Seven strategies you need to unforget

“Keep Business Cooking” by Tony Conway, CMP (Sante Magazine, Holiday 2009). Too much to do? Too little time? While this quick refresher doesn’t look to cure your time management ills, Tony does lay down seven simply great ideas to help you regroup and recharge. There might not be much new here but that’s alright. Quite often the tried and true of keeping it simple can be the “new black”. In other words, sometimes it’s the forgotten fundamentals that need to be unforgotten.

Reading between the wines

“Renovating the Wine List” by Marnie Old (Sante Magazine, Holiday 2009). Another great post in our “This doesn’t just apply to _______” series. As you read this one-pager, substitute your communications medium, be it print or web, in the spots Marnie says wine list. Also notice the fact that she mentions context. That is, wine menus need to be readable in low light. As simple as these concepts might be it’s amazing how many times we’ve all see them ignored and/or done badly.

Does your “wine list” pass this test?

Look good. Feel good.

Design matters. Why? Because it is one of the first things to effect The Guest Experience. It establishes the tone of the on going relationship. Whether it’s your store, your club, your restaurant or your web site, these impressions matter. If you have any doubts about the value of investing in good design, and thus The Guest Experience, these two articles should help reorient your compass.

“Environment Plays a Huge Role in Member Retention” by Bruce Carter (Fitness Business Pro, August 2009).

When you spend on your club’s environment, you are spending on marketing. Think about having an environment that is so exciting, fun and stimulating that people actually love being there, and it makes them want to tell their friends about it.

“Turning Up the Juice” by Garrett Peck (Sante Magazine, September 2009)

No matter the size or demographics of your bar, creating and sustaining a successful vibe requires tuning (and sometimes retuning) the sensory experience and physical layout to match your clientele’s expectations and, above all, affording each customer personal and professional service.

The key is empathy. Stop thinking about what you see, or what you think you see. Now look at your company from the outside in. What do they, The Guest, see? And what impression(s) does that make on their experience?

It’s a never ending process

“Time for a Change: Makeovers, Turnarounds, and Redos” by Laura Taxel (Sante Magazine, May 2009). Expand your vision a bit and apply these restraunt industry focused ideas to your particular situation. The ultimate objective is to enhance your guest’s experience. It doesn’t matter where that inspiration comes from.

• The ongoing economic turmoil makes it more important than ever for
operators to be innovative, proactive, nimble, and responsive.

• It’s not enough to have a good concept. it has to be the right one for the
location and the dining demographic you serve.

• Fixing a problem can be expensive. Not fixing it will cost more.

• Challenges are chances to rethink what you’re doing and to do it better.

• Acknowledge mistakes, and act quickly to correct them.

Staff are guests too

“Your Customers and Your Staff ” by editor Mark Vaughan (Sante Magazine, May 2009). Without a doubt, staff is important. They become an extension of your brand. Therefore, a brand seeking a more dominate position needs to be sensitive to not only it’s marketing effort to customers but also how those efforts might also enable the company’s ability to attract the right staff.

For example, in the restaurant / hospitality industry many front line employees are younger and therefore more web savvy. A second rate site might very well attract second rate applicants. Like it or not, the iGeneration will judge a book by its cover and quite possibly seek employment elsewhere.   A good web site is not just a way to build sales but also a way to attract the right talent that is also necessary for sustainable growth once the customers come in the front door and sit down.

In short, as times change and traditional lines continue to blur the need to think outside the silo gets to be more and more urgent.

Everyone has to eat. And if you offer the perfect product at a price (guests) can afford, served by professionals with personality and skill, you will survive.”
– John Foley, The Restaurant Blog, www.AllBusiness.com

Unfortunately, Sante’s site only allows access to the current issue via a Flash-esque reader, as well as registration. If you’re willing to jump through that hoop be sure to check:

“Online & Hooked” by Aaron Deal (page 23)

“Hiring the Best: No Time for Dice” by Tad Carducci and Paul Tangauy (page 27)