Let’s face it; an independent restaurant won’t survive long without some sustainable competitive edge. It doesn’t matter how appetizing your specials are, including that cream base soup because you still have to find a way to stand out from the competition. You have to overcome several challenges, ranging from lack of knowledge and experience, access to capital, lack of purchasing power, brand recognition, and the list goes on.
To survive all this, you have to have a competitive advantage. This means that the ambiance, service, beverages and food of your restaurant must have one or more qualities in comparison to your competitors. Begin with the following concepts:
The culture of a restaurant is the same as the quality of a person. No two individuals are alike, and it’s quite impossible to replicate. Your restaurant’s culture can serve as your sustainable competitive advantage for it is the foundation where all your other advantages come from. It will direct the performance of your restaurant and control the attitude of the people. It describes the outlook of the whole restaurant and affects every intention, decision and action.
Your culture defines your purpose, and it will be defined by your ardent longing to make a difference in customer’s lives. To create an exceptional recipe of culture, ensure that you stimulate their senses, provide an emotional connection through hospitality and give them an unforgettable eating experience.
Without a doubt, the caliber and quality of your staff determine the sustainability of your competitive advantage. Always remember that people create your sustainable competitive advantage, and they don’t just create themselves.
To lure the right kind of employees, ensure that the main driving force of your company is its purpose, and not to earn more profit. This is like a tribal instinct that draws people to groups where they have the same understanding and purpose. Create your distinct tribal behavior based on your common purpose and goal. Your employees must be willing to fulfill the mission statement of your restaurant so that their intentions, attitude and actions reflect it.
It’s a dog eat dog world out there, so you have to find a way to stand out if you want your restaurant business to last. With a sustainable competitive advantage, you don’t have to worry about trying to keep up with the competition.