Ideas and thoughts for the Restaurateur Client
Two weeks later NPL had our second meeting with the client. After reviewing the average income of the town, educational levels, art and festival venues and general demographics, NPL realized that it was impossible for this type of restaurant to sustain itself in this location. Our first suggestion was, due to the location of the restaurant, that we didn’t feel it was possible for her to accomplish her goals while ensuring profitability.
Our suggestion: She should close her restaurant and return to Charleston. She could manage a local restaurant and then try again at a later point. The client was not happy with this suggestion and dismissed it.
The client argued that her restaurant was a pillar of the community. And that it was important to stay in Hampton because so many other companies had recently closed in the town. She had also fallen in love with the town. The client asked NPL to come back with more suggestions in two weeks.
I know that we all like to dream that anything is possible, but sometimes your need to take a cold shower and open your eyes to reality. In this case, a bad location was just as bad as having no location. Too often, we have seen intelligent companies failing because either poor product positions or they have a poor location. And when you ask people why they haven’t repositioned their business/ product it always comes down to their being a little hard-headed.
People say, “We know the people,” “We are still making money,” “We owe it to the community” or “When we first opened here the location was wonderful.” What most people mean to say is, “We didn’t plan far enough ahead and didn’t realize pay attention to what was happening in our communities. But now we think it is too late to change.”
No matter whom you are (manager, account exec, CEO, President, mechanic or consultant) you need the ability to convince people that you know what you are talking about, and not make them feel stupid in the process. I say this now, but then I was just out of University, and I tended to speak before thought.
No matter what the size of your company you should always be aware of changes in the environment around you. Being passive, indecisive or reluctant to look to the future is just as detrimental as making uninformed decisions.
Sometimes we have to stare the facts right in the face and realize that the world is ever-changing. And if we aren’t willing to change and make difficult decisions then we will be left behind.
The second of a three-part blog. Next time we will discuss, ‘how do we keep the client in business?’ And we have a few thoughts for our conclusion.