly why your best guests come so often and what it will take for the other group to come more often.
We all should have a clear vision of what we want our restaurant to be, but you have to remember to include your guests in that vision. After all, they are the ones who pay the bills, and you don’t want to lose sight of that.
If you would like some additional assistance in organizing a focus group for your restaurant to make sure you are on target with the needs of your community, email me.
Fred Langley is the executive chef and owner of Pizzeria DePaoli, a family style Italian restaurant in the heart of California wine country. His business is a living, breathing example of how essential systems can be to a successful restaurant. He is also a key member of restaurant expert David Scott Peters’ team as well as a member coach. His unique restaurant setup, family involvement and high standards make him an incredible asset and coach.