It’s a dog eat dog world out there. It’s interesting to take a step back and look at the last decade that we’ve just closed the book on. I spent the majority of it working in the service industry — waiting tables, bartending, managing servers, training, event planning, and just about everything else in between — and if I could list one major takeaway it would be this: it’s vital that restaurants are willing to evolve and prioritize convenience in order to stay alive.
“Stay alive” — why such scary words? Because it’s true. In 2019, in Kansas City alone, we saw several big name restaurants close their doors for good. Names that you would never fathom closing, such Fred P Otts or some Houlihan’s locations. Why is this? While I can’t speak to the specifics, what I do know is that the already-tumultuous restaurant industry is now in the throes of an existential crisis spurred on by the digital age of Grubhub, Postmates, and a general avoidance of leaving the house. Today, you can get virtually anything delivered in a matter of hours, and most of our interaction with other humans is done online.
This concept doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture for brick and mortar restaurants.
So, the question must be asked: what are you doing to ensure that your restaurant is the best and most convenient option for diners?
This month, I’ll be posting some breakout thoughts on social media to spur some discussion among industry members, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Leave a comment on this blog post or drop me an email to email@example.com and let’s talk about how we as an industry can ensure that our relevance never fades.
In the meantime, I challenge all of the restaurant owners, managers, event coordinators, and anyone else involved in restaurant operations to come up with one idea for evolving your business model this year. It could be diversifying your revenue stream by adding takeout, it could be upping the ante and offering group reservations for baby showers or fantasy football drafts, or it could be as simple as deciding to finally put your business on Instagram. Whatever it is, come up with one idea and then check back here for more advice on implementing those ideas.
Let’s make 2020 the best year yet for the Kansas City restaurant scene. Cheers!