From my many years experience in owning, operating and selling many restaurants, bars and nightclubs the points that set a successful operation apart from its competitors are an operator’s commitment to consistently upholding the following standards:
1) serving quality food and beverages,
2) providing good service,
3) maintaining a clean environment and keeping all of the equipment well maintained and
4) providing a strong price/value experience to the customer.
Businesses that have been around a long time have undoubtedly committed themselves to consistently maintaining the standards indicated below.
1) Serving quality food and beverages – Customers will always remember the quality level of the food and beverage they get in deciding whether they wish to continue to patronize a business again in the future. Today there are many mediocre food operations and when a customer has a positive experience with good food this will encourage him to return to the business as a customer again.
2) Providing good service – Customers are very sensitive about getting good service. I know from past experience as a customer, as well as from the experiences of many customers I have spoken with, that if the service is really good that this positive experience will help neutralize some of the negative experiences the customer may have had during his visit to the business. In other words if the food was not at its best but the customer received excellent service, in many cases, the customer will feel that his overall dining experience was a positive one and he will return to the business again.
3) Maintaining a clean and updated environment and keeping all of the equipment well maintained – Customers notice the cleanliness of a restaurant, bar or night club –both in the front and back of the house that they can see. Restrooms are also a key element in the whole experience of dining as a well maintained and updated environment helps a business to keep or enhance its value. Buyers appreciate the hard work it takes to keep a business in tip top shape and makes it more palatable for them to offer a fair price. Keeping the equipment well maintained goes along with cleanliness. Equipment in good shape and good working order almost always enhances the customers and buyer’s experience when interacting with the operation. This is especially true for buyers as the condition of the equipment sets the tone to a large extent in the buyer’s interest of the business.
4) Providing a strong price value experience to the customer – A strong price value relationship is the experience the customer has in terms of whether or not he received value for the money he spent in buying goods and services in the business. If the customer feels he has received value he will most likely return versus a customer that feels he has not received value will not return.
There is an approximate 80% failure rate in the restaurant, bar and night club industry. The 20% that are successful have been so as a result of their practice of performing all of the above mentioned services to the customer on a consistent basis. It follows that buyers are more inclined to want to buy this type of business.