Above The Bar
December 3, 2012
As I sit down to write out this article, I cannot help but to look back on all of my years and the countless lessons learned, both good and bad. The blood sweat and tears of almost two decades of hands on experience.
When I started to write my first book "The Little Black Bar Book" I was overwhelmed at the amount of information that flowed out of me onto the pages. What I was not prepared for was the realization that I was touching on a deeper psychological vein of what makes our customers tick.
Looking at any venue I seem to have this keen sense of visualizing the cause and effect of almost every decision being made, and the impact of those decisions on the psyche of the customer. This sixth sense or (third eye) seems to allow me to visualize a venue in my mind from opening to closing, in visualizing multiple scenarios of the venue both busy and slow while assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the venue, the moving parts including those parts that are the most important, the Customers themselves.
Now comes the million dollar question, Can't someone just read my book and build the perfect bar or club. The answer is "NO!" Why you might ask, because no two venues are exactly alike. They might be similar but never exactly alike and I could fill a thousand books with information of what works with each specific venue and another thousand unwritten books on venues to come.
The next questions you should be asking are "What, How, and Why?" Lets examine the building blocks of every venue, the DNA. These key elements are needed to not only create life but to prolong it.
1-Location, spend more on a location to save on marketing, this allows you to focus on the service and not stress about the traffic. This is a key element that will allow you to focus on the inner workings and the service portion of your business.
2-Versatility, a venue that has this is 50% more likely to survive and 100% more likely to outlast a venue without.
3-Concept and identity, can the venue make that all important connection with the customer. A bond or loyalty that keeps the customer not only coming back after the "New" wears off, the customer must be willing to continue to contribute to the financial success of the venue.
4-Value, this is quantified in two segments, the intangible and the tangible or monetary. We are providing a service, an exchange for goods and services for currency and or loyalty. The quality of these goods and services a directly correlated to success.
You might be thinking that this is only for new venues, you are "Not" correct, this applies to any and all venues. This runs from the physical parts and pieces of the venue to the ethereal policies and procedures that define. I like to call this "The Love" of the venue.
Stop looking at your venue from the inside out and look at it from the perspective of the customers. Using the plurality in the word customers is the most important element as you want to appease to the masses and not to the one. The most important factor to setting yourself Above the Bar.