RESTAURANT & CLUB SURVIVAL
I have just started out as General Manager of a huge restaurant/nightclub that features a live band stage & medium sized dance floor. The restaurant is struggling, our menu is outdated, and our food service is based on price not quality.
The issue with the nightclub, it has been in business for over 10 years and it has never been remodeled, renovated whatsoever. In a radius of 5m, there are over 5 new nightclubs being established, in a span of 5 years, much more modern, trendy and getting in all the trendy, money spending crowd. Which, tells you that we are losing crowd despite having a great live band playing nightly except Sundays.
We have been doing events on a bi-monthly basis in the last 1 month and drew a great crowd but the weekdays are totally dead. Most patrons has suggested getting the club renovated as it is dated, smells 'old' and most of the lighting, furnishing definitely are dated. The restrooms are a wreck. The paint is fading, like the crowd. The tables & chairs are falling apart. The club also had some bad rep as being a place of bar fights between bouncers and patrons. All of the bouncers have been retrenched and replaced since then. Nevertheless, our survey with previous patrons mentioned of their reluctant to go to our club is due to fear of fights. Ow did I mentioned a murder of one of the bouncer. Hell yeah. That bad.
We have tried doing ladies nights free all night and some other freebies but it seemed too 'desperate' and we stopped. I have done my marketing path, goals and direction of where I want the club to go. However, the owner is relentless in not agreeing in any renovation work whatsoever.
Is renovation the way to go? 11 years with not the slightest change to the club, lighting etc was never EVER done. To me, I believe that the place needs to be shut down for a month for major renovation and to shout to the public that the nightclub is under new management.
Appreciate your advice. Thanks Rob
Rob, A "Tragic Violent Crime" at a Restaurant that transforms into a Nightclub and does nothing to show the public it cares, is a PR Nightmare as well as a business ending strategy.
What is your Owner thinking?
To let an establishment go years and years without any REMODEL, RENAME ( after the murder) without any new image, new perception, new reflection defies good food and beverage logic.
I will never understand why a Person would stay on in any employment status with such an operation?
When an Owner puts his ego before the betterment, improvement, and imperative changes that need to be implemented, it just makes no sense.
But then these reality shows on food and beverage, clearly display owner after owner who really have no business being in this industry to begin with.
I regret you have such an owner.
When any Owner allows the rest rooms to deteriorate to the lowest level possible, that is a sign that it is time for you to leave. NOBODY wants to dine, drink, or direct anybody to this establishment. Lately, I have heard from Owners who are just "LOST". They refuse to embrace the future and remain stuck in time. They are in denial, they keep thinking business will improve.
For many there is no "Survival".
Yet, there are other Owners expanding, opening up new markets, going into other areas of beverage service, of food offerings, than they have before. They are the "FOOD and BEVERAGE FUTURE".
Bob, if this Owner has no respect for your input, why even stay in this position?
How long do you think this food and beverage establishment is going to continue to survive?
Some Owners operate in denial, they know the issues, problems, challenges they face, they refuse to address them.
Other Owners simply want to milk their food and beverage establishments for whatever income they can derive from them, until it's time to abandon ship.
Still other Owners don't grasp the urgency in REVAMP, REMODEL, REINVENT, REPOSITION, RENEW, REFOCUS, so they open their doors, serve frozen food, instead of fresh food, do not maintain a clean atmosphere, create a stench as you enter, and just keep operating until the health department cites them, customers just refuse to enter,the staff quits, or a combination of both.
I worked in a Kitchen of a upscale restaurant/nightclub one night a week, to gain first hand experience on the mechanics of how a full service kitchen on over drive with orders coming in, operates. The Sous Chef was awesome. The Head Chef was a total slob. He was overwhelmed with the pressures of putting out quality dishes one right after another. He could not compose himself to be consistent or disciplined. My job was assistant to the Sous Chef, I had a blast, prepping dishes, cutting, slicing, making sure my area was spotless, yes it is hard, hard work, but the satisfaction of knowing what your sending out is coming back as an empty plate is totally gratifying .
The Head Chef was in panic mode. The intensity of a warp speed kitchen pace was more than he could handle. He managed to get through the "RUSH", but the Owner knew he had to let him go.
It was a natural though, to promote the Sous Chef to Head Chef.
But it gave me a firsthand, hands on experience of what life is like in the back of the house. It's why some restaurants are packed, and others like the painting at the top of the page, EMPTY.......................
OUT OF TOUCH WITH CUSTOMERS:
THE REASONS ARE THESE CHAINS ARE TOO SLOW TO CHANGE.
THE STATISTICS SHOW THAT SINCE 2008 TO PRESENT THERE WERE 600 MILLION LESS VISITS BY DINING PATRONS TO THESE TYPES OF RESTAURANTS. THIS IS A CRISIS.
BUT THEIR REACTIONS ARE VERY DISAPPOINTING.
FOR INSTANCE ADVERTISING "LOBSTER FEST" ON TV "RED LOBSTER" SHOWS THE VARIOUS LOBSTER DISHES SERVED DURING THIS PROMOTION, THEN AT THE VERY END OF THE TV SPOT, OFFERS $10 OFF WHEN TWO PATRONS ORDER ONE OF THESE LOBSTER DISHES EACH.
FIRST OF ALL, THEY ARE PRICED WAY TOO HIGH, TO COMPENSATE FOR THE $10 OFF. SECOND, RED LOBSTER'S MENU MISSES OUT ON THE LATEST FOODIE CRAZE, ALTOGETHER.
THE SUITS @ DARDEN WHICH OWNS "RED LOBSTER" AND "OLIVE GARDEN" JUST DON'T GET IT. THEY ARE ATTACHED TO THEIR $500 LEATHER CHAIRS IN THEIR ORLANDO CORPORATE OFFICES AND COULD NOT EVEN TELL YOU, THE MENU AND PRICES FOR THEIR THREE MAIN CHAINS:
SOME EXEC DID HAVE THE POSITIVE VISION, TO ENCOURAGE CORPORATE TO ACQUIRE "YARD HOUSE" WHICH IS A UP AND COMING MOVER, THIS UPSCALE BAR AND GRILL IS EXACTLY WHERE DARDEN NEEDS TO POSITION IT'S SELF.
THEY ALSO HAVE THE CHAIN "SEASONS 52" BUT I DON'T SEE THE GROWTH THERE, BECAUSE THEIR MARKETING IS NEXT TO ZERO, THEIR NAME RECOGNITION IS LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN, WHAT THEIR FOOD FORMAT IS AS WELL.
FOR EVERY BABY STEP DARDEN TAKES FORWARD, THEY THEN TAKE FOUR STEPS BACKWARDS. THEY CAN'T SEEM TO FIND THE CONSISTENCY IN THEIR MARKETING.
FOR EXAMPLE CHANGING THE SLOGAN FOR "OLIVE GARDEN" FROM "WHEN YOUR HERE YOUR FAMILY" TO "GO OLIVE GARDEN" IS HIDEOUS. WHAT IS THE MESSAGE? ARE THEY A FOOTBALL TEAM YOUR CHEERING ON? WHY WOULD AN ITALIAN CUISINE, CASUAL DINING CHAIN PAY SOMEONE TO CREATE A HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADER SHOUT OUT?
"APPLEBEE'S" NEEDS TO THINK LOCAL AND INSTEAD OF THE CORPORATE CONTROL OVER FOOD DISTRIBUTION, THEY NEED TO CONNECT WITH LOCAL GROWERS, LOCAL PRODUCE VENDORS, "APPLEBEE'S" HAS A REPUTATION FOR GENERIC FOOD, THEY HAVE NO ALLIANCE WITH THE COMMUNITIES THEY OPERATE IN. THEIR
ACQUISITION BY THE THE PARENT OF IHOP, HAS NOT BEEN IMPRESSIVE AT ALL, QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
"CHILI'S" IS ON THE SAME PLATE, PREDICTABLE, BLAND TASTING, PRICED WRONG, AND NO ENERGY AT ALL INSIDE.
BOTH NEED A MAJOR MAKEOVER.
TOO MANY PANIC PROMOTING BANNERS, TABLE TENTS, IT'S BAR BEGGING.
YET ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DISH IS "CHEESECAKE FACTORY," A FRESH, INVIGORATING, FAST PACED, YOUNGER APPEALING CHAIN. THEY HAVE STEPPED UP AND MOVED RIGHT INTO WHERE THESE OTHER CHAINS SHOULD HAVE ADAPTED TO, BUT DID NOT HAVE THE FORESIGHT, OR THE CAJONES TO TAKE THE SHOT.
WHEN I OPENED MY FIRST CLUB, THE LARGEST AT THE TIME, WE NAMED THE CORPORATE ENTITY, "WE TOOK THE SHOT" BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO. WHEN IT'S RIGHT, YOU TAKE IT.
BRINKERS THAT OWNS "CHILI'S" LOWERED IT'S PROFIT STRUCTURE, DUE TO INCREASED COMPETITION AND A TOTAL LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGES IN THE CASUAL DINING CATEGORY.
DINE EQUITY THE PARENT OF "APPLEBEE'S" AND IHOP SERIOUSLY NEEDS TO STOP, FULLY STUDY THIS GENERATION AND WHAT ATTRACTS THEM TO SPECIFIC EATERIES.
PRICE, MENU, SERVICE, INTERIOR, IMAGE, MARKETING.
IT ALL MATTERS.
THE IGNITE RESTAURANT GROUP, RECENTLY ACQUIRED "MACARONI GRILL" SO WE SHALL SEE WHAT DIRECTION, WHAT CHANGES, WHAT SYNERGIES THEY INJECT INTO "MACARONI GRILL". YOU KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM WITH ACQUISITIONS IS, WHEN INVESTMENT BANKERS, GROUPS OF MONEY FRIENDS, OTHER RESTAURANT COMPANIES BUY A CHAIN LIKE "MACARONI GRILL", THEY NEED TO KNOW UPFRONT, PERSONAL AND FIRSTHAND WHAT DIRECTION THEY ARE GOING TO GO?
WHO THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE LEAD THIS APPROACH?
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE AND PROJECT COMPLETION DATES?
WHAT IS THE NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN, HOW POWERFUL IT, WHICH MEDIA OUTLETS ARE YOU GOING TO USE?
RADIO AND PRINT ARE THE LEAST TWO EFFECTIVE, WHY DO YOU THINK CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO IS IN SUCH DEEP DEEP DEBT, AND MAGAZINES ARE GOING DIGITAL AS FAST AS THEY CAN, WITH NO PRINT EDITIONS?
TO RELY SOLELY ON FACE BOOK IS INSANE IN THE BRAIN.
MOBILE APPS VS BARS, CLUBS, RESTAURANTS
First it was having your own web site. That went over like eating steak "TarTare". ( For those of you not familiar, it's RAW STEAK served as a Gourmet Delicacy)
Most Owners refused to spend the money, so they turned to Face book as their main source of online presence.
Now comes the next step.
There are now in the USA alone over almost 500,000 food and beverage as well as food only Mobile Apps.
So it's your turn at bat.
Do you spring for a Mobile App just to connect to your Face book page?
Of course not.
If you were not going to spend to maximize the advantages of having your own web site why on earth would you let some salesperson hype you on the ego trip of having your own Mobile App?
Ask yourself this simple question, with "SMART PHONES" being the prime source to store your MOBILE APP, why would you risk being lost in a hundred, a thousand or more Mobile Apps in a "SMART PHONE"? I have the ideal solution to your Mobile App connection challenge.
YES, the "SAMSUNG GALAXY S4" is the MAYBACH of Smart Phones, but that does nothing to pack your club with it having your APP.
Here are basic facts, simply having a Mobile App for a single unit Bar, Nightclub, Lounge, Restaurant, makes no sense at all.
You will become one of many that is simply in the shuffle, but not on the front of the "SMART PHONE", nor will you stand out, unless the Individual scans his Mobile Apps to find yours. How are you going to justify spending on a "Mobile App" to draw patrons into your venue, if you have only one, and you are investing your valuable marketing dollars to have the ego trip of featuring a "Mobile App". There is no common sense, no practicality, no basis or factual evidence or proof that your own "Mobile App" is worth a gum wrapper.
Seriously, The technology behind Mobile Apps and Smart Phones is awesome. But that does not result in your using this technology to market your Bar, your Nightclub, your Lounge, or your Restaurant in an individual Mobile App mode.
TOO FUNNY, I have watched people go through their Mobile Apps, scanning page after page, after page after page, after page, searching for a particular Mobile App, since they have hundreds, if not thousands. And here are Owners thinking, they need to have a Mobile App, or they won't do biz?
Look, let this element shake out, and then decide if you need this marketing accessory. If you ask me, you have just one location, your not in a major market, the answer is "NO".
YOUR BAR, OR CLUB, OR TAVERN, OR LOUNGE MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED SAME SALES OR LOWER SALES IN 2012, BUT THE FACT IS, LIQUOR BRANDS IN TOTAL, HAD A 3% INCREASE IN SALES. SO, WHILE YOU SUFFER, OTHERS ARE SUCCEEDING IN BRINGING IN NEW FACES TO THEIR PLACES. THIS IS NOT A REALITY TV SHOW. YOU CAN POUR AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU WANT INTO ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES, BUT IF YOU AIN' T GO NO "FUN", NO "WOW FACTORS" AND NO "FAB" FOUR NIGHTS A WEEK, EVERY WEEK, ON A CONSISTENT BASIS, YOU GOT NADA.
FOUR MAINSTREAM BEER BRANDS HAVE CLOSE TO 80% OF THE ENTIRE MARKET.
IS THAT TO SAY YOU SHOULD NOT FEATURE AND LAUNCH CRAFT BEERS? QUITE THE OPPOSITE, YOU SHOULD HAVE NO LESS THAN 15 CRAFT BEERS BEHIND YOUR BAR. IF YOU DON'T, YOU ARE LOSING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE NEW "BAR FUN", YOU ARE LOSING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN BAR CASH FLOW.
NEVER, HAVE SO MANY BARS, BEEN SO STAGNANT AND STALE, BECAUSE OF LAZY OWNERS , WHO THINK THEY CAN JUST STOP BY, COME IN ONCE A WEEK, LEAVE THE ORDERING TO SOMEONE ELSE, IGNORE THE BASIS OF THE BAR BUSINESS, AND THUS END UP LOSING THEIR BAR.
THIS IS NOT REALITY TV, YOU CAN WATCH IT AND BE GLAD , IT'S NOT YOU, BUT IT IS YOU, ONLY YOUR NOT ON CAMERA.
YOU ARE MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES OF MANY OF THE REALITY TV EPISODES SHOW.
I CAN TURN ALMOST ANY BAR AROUND AND GIVE IT A 100% INCREASE IN BUSINESS, PROVIDED THEY FOLLOW MY "GAME PLAN", SPECIFICALLY FOR THEIR BAR. BUT TO DISCOUNT, TO BAR BEG, TO HOPE THAT SOMEONE WALKS THROUGH THE DOORS, AND I REFER TO AFTER 10PM NOT YOUR DAY OR EARLY BUSINESS, THAT IS ANOTHER COMPONENT OF THE BIZ.
IT'S JUST FRUSTRATING TO SEE SO MANY GOOD LOOKING, CLEAN, BARS, THAT ARE NOT DOING THE NUMBERS, BECAUSE THE OWNER, THE MANAGER, THE STAFF ARE NOT CREATIVE, ALL THEY DO IS, GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS DAY IN, NIGHT OUT. WHEN YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE, AND YOUR THE OWNER, EMAIL RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com EVERY EMAIL IS CONFIDENTAL. STOP SUFFERING, START SOARING.
I STOLE THE MANTRA: " READY TO GO FIRE IT UP!". THAT SHOULD BE YOUR BAR, NOT THE COMPETING BARS! IF YOUR IN AN ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT, GREAT, I WILL EMPTY OUT THEIR BARS, IF YOUR A DESTINATION LOCATION, FINE, I WILL DRAW THEM OUT TO YOUR BAR.
FOR ME, AFTER 40 YEARS, IT'S A PIECE OF CAKE. WHAT YOU HAVE TO THINK OF, I HAVE ALREADY DONE.
WHAT IS SO EXCITING ABOUT YOUR BAR OR CLUB?
1.DO YOU FEATURE A "WOW BAR" WITH CRAFT COCKTAILS?
2. DO YOU FEATURE A "FUN" DANCE FLOOR WITH ALL DIFFERENT FEMALE DANCERS, NOT IN BORING, UGLY COSTUMES?
3. DO YOU FEATURE A "FAB" ATMOSPHERE, THAT CREATES A LINE OUTSIDE EARLIER THAN YOU EVEN OPEN?
4. DO YOU OFFER A FORMAT THAT EXCEEDS, EXCELS ANY OTHER CLUB IN YOUR AREA?
I IMPLEMENT ALL FOUR ELEMENTS IN THE CLUBS I DO.
YOU WANT TO DREAM, WATCH REALITY TV.
YOU WANT TO STOP WASTING MONEY, START MAKING MONEY AND DOMINATE YOUR CLUB NIGHT LIFE?
THEN CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE FROM PITY PARTY TO TOTALLY TOGETHER.
READY TO GO, FIRE IT UP!
EMAIL ME, RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com if your an Owner.
Because only the Owner can make these MONUMENTAL MOVES.
A CLUB PROMOTER, BUT POLITE, NICE GUY, W A SMART PROMOTION!
I do not own a bar or club . . but I have really enjoyed reading thru
your articles deep wisdom on your "promotingnightclubs.com" site.
I run a small event company in this "unique" (wacky?) ___________ market.
Smart bar / club operators are few and far between...long tired of
trying to book & promote bands in this many times 'pay-to-play'
market, we are gaining some traction where we rent out / book a club /
venue for the evening and produce our branded event(s) that bundle /
combine our live blues band ______________________ with
other types of live entertainment. We charge door charge and/or work
off % of bar sales.
Our ____________________________ fundraiser series is new for 2013 where
we include Magician Acts as part of the event lineup in-between the
live music. for some venues it can work, but for others, it
cannot....some of the magicians / illusionists have more equipment to
lug around set-up than bands ..
I have been looking to expand into more "event bundles"that can
attract more women --- and found your site from the recent post on
LinkedIn Group (re: the evil AEG monopoly)
to the point ---> I am very interested to learn more about your
time-proven bikini contest formula - -
---to tailor and develop a " Blues & Bikini" branded event that
we can target certain clubs / venues.
How do you work in this scenario...?
not looking for anything free here, no red cross---- simply interested
in your expertise, sir--- and deploying on the west coast.
Thanks for your valuable time in advance & cheers
MY RESPONSE: GARY, YOUR PROPOSED CONCEPT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. ESPECIALLY WITH SUMMER UPON US, SINCE THE WEATHER HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE IN MOST OF THE COUNTRY.
MY TIME PROVEN BIKINI CONTEST FORMULA INCLUDES:
1. ATTRACTING BEAUTIFUL WOMEN, NOT DRUNK ANY GIRLS WILL DO CONTESTANTS
2. PROVIDING HAIR AND MAKE UP STYLISTS THAT WILL FOR THE SIGNFICANT PROMOTION AND EXPOSURE THEY RECEIVE, WILL PROVIDE THIS WEEKLY SERVICE, AS WELL AS APPOINTING ONE OF THEIR REPRESENTATIVES AS A JUDGE EACH WEEK
3. A ROOM WITH A FULL LENGTH MIRROR
4. REQUIRING ALL CONTESTANTS TO WEAR HIGH HEELS
5. REQUIRING ALL CONTESTANTS TO SIGN A FULL RELEAST OF LIABILITY I PROVIDE YOU WITH, ONE SIMPLE PAGE.
6. ALLOWING ON THE ACTUAL CONTESTANTS IN THE ROOM
7. HAVING EACH CONTESTANT WEAR A PLASTIC NUMBER THAT CLIPS ON TO THEIR BIKINI SIDE
8. PROVIDING A CLEAR, SECURE WALKWAY FOR THE MODELS TO APPEAR AND STRUT NOT DANCE, NO SLEAZE, NO TRASH, BUT ALL CLASS , IN FRONT OF THE DESIGNATED "JUDGE'S TABLE"
9. AWARDING A WEEKLY PRIZE PACKAGE VALUED AT $1000 PLUS EACH WEEK ( I GIVE YOU THE INSIDE TRACK TO PUTTING THIS WEEKLY GIVEAWAY TOGETHER)
10. A FEMALE HOSTESS WITH A WIRELESS MICROPHONE DRESSED IN A BIKINI OR CASUAL OUT DOOR TWO PIECE OUTFIT
11. A GREAT HIGH ENERGY MIXMASTER DJ WHO DRESSES WITH A SHIRT, FEDORA , SHORTS, NO SLOB, NO REMARKS ON THE MIC. JUST MUSIC MIXES
12. HAVING AN OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER, FOR POSING AND GROUP SHOTS
13. HAVING AN OUTSIDE OR INSIDE OR COMBINED AREA, THAT ALSO SERVES AS A BEVERAGE AND FOOD CENTER AS WELL
14. MARKETING FOR A FULL MONTH ADVANCE, AGAIN, ( I PROVIDE YOU ALL THE MARKETING DRECTION AND EXPERTISE)
15. FINALLY ALL YOU DO IS GIVE EACH YOUNG LADY WHO ENTERS A FREE $75 BIKINI JUST FOR ENTERING.
YOU BUY JUST 36 BIKINIS FROM US @ www.bestbikinisforcontests.com AND I SEND YOU ALL THE DIRECTION AND EXPERTISE ALONG WITH YOUR ORDER.
IT'S THAT EASY GARY.
A DISCIPLINED, PACKED, EXCITING, HIGH ENERGY, FAST PACED, PACKED, WEEKLY EVENT.
NOW, I HAVE PRODUCDED THESE EVENTS FOR DECADES, HAVING OVER 500 BEAUTIFUL MODELS IN MY CONTESTS, ONE WAS A "HOOTER'S" NATIONAL BILLBOARD MODEL, ALSO WON THE VENUS INTERNATIONAL MODEL SEARCH, ANOTHER WON THE HAWAIIAN TROPIC INTERNATIONAL MODEL SEARCH. ANOTHER WENT ON TO MODEL IN NYC, AND ANOTHER TO DO PARTS IN MOVIES.
HOW DID I ATTRACT SUCH BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADIES?
SIMPLE, BY HOSTING A "FASHION STAR", "PROJECT RUNWAY", "SWIMSUIT SUPERSTAR" ( MY OWN CREATION) TYPE OF EVENT.
NOT A TYPICAL, AVERAGE, USUAL BIKINI CONTEST, THAT'S HOW !!!!
I DON'T ALLOW INTOXICATED GIRLS TO PARTICIPATE, I AM INTERESTED IN STYLISH, CLASSY, UPSCALE, EVENTS. NOT A "T AND A" GARBAGE EXHIBITION. NO THANKS, GO TO SOME DIVE BAR.
WHEN YOU READY FOR BEAUTY, BIKINIS AND PACKED AFTERNOONS WHEN LEAD INTO WALL TO WALL NIGHTS EMAIL RichUnger@promotingnightclubs.com
THE BEST WAY TO GET INTO A CLUB AS RESEARCHED BY
WAKEFIELD RESEARCH FOR HALLS SURVEY 500 ADULTS
A. 43% SAY DRESS THE PART.
B. 30% SAY BRING A GROUP WITH A GOOD GUY/GIRL RATIO
C. 9% SAY PAY OFF THE BOUNCER ( I DON'T EVEN USE THE WORD BOUNCER ANYMORE, NOBODY DOES)
D. 9% SAY ACT COOL
E. 8% SAY NAME-DROP