SERVICE WITH STYLE

Are the Times Turning Back?

Approximately 2 years ago, I sat in a seminar about economic development.  The presenter described what we were about to go through as the letter “U” and not a “V”.  He stated that we were not going to bounce back quickly and we were going to have to ride out the low part of the “U” for the next few years.

At the time I didn’t think much about it, but now, two years later, I realize he was very accurate.  I’ve been thinking back to a term that described the business environment as “Business Survival”.  We all needed to look at things a lot differently over the past few years and do whatever we needed just to keep the doors open.

I have always been an optimist and I feel good about what I’m seeing and hearing but it’s a very crucial time for the hospitality industry.  Discounts, coupons, specials and new pricing has given today’s  guests new expectations based on pricing and as the times start to turn back to normal, the businesses that go through this next transition correctly will really be set to succeed for a long time.

As sales begin to rebound, prices are going to have to get back to a level that makes sense for the bottom line.  But here’s the catch.  You can’t just slowly increase your prices and expect to keep your guests coming back.  You’re going to have to find new ways to add value and it’s going to have to come in ways that are creative and cost efficient.  Here are a few ideas to focus on to be sure your guests are getting everything they want out of visiting your establishment:

Make a Connection:  If guests are going to get past coming out based mostly on price they need to have a sense of belonging and that comes from getting to know the owners and managers.

Exceptional Service:  This is the easiest way to add value for your guests.  Show them you want them there.  I am referring to exceptional service which requires teamwork, training, focus, dedication, the right team and certainly, leadership.

Creativity: Stay current with specials, events, promotions, menu items and décor.

Value is judged by the entire experience and not just the portion of the food.

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