|Suckling Pig at Ajax in Aspen||
Taking your restaurant’s or entire brand’s food up a notch requires top-down support and planning. Change is key: though implementing a new product or procedure in casual dining can be easy, integration – or further embedding change in the culture of your brand – is not always easy. It requires progressive and systematic steps to assure compliance. Though it is difficult to outline all steps required for change, it is vital to acknowledge its importance – success means that brands need to continually innovate and evolve or get left behind.
Taking food up a notch also means better food products, coupled with new and improved recipes. Some essential steps should be followed to ensure success and compliance. Ask yourself if your food facelift falls in line with these questions:
Does your food direction fit the brand strategy?
If you are looking to improve your menu, then you want to make sure new products conform to the culture of your brand. This can mean adjustments to recipes, quality of products and training.
Has your concept listened to its consumers for feedback?
As the age-old adage goes, the customer is always king. Ask your customers what they think of new innovation, including recipes. This should provide confidence that you are moving in the right direction.
Ask yourself these questions when undertaking this major paradigm shift, or the way you map your business.
- Is this good for your guest?
- Can you make money?
- Can you execute?
Will your team be responsible?
You must have accountability from top to bottom, including the employees who execute each recipe. What change will guarantee that your guest is able to see and taste a difference in food quality?
Does taking price still fit your brand strategy?
Quality improvement in both food and beverage may require the need to take price. You simply cannot purchase better products, then turn those recipes into winners without considering price and valuing each item.
How have you marketed this shift and improvement with food?
Marketing to your customers that the quality of your products has improved – i.e. by debuting a new menu – will be great for both your brand and your brand’s bottom line. Make sure to include a marketing plan in your revamped brand strategy. Everyone on the team should clearly understand and be able to execute this plan.
Change is fundamental to every brand, and should be at the core of brand strategy. If your brand is looking to continually grow and change with burgeoning trends, then the aforementioned questions and challenges will be a great start for your restaurant and brand.
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