Jack Mardack, of Menukarma recently wrote how surprised he was to see restaurants fail, one after another, because owners and chefs toss their recipes into the marketplace with the most artistic plating methods in the industry while paying little attention to the tastes of the American palate or public.
“I am amazed, given the extraordinary failure rate of new restaurants, how few restaurant operators ever set their sights on what is obviously the base of the pyramid.” Mardack said. “Just as you mentioned in a previous blog, however maligned it may be, “fast food” comprises the majority of the American diet. Inexpensive food, obtained quickly is what we eat, nine times out of ten.” He added.
Restaurant owners seldom do market research, or pay attention to it if it doesn’t meet their personal criteria. This certainly creates barriers that make profitability more difficult than it should be.
Mardack brought up another strong point that will make those with sights on celebrity shutter.
“Rather than try to steal away some of McDonald’s enormous traffic, with value and approachability, the vast majority of restaurants just put themselves in a small market already crowded with too many “fancy restaurants” chasing too few Saturday night dinners. I can confirm that there are not a lot of value-oriented efforts among the new restaurants that are opening.”
When he claims McDonald’s should be your target, the menu consultant doesn’t expect one to go out and erect golden arches or anything similar. However, food that is reasonably priced, especially in today’s economy is certainly a better bet than to attempt to imitate Gary Danko and Thomas Keller. They have a mortal lock on a niche clientele. To do culinary battle with these food aficionados is in some respects like choking on a piece of tenderloin in a dark, empty dining room without anyone around to perform the Heimlich. And, whether you are an owner or chef you must realize everyone that serves something to eat is your competition. There is a race which begins every morning to capture the money allocated to energy from everyone on the planet. Whether that money fuels a car or a body t is a fuel allocation. With gas prices sizzling past the $4.00 per gallon mark in
And when that happens, it may be time to swallow your pride and redesign your menu and your concept.