Three Ways to Keep Your Restaurant From Failing

The economic forecast for the restaurant industry is discouraging—restaurant markets have become oversaturated, labor and food costs are rising, overall sales look weak, consumers are constantly searching for something new and maintain unpredictable loyalties, and banks and investors are not eager to invest.

For current and aspiring restaurant operators, having a game plan is key. As Paul Barron discusses in the above video, there are three key strategies for ensuring that your restaurant succeeds: Cross Competitive Marketing, Multi-Platform Retargeting, and Content Marketing & Execution.

Cross competitive analysis is all about covertly acquiring your competitors’ customers. Tools like Sprout Social are essential for the survival of opening or struggling restaurants. Sprout Social uses digital customer relationship management (CRM) to build lists of the types of customers and influencers your competition is catering to—all to ultimately determine what those customers are looking for in a restaurant.

According to Barron, operators tend to make the same mistake. “They do blanket advertising on digital and think they’ve checked the box,” says Barron. “That’s not how you do digital marketing.” List building and targeting, social conquesting, and studying browser behavior is paramount.

Another helpful tip? Geo seeking. Cell phones are constantly sending data from the apps consumers use to a data provider—and that data provider subsequently sells the data to companies trying to target those consumers.

Operators who choose to acquire that data can target their marketing by geo location, competitors, lookalikes, or influence. Advertisements can even be dependent on a customer’s browser behavior.

“Don’t think about your competition as just competition,” adds Barron. “Think about your competition as their customers.”

To learn more about the value of bounce back cards, training a SEAL team of employees, and the importance of having a story, check out the video above!

Produced by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


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Diets As A Belief Structure May Be Causing Consumers to Eat Out Less

Diets As A Belief Structure May Be Causing Consumers to Eat Out Less
  • Vegan, Paleo, Ketogenic, Mediterranean, TLC, and Dash Diet all have common principles.  

  • Restaurants should consider do more for these diet trends. 

It didn't seem long ago when losing inches off the waist was pretty much the sole goal of the dieting masses. Today? Well, "diet" is going deity; each "diet's" dogma filling people's stomachs with a sense of purpose and for some even hope.   People with epilepsy and diabetes are told the Ketogenic diet has massive and sustainable health benefits. It is reported that staying true to the Mediterranean diet with help you live longer and have fewer health issues on average. For us, restaurant people... let's not forget the biblical flood of people that changed the foodservice landscape forever with gluten-free requests and needs.   And, of course, there is the vegan diet, which is the best example of the "diet" becoming more about "this is what I stand for and believe" and less about the waistline.  In short, the consumer of today is less likely to frequent restaurants that don't consider their "diet" and restaurants the flock is growing. 

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SUR: The Restaurant Behind Bravo TV’s Hit Reality Show Vanderpump Rules

On this episode of Table 42, Paul Barron takes us to his hometown, Los Angeles. Amidst the hustle and the bustle of the city, you will find starving artists and celebrity actors– all looking for a little camera time. And there’s one place you can find it without an audition, you just need a reservation.

SUR, which stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant, is a high-end concept, known for its deliciously composed dishes and perfectly shaken drinks. The attractive waitstaff might look a bit familiar to you, too. That’s because SUR is also the set of the wildly popular reality Bravo TV show “Vanderpump Rules” and occasionally makes an appearance on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Guillermo Zapata opened and ran the restaurant for 10 years before partnering up with the Real Housewife cast member, Lisa Vanderpump Todd and her husband, Ken Todd. Since then the restaurant has expanded to an over 8000 square feet space– giving the trendy concept tons of space to welcome guests. Guillermo is always looking for new projects and challenges, so a second SUR Restaurant  & Lounge locations might be on the horizon.

“I’ve always said to every man Villa Blanca is where you take your wife. Sur is where you take your mistress. And now Pump can be where you take your boyfriend,” said Vanderpump in the past about the concepts.

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The original idea for SUR came from one of Zapata's culinary adventures, when he walked into a restaurant and was fascinated by the incredibly attractive staff, many of which were aspiring actors and actresses themselves.

“I start looking around and I find this good-looking guy, good-looking lady you know as waiters. [They] all look like actors or models. This feels like we’re on set in here.”

So Zapata was inspired to create his own sexy restaurant with not only eye-catching staff members, but a sexy scenery to match.

Partnering with the Vanderpumps and the use of the restaurant as the backdrop for reality TV shows has only helped the restaurant grow in popularity.

But bringing cameras into a hospitality business can put a lot of pressure on a team. No stranger to the limelight, Zapata says pressure like that drives him.

“You know, for me, pressure is good so I don’t find that as a bad thing. I need to be under pressure, I need to be in a challenge. If there’s competition next to me, I love it,” said Zapata.

Watch the episode above to learn more about the trendy West Hollywood destination!