Learning by Watching Television

Importance of planning in restaurant business or any business.


Strategy

Well this post is not a Restaurant Promo Idea but an example on the importance of palnning in everything we do.
I feel everyone has heard this mantra at a point of their life. The mantra goes like this “If you want to succeed in life, you need to do something you are passionate about“. Mine is the Food and Beverage. So much so that my other half says that she is the second wife, my job is my first wife. Thats true. I can’t stop working. When I am eating out, I always observe what the wait staff do, how food is presented and so on. Even when we stay in hotels, I like to wake up early and walk around the hotel. My wife always say when we are on holiday why can’t I leave my work at home. Even the shows I like to watch are related to the Food and Beverage field. Nowadays after assuming a management position my playlist have increased. I like shows that are related to the management and also marketing field. One such show is the Apprentice reality show with Donald Trump. I not only like to see how they market or complete their projects. You can also get some management and leadership lesson from these type of shows especially from the boss Donald Trump.
Recently AXN started a new Apprentice Series based in Asia. Its on every wednesday and is called of course “Apprentice Asia”. The boss here will be Tony Fernandez. Tony Fernandez is really an inspirational guy. From being in the music industry he bought a failing airline for only RM1 (with a heavy debt attached to it and turn it into one of the best low cost airlines. You can read something about him here My Heroes- People who have inspired me.
Well lets go back with the opening episode of Apprentice Asia. The teams were divided by gender, each team was given the task of selling fish at a market. The team with the highest profit margin wins the challenge. Should be a simple task for a bunch of professionals but they failed misserable. The ladies team lost about RM100 and the men’s team lost RM600.
We will review why the men lost. The main word was STRATEGY.
They didn’t sit down and plan their strategy. When they arrive at the market they quickly set up stall. They didn’t do a market survey, therefore they didn’t know whether they were selling higher or lower. They let the buyers who is very savvy with fish prices dictate the price. They didn’t do a price list based on a profit margin, therefore they sold at a lower price. One of the participants started calling customers eventhough they were not ready. Even Sun Tzu has something to say about planning, its from the first chapter called “Laying Plans”.26. “Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.”
From this show, you will see the importance of planning especially when doing a menu. Even the simplest task like selling fish needs to carefully planned. In a previous post I have elaborated the steps in creating your menu.

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Tony DiCorpo is a coffee roaster, barista trainer and coffee business consultant. He has authored many articles on coffee and the coffee business. Tony has extensive experience in business and collectively more than 20 years experience in sales, business management, entrepreneurship and the coffee business. The website to go to get his business plan is
www.tonys-coffee-shop-business-plan.com

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Restaurant Promotion Idea #5. Do Little Tournaments

Promote your Bar with Tournaments

We had a lounge in the hotel where I worked, that was not doing too well. We hired a band during festive holidays but people still didn’t come. Furthermore the salary of the band was eating into my profits. I noticed that customers preferred watching live football matches on the big screen than listening to the band. So I stopped the band, invested in some dartboards, bought another big screen TV and converted the whole bar into a sports bar. Business was great on weekends when the hotel was full and there were live matches. Now I needed a way to get in business on the weekdays. I found out that there were quite a number of avid darters in our area. So I organized on a bi monthly basis small dart tournaments. Below are the steps I took.

How I organised a Dart Tournament

Step #1. Decide What Prizes you Want to put up for Your Tournament
Brainstorm and decide what you want offer. Do a little research with the dart community in your area. Make sure the prizes are enticing to the darters. As for me prize money is always the favorite. But make sure the prize money doesn’t eat up your profit. What we did was collect registration fees and uses it for the prize money. How we did it was to divide the collection, where the winner got 50% of the collection. The second place got 25% and the third got 10%. So if the collection was $400, the winner got $200, second got $100 and the third got $40. And the balance 15% goes back to cover whatever miscellaneous expenses you spend. By doing this you don’t have to fork out a lot of money. You can also get sponsors from your suppliers.

Step #2. Tournament Promotional Materials

Now we come to promoting your tournaments. There are numerous ways. If you are using banners, make the design suits the location where you will put it up. Example if placed at the side of the road it should be short and simple, people driving will have little time to read it. Try not to use fancy fonts. As for us it was only five lines with the prize money on the side. We also created posters to put up in offices bulletin boards.

Step #3. Collect Names and Entry Fees
Start early by collecting names. With this you will be able to plan how many dart boards you need to have. You can also foresee how many days you need to run the competition. Create a form where the participants can fill in their details. Later you keep the address in the form for your mailing list.



Step #4-Organize your Tournament Bracket
tournamentAfter you got your marketing activities going. Now its time to choose your tournament bracket. We chose the round robin preliminaries with the best of three. To us Round Robin was the best cause every player gets a chance to play and you might sell more drinks due to it takes a long time to finish the game. Put all the names in a hat or bucket and pull them out randomly to decide who will compete against whom first. But if there is too much players than you need to split in two to three groups and play for two or three days. Order of play can either be decided by each throwing a dart at the center of the bull, the nearest being the player to throw first, or by a toss of a coin. We chose the nearest to bull.

The Outcome
Our first dart competition was a success, we received 25 participants. After deducting everything we broke even. The plus point is we managed to get additional orders of beverages and also free advertisement that we have a sports bar in our hotel. So we intend to do this tournament every two months.

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