Own A Cafe, Restaurant, Bar But Have No Website? Get One Before 2013

If you don’t have a website for your Cafe, Restaurant or Bar, then take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Did you know that only about one third (to one half) of New Zealand’s Cafe’s, Restaurant’s and Bar’s have a website?

The 5 Most Common Objections I Hear From Owners:

When asked why they don’t have a website, owners typically come up with one or more of the following objections.

(Have similar thoughts gone through your head? If so, it’s time to update your thinking.)

1. “I don’t know how, I’m not good with computers”

  • Then learn. Or at least find a family member or staff member to take care of the basics.

2. “Websites cost too much”

How Many Things Can A Restaurant Do Wrong and Still Stay In Business?

It must be 9 because last night the Jasmine Thai Restaurant in Tauranga made 8 screw ups:

  1. The outside signage was so dark and small that half of our party couldn’t find the restaurant when they drove past
  2. The jugs of water that were served when we arrived were at room temperature. No ice. No lemon.
  3. Half of our table wasn’t having wine, but the wine glasses were not cleared from the table (a minor point but we needed the space later)
  4. Half of our party arrived 10 minutes after the first half, but weren’t offered drinks on their arrival
  5. The waitress took the order of a table that arrived after us
  6. Instead of reprinting the menus, things were crossed out with a black permanent marker or with a tiny piece of paper and sellotape.  For example “fresh” was crossed out for “fresh orange juice”
  7. The list of mains were numbered (which is tacky in itself, who started that anyway?), but each page of the mains menu started at number 1, so if we wanted number 5 we’d have to say “number 5 on the second page”, or “number 14 on page 3”
  8. When the waitress came back with our meals she had to ask who ordered what. Is it that hard to remember who ordered what?

However, the food was delicious, fresh and tasty. I have no problem with the chef. But the service was terrible.

How tight-a-ship do you run?

  • Do you pay attention to detail in your business?
  • Have you let your standards slip over time and hoped that no-one will notice?
  • Maybe it’s time for a spring clean?
  • Maybe it’s time you got a fresh pair of eyes to look over your business?
  • If so, I’m available

The Principle of Scarcity at Work at a new Hamilton Restaurant

Went to Smith and McKenzie Chop House on the weekend. Quite an experience.

Seth Godin (my #1 favourite marketer in the world), says that you have to tell a story to have any chance of selling what you are selling.

Smith and McKenzie tells a story.

As soon as you walk in you notice the high ceilings, the open kitchen, the multiple seating areas, the meat hooks hanging from the bar and the old freezer doors between between the areas (they recycled materials from the old Horonui Freezing Works), the massive pipes leading from the keg room to the bar, and the 6m tall shelving units (almost 3 stories high) full of wines, beers and spirits .

At the bar leaners while waiting to be seated we read about the back-story, their history, on an A5 display unit. We find out how the idea of a “chop house” comes from the states, and how it stands for quality ingredients – especially when it comes to cuts of meat.

We sit down and receive our menus and here’s where the real fun starts.  Each item has it’s own story! An entire paragraph describing where the animal for each cut of meat comes from.

What immediately caught my eye is the Chop House Special: Rib eye that is slow cooked for 16 hours at 59 degrees.  You have to book 24 hours ahead to get one! Wow.

I asked the waitress if she could check if there were any available to me tonight. She returned in a minute with “no, I’m sorry, you’ll have to book ahead next time.”  I want it even more!

And that is the principle of scarcity at work. We want what we can’t have.

You’ve come across statements like “while stocks last!” and “first 10 callers only!”, a million times. But the story behind this example makes it very special, unique, authentic and highly desirable.

Did you notice the risks they are taking?

They are risking me leaving because they can’t give me what I want (I could get up and leave instead of choosing something else from the menu).  They are also locking themselves into the scarcity, because it actually takes 16 hours to cook (compare that to an infomercial selling kitchen knives claiming that stock is limited when you just know they have 10,000 units in their warehouse, and another 10,000 can be on the way from China tomorrow)

Those risks create authenticity.

What story can you tell about your product or service? And how can you introduce the principle of scarcity into it (in an authentic way)?

P.S. I settled for the 400grm T-bone with BBQ sauce (medium rare of course) and it was the best steak I’ve ever had (did the story accentuate the flavour? For sure.)