According to President Obama, Ben Bernanke, and a handful of other economists, market analysts and financial enthusiasts, the recession is coming to a close. It has been a tough one. The light on the horizon, however, does seem to be glimmering a bit brighter than in past months. But, don’t go out and buy new stoves, tables and chairs – unless you are expanding.
A recent Data Development Worldwide (DDW) survey shows consumers are not going to reenter the spending-binge-era they had become accustomed to before the recession. Currently, consumers are dining out less often the survey shows. However, none of us needed a survey to realize that, our dining rooms, bottom lines, and checking account balances shout the survey’s results.
Along with the fact that consumers are eating out less, DDW found that customers are taking steps to save money. They are using more coupons, drinking tap water instead of ordering beverages and cutting down on appetizer and pre-entr?e items.
Everyone in the country with a dining room figured out the results of the survey months before DWD began compiling data.. But, how we use the data is what matters.
The hardest hit segment of the market is the upscale casual and special occasion dining sector. Since the customers at all levels have shifted down a notch in their entr?e pricing selections the quandary for many owners is complex.
It is apparent high-end steak houses, special occasion restaurants and pricey places of palatable notoriety have all suffered a substantial financial hit. Their customers have abandoned them for more reasonable places of quality. It is the trickle down effect that signifies market shifts.
By the same measure, the mid range restaurants have lost customers to low end eating establishments and so on down the ladder. How to overcome the exodus of clientele is difficult to deal with and something the masterminds of the industry contemplate daily. The data does prove one thing: Everyone must realize we cannot stand still and hope the recession will end and everything will be back to “normal”. Now is what normal will be tomorrow.
People are not going to revisit the days of wild spending on wine, apps and entrees. The readjustment – a market correction- has hit the consumer and the over spending, over consuming ways of yesterday are gone for at least a few years.
Now is the perfect time to re adjust our thinking as owners. If your plates were full of lamb chops and vegetables to justify the expensive entree, cut down the portion and decrease the price. With the holiday season just around the corner begin to create catering and function menus for small and large groups that are more reasonably priced than your current menu.
By reducing your catering menu and the costs that go with it, your customers will see that you offer a reasonable alternative. Aside from your catering menu working to help you fill your holiday party schedule, they will work as a strong advertising promotion to help you build business now.
Beginning next Monday, we will begin a three part series on making the most of
It’s a creative way to reduce your menu costs without reducing your brands potential.