Put yourself in these shoes: You have just remodeled a restaurant that had a good reputation but was dubbed as a “special occasion place”. Your concept is fresh, as is your food, and for the past six weeks you worked day and night to get the space opened. On opening night everything went well as it did for the entire opening weekend. On the following Monday, however, the bottom began to fall out and the next thing you know, the economy is tanking, the election coverage is brutally honest and the financial system of the country is shouting ” stay at home”.
What do you do? You have a buck a drink night. You have everyone who wants a drink to bring in one share of stock for Ford Motor Company ($2.92), General Motors ($4.92), or another stock that has tanked for whatever reason and you make it a stock trader’s heaven.
You don’t need to be on Wall Street to accomplish this; however, you do need to have some advertising and marketing ingenuity to make it work. Think about it, if you sold drinks for a share of Ford stock at its current price, and you kept the certificate, you would win in the long run.
Of course that doesn’t help your immediate cash crunch but it certainly would get the gin and tonic, or Cabernet traders talking about how they purchased a Grey Goose and Tonic for a mere certificate of Ford stock.
And there really is no reason to stop there. How about going all the way and having the certificates work for drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Now, the chances of anyone walking around, with a pocketful of stock certificates, just yet anyway, are, unlikely. However, the buzz and publicity you may get could give you that mid week boost that you need. And, if nothing else, the fun you could have advertising the event would be worthwhile.
It is important during these times to keep your spirit up and your attitude on a level that everyone enjoys. As a restaurateur you owe it to your customers to be hospitable and enjoyable to be around. Even though the walls may be crumbling and your adrenaline is barely pumping, you have to convince your customers that everything is better than expected. You are only as good as your last meal, or your last act.
We all must remember there are two businesses within the restaurant industry. One is running the business the other is running the restaurant. And, no matter how bad the numbers are in the back office the atmosphere on the floor must be better than anyone would expect. You need to make sure your staff is motivated and in good spirits, you need to put on a great show of enthusiasm for your customers, and you need to make sure that your kitchen team injects passion and feeling and creativity into the product that you serve your guests.
This may not be easy to do right now, so think about a humorous promotion to make light of the situation. If nothing else you may end up with a stack of Ford Motor Company stock. It’s bound to go up and eventually, you will have sold that drink for a fortune.
It’s something to take stock in.