(Blogger’s Note: This is the first in a three part series on staying focused with the creative boundaries of your concept. )
If you Google “staying focused” 23,600,000 results pop up. More than enough to confuse everyone to the point of losing focus. Yet, for a subject to have such an astronomical amount of search results, losing focus appears to be a major problem in the world today. In business, focus goes further than that.
Concept focus, that fine line a restaurant owner targets, is the major foundation for everything a company must do to become and stay successful. And for those dreaming of one day becoming that restaurant voted “Best Franchise”, concept focus is andatory. In the new world, focus as much to do with brand building and concept acceptance as it does with daily sales, profit and loss.
In days past, a restaurant could succeed by becoming a place to go and eat to feed the needs of the body. Today, restaurants serve the body,mind and soul, along with being a place of community. With concept restaurant market dominance, it is imperative for the smaller multi-unit groups and even the single unit eateries to develop a concept and focus on a plan to make sure everything evolves around that concept and plan.
Even the small diner in the strip mall shopping center has a plan developed over the years.. Whether the owners are aware of it or not is a different topic, however, a restaurant that has done things the same way for decades has adopted a plan. To change from that could be disastrous.
But change is something that comes easy in the current business climate. We often feel pressured to alter our plan because covers may be down, average ticket prices have plummeted and profits or whatever hopes for profits have completely diminished.
The stress of economic struggles makes it easy for an owner to lose focus and begin to make changes not compatible with a concept or plan. Being able to change direction quickly certainly is an asset in troubled times, however, those changes must fit in with your present plan, or a new future plan. Here are ten items that are sure signs you are drifting from your original plan an concept.
1). Menu changes that do not fit the price categories you have been serving for the past year.
2). New styled napkins and linen that look completely different from anything used before.
3) Logo shirts with a logo that doesn’t appear anywhere else.
4) New artwork that doesn’t match or fit in with your ambiance.
5). Glassware and dinner ware looks like it belongs down the street.
6). Ingredients that you have never used before.
7). A drastic change in hours. Staff changes without a good reason.
8). Signs in the window or on the sidewalk that list everything your restaurant has to offer.
9). Specials that do not compliment other items on your menu.
10.) An announcement that you are going to start a catering company.
If you have done any one of these in the past six months without an overall plan, you could be losing focus.
Tomorrow: The corporate guys lose focus more than anyone.