Tag Archives: restaurant

Location, Location, Location – Bad locations are just as bad as no location (Part 3 of 3)

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Conclusion

NPL had their last client meeting two weeks later. The following were our final proposed ideas:

Repositioning – Consider changing the theme of the restaurant to something that the patrons can identify with. While paintings by Jonathan Green may be beautiful and colorful, the people in Hampton, SC may identify with more traditional art. Pick pieces that can help to generate a local atmosphere.

Change the look and possibly the items offered in the menu. Not everyone is going to be interested in having fresh New England clam chowder, but they might be interested in simple shrimp and grits.

Qualitative marketing research – A simple questionnaire or even non-focused face-to-face discussions with her patrons while they are eating could provide powerful insights. From what patrons like and don’t like to community groups and how her restaurant could become involved.

Community outreach – NPL strongly suggested that she become involved with the local schools, farmers and government officials. She could offer the restaurant as a meeting place or possibly special discounts for target groups. NPL thought that it would be a nice idea for the home economics class to have a lock-in at the restaurant to learn about cooking.

The client stated that while these were all good ideas that they simply didn’t have the time or money to invest in these changes.

The restaurant eventually closed and the client returned to Charleston to manage a successful five star restaurant.

Location was more important than accessibility 

Blocked in on all sides

Sometimes location can be very important, but other times a poor location can be just as bad as no location. Think about that the next time you are organizing your offer or looking to open a new location.

Part 1 – Bad locations are just as bad as no location
Part 2 – Bad locations are just as bad as no location

Soon to come… How product placement and location can be used to be brilliant for your audiences.



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Location, Location, Location – Bad locations are just as bad as no location (Part 2 of 3)

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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.

Part 1 – Bad locations are just as bad as no location

Location, Location, Location – Bad locations are just as bad as no location (Part 1 of 3)

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Most of us have been taught the importance of location and placement. You wouldn’t go to a grocery store if you found the cereals in the freezer section or the beer on several different aisles. But that is exactly what happens when your business or product has a poor location or placement.

I remember that about four years ago a woman approached Newman Partnership Ltd. (NPL) for a market research project for her restaurant. The restaurant was located in a small town outside of Charleston, SC. And she wanted to know why her restaurant was failing. She had been a successful restaurant manager, but this was her first personal endeavor.

It only took me about 15 minutes of observational research to understand the trouble. She had opened a four star restaurant in a two star town. While the menu was reasonably priced, the atmosphere was extremely artistic. And the only people dinning there were wearing flannel shirts and baseball caps for John Deer.

The client explained to NPL that business was only really booming during a single time in the year, the Hampton County Watermelon Festival. But during the rest of the year she could barely stay in business.

Although I already knew the answer to her problem, I asked that she give me a few weeks to do some research, think about her problem and develop a few options.

(Lloyd N. Newman’s , founder of the Newman Partnership Ltd., favorite answer, “Let me think about it.”)

This is the first of a three-part blog. Next time I will discuss the initial ideas that Newman Partnership Ltd. brought to the table. And why, in some cases, a poor location is just as bad as having no location.