Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Tips for Restaurant Owners: Keeping Good Employees, Profits



If you, as a restaurant owner, have trouble keeping talented employees, consider insights from a report on a Sacramento, California TV station. It will also help you stay in business.

The headline, “Servers Say Groupon Leads to Smaller Tips,” The KXTL-TV report on Jan. 25, 2012, which is enlightening, cites numerous comments on YCombinator.

It seems restaurant employees across the nation are unhappy about the small tips they get from customers who use discounted Groupon coupons. Groupon has about 150 million subscribers.

Consumers get coupons from Groupon for discounts. The rub is that restaurant customers are tipping on the 50 percent discounted price, not the regular menu price.

What’s worse, the article states: “The State Restaurant Association tells FOX40 that with the stressed economy, business owners are finding it hard to keep giving such big discounts.”

In essence, the report serves to support the conclusions in a Biz Coach article: “Daily Deal Sites and Pricing Principles – What’s Sustainable and What Isn’t.

Long term, such restaurant couponing does not give an adequate return on investment.

The article cited research by Rice University that shows many restaurants find it impossible to be profitable by partnering with Groupon and other daily deal sites.

I wrote:

The study caught my eye because this business portal has long maintained it’s dangerous to sell products at the cheapest price in the marketplace vis-à-vis focusing on value and customer service. (See What are the Secrets for Success from Advertising?)

“Companies that focus solely on price attract the smallest segment of consumers – 18 percent – the least-desirable customers who make buying decisions solely on price. Such consumers are not loyal. Additionally, they’re the biggest complainers and more likely to return products.”

So listen to your employees – partner with themUse the right strategies to give you pricing power.

From the Coach’s Corner, for business success in marketing, here are related resource links:

Restaurants Benefit by Seasoning Their Customer Loyalty Programs — With only 33 percent of patrons who are loyal customers, restaurants need to add seasoning to their customer-loyalty programs, according to a Deloitte Consulting study.

“Although restaurant loyalty program participation is lagging, the study indicates that consumers do not have an inherent aversion to such programs,” said Scott Rosenberger, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte’s U.S. Consulting Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Leader. “These programs can drive value if promoted effectively, as a restaurant’s most frequent patrons are more inclined to join that restaurant’s program and use it more than any others.”

Action Steps To Get Top Results From Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution. There are five important steps to take.

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile Apps — Consumer and enterprise penchants for mobile technology have skyrocketed but we’ve only scratched the surface in developing quality, application solutions. Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. That includes competitiveness in the marketplace; efficiency; enterprise and consumer relationships; and revenue – better yet, profits would be more ideal.

Fast, Easy Ways to Create Buzz — Sports Case Study — Question: Which sports star has created the most-positive buzz on social media since 2011 (Some hints: He was an outstanding college football star, played with success briefly in the NFL, but teams won’t hire him. Instead, he’s working for ESPN as an analyst for the SEC Network.)

Answer: Tim Tebow. He’s a great case study in creating buzz.

Marketing Essentials on a Shoestring Budget — Why do businesses sometimes falter? Let’s get the perspective of a retired longtime business professor and business counselor who is actively pursued for his opinions.

“One reason is they fail to understand their special niche or their market,” said Neil Delisanti, who enjoyed a unique, long career as a business professor at the University of Puget Sound and The Evergreen State College. He also ran the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Tacoma, WA, where he advised more than 2,000 firms.

“Incentives are not strategy, they are tactics. Defensive measures.”
-Carlos Ghosn 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.