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We have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first?

The good news is that the restaurant sector is buoyant.

The bad news is that you aren’t getting your fair share of the revenue.

 

How are Jamie’s Italian taking our customers?

Every time we talk to a restaurant that is struggling, they always have something or someone else to blame for their problems.

Here is a list of examples:-

  • Our marketing doesn’t work
  • It’s the customers
  • We are in the wrong place
  • The people around us are the wrong type of customer
  • Our competitors must be doing something clever we aren’t aware of
  • There is a recession on
  • People aren’t eating out as much as they used to
  • The smoking ban has affected us

Actually, this is a short version of the list, but all of these reasons have one thing in common. All of them are someone else’s fault.

Sorry to break this, but Jamie’s Italian have made the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 – the list of the fastest growing companies in the whole UK – AGAIN!

What does that mean?

It means that since a good 12 months after the recession began, their sales have grown from £3.7m to over £100m. It also means that they are taking that revenue from someone else. That someone is probably you.

If you ask the team at Jamie’s Italian who is to blame for their success, here is a likely list:-

  • Our marketing works
  • It’s the customers
  • We are in the right place
  • The people around us are the right type of customer
  • Our competitors aren’t doing something clever we aren’t aware of
  • There is a recession on
  • People are eating out more than they used to
  • The smoking ban has helped us

Basically, all the reasons you think are killing your business, are probably the reasons that they think they are succeeding, so it is a question of how you address the problem.

Some of the above can’t really be changed easily – for example,

Your location.

OK, so you can’t just move the building, however, you can bring the right customers from further afield, with the right marketing activity. Jamie’s Italian are bringing customers from far afield to their restaurants – how do I know? Because I constantly see people who live near me, on Facebook, posting status updates from their restaurants and there aren’t within a 40 mile radius of me.

Social networks, your website and reputation sites like TripAdvisor, can extend your reach significantly – ask Jamie’s Italian, but only if you use them correctly.

Without proper training, you are not likely to stumble on the right approach with social media, that is why we train restaurants and hotels how to use them properly.

Competitors?

Guess what. These clever social networks are great for finding out what your competitors are doing.

It is like a public marketing megaphone. Are you even listening or do you have tools set up to send you alerts every time your competitors do something? If you’re competitors are busier than you, there are a few likely causes, though the main one is marketing.

They are reaching more people than you. Jamie’s Italian have the most marketing of anyone – a TV celebrity, but they are backing this up with direct, digital and social media marketing activity. That costs money, but it is essential. A well kept secret is not a good thing in the restaurant industry.

Recession?

Looking at the Jamie’s Italian numbers, it looks like the recession was something you experienced but they didn’t.

Unless you are a fine dining establishment, as long as your marketing is good, you shouldn’t be affected by recession, however, don’t forget, marketing is a competition with the other competitors around you. If they are out muscling you or outspending you, you won’t survive.

Hang on – fine dining has thrived during the recession…

Customers?

Are the customers to blame.

Well if anything, the customers tend to vote with their feet and forget you very quickly.

You have to let existing customers know what you are offering to keep them coming back, tell potential customers you exist to bring them to you in the first place and then monitor and maintain your reputation online to ensure that the message spreads.

Smoking Ban?

Well this one may well have affected some restaurants, but let’s face it, there isn’t any point in complaining about it because it will never be overturned and it is now a fact of life for every venue.

How can we take revenue from other restaurants?

The message here is that if you take control of your business and do the right things, you really can’t fail.

  • Is the food that Jamie’s Italian produce better than yours?
  • Are their customers that different from yours?
  • Are they in a different economic climate than you?

Now try these –

  • Is their marketing more effective than yours?
  • Are they doing something clever that you aren’t aware of?
  • Do they understand their customers better than you?

If the answer to any of the last three questions is yes, we can help you take some of that revenue back.

If you want some of that revenue give us a call. If not, just keep going.