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The Key Ingredients of a Successful Restaurant, Bar or Night Club from a Customer’s & Buyer’s Perspective

By in 2008 - Volume 10

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.

If you are thinking about selling your business please consider using Restaurant Realty Company as we have a very comprehensive marketing program  which has resulted in a close rate that is almost three times the national average and  sales of over 600 restaurant, bar and nightclub businesses since 1996.

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About The Author
Steven Zimmerman, CBI, M&AMI, CBB, FIBBA

Steve is the Founder, Principal Broker and Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Realty Company. Steve has personally sold/leased over 1,000 restaurant, bar and/or nightclub businesses and many related commercial buildings totaling 2+ million square feet of commercial space, collaborated with over 2,000 clients and completed over 3,000 valuations since 1996.His real estate experience also includes sales, acquisitions, management and ownership of numerous properties throughout California including restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, single family houses, an office building and a multi-use retail building. Steve is also the author of Restaurant Dealmaker – An Insider’s Trade Secrets for Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club available on Amazon. Prior to starting Restaurant Realty Company Steve had over 20 years of restaurant experience and was President and Chief Executive officer of Zim’s Restaurants, which was one of the largest privately owned restaurant chains in the San Francisco Bay Area. READ FULL BIO | HIRE EXPERT WITNESS - LEARN MORE