3 Valuable Lessons We Can Learn from Perkins

Fans of the troubled Perkins Restaurant and Bakery chain got another round of bad news recently when it was announced that its parent company was filing for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is just the latest in a string of bankruptcies that have plagued the restaurant chain since it merged with The Restaurant Company (TRC) in 2000.

Whether you are a single restaurant owner striving to sell the best Mexican food in in Salt Lake City or regional manager in charge of dozens of chain restaurants in the Midwest, there are three valuable lessons we can all learn from Perkins. They are lessons that a faltering restaurant sector should take to heart.

1. Corporatism Doesn’t Guarantee Success

Perkins started out as a family restaurant in the late 1950s. The first few restaurants were actually Perkins Pancake House’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Perkins family decided to begin franchising. Through aggressive development into the 1970s, what started out as a family business became a nationally recognized chain.

Perkins went fully corporate after being acquired by Holiday Inns, Inc., in the ’80s. One would think that taking the restaurant corporate would seal its future as a restaurant chain to be reckoned with for decades to come. Indeed, it did very well for the next 15 to 20 years – until the turn of the 21st century. Then the company went through a series of acquisitions, bankruptcies, and restaurant closings.

The point of this brief history is to say that corporatism is no guarantee of success. Indeed, some of the hardest hit restaurants in the recent industry downturn have been corporate chains. Meanwhile, family-run operations like Salt Lake City’s Taqueria27 Mexican restaurant seem to be doing just fine, and haven’t given up their goal of serving the best tacos in Utah.

2. Names Can Be Good or Bad

The second lesson to be learned here is that restaurant names can be good or bad. By this, we mean they can be associated with good or bad things in the minds of customers. Back in the 1970s and 80s, the Perkins name was the gold standard in family restaurants. If there was a Perkins in your town, that was the place to be when you were looking for a nice, family-friendly atmosphere and good food at a decent price.

In recent years, the Perkins name has been associated with poor quality. It is no longer the gold standard family restaurants. That is a shame, especially for the original Perkins family that started it all.

3. Branding Has Limited Effectiveness

The third and final lesson is a harsh one in a modern business environment that leans too heavily on image: branding has limited effectiveness. Unfortunately, Perkins attempted to re-brand itself multiple times since the late 1980s as a means of trying to keep up with the times. They were re-branding in an attempt to remain relevant and keep foot traffic coming in.

What management failed to realize is that the beginning of Perkins troubles had nothing to do with the brand. It was about the product and service. Fall down on those two areas and no restaurant will succeed. In the end, re-branding was a marketing gimmick. It was no substitute for good food, excellent service, and reasonable prices.

If you want your restaurant to be known as the best place to find Mexican food in Salt Lake City, focus solely on that. Let it be your passion. If you want your restaurant to be the best family restaurant, focus on becoming the best family restaurant humanly possible. Recent Perkins owners never learned that lesson. So they are in bankruptcy once again.…

How Outdoor Seating at Your Bar or Restaurant Can Increase Your Revenue

When you have a bar or restaurant it can be hard to think of ideas to increase your revenue. One of the best ways to boost your revenue is to add outdoor seating to your establishment.

Companies like Dawnvale can help you come up with an outdoor seating design that best complements the interior of your bar or restaurant. The design to the outdoor space can either have the effect of either reducing or increasing your revenue so it helps to have the right people do the job.

Some of the ways that outdoor seating at your establishment can increase your revenue includes:

Increased Sitting Space

It is a simple conclusion that if you can increase the number of people at your establishment, you can increase your revenue. An outdoor seating space at a bar or restaurant will certainly do that.

The design of the outdoor seating area will determine how many people can use it but the aim should be fit as many as possible. However, the space should still allow for good and quick service as well as movement by staff and customers.

Outdoor seating should also be done in a way that lets customers enjoy the outdoors while still enjoying their meals or drinks. The increased traffic to your establishment will increase the amount of revenue you make.

More Decorative Opportunities

Outdoor seating does not have to be only about getting more numbers to your bar or restaurant. It also offers you an opportunity to experiment with outdoor décor.

It goes without saying that the interior décor of a bar or restaurant should be different from its exterior décor. However, you they should complement each other.

You can use some outdoor furniture to add color and style to the exterior of your establishment. They will not only brighten up the venue but it will also increase the overall appearance of the bar or restaurant.

Turning Traffic into Customers

You can also use an outdoor seating to attract more customers and encourage consumption at your establishment. When you put up an outdoor seating area, those who pass by your restaurant can easily get an idea of the venue’s atmosphere. A bar or restaurant’s outdoor area is a good indication of the rest of the establishment.

You can also use the outdoor space to advertise to potential customers passing by your restaurant and attract more traffic into your establishment. Increased traffic means increased revenue and more profits.

More Relaxing Atmosphere

Adding an outdoor seating area to your establishment can create a more relaxed ambience which can attract more people. It may also attract customers who may have wanted to enjoy your bar or restaurant but did would prefer to enjoy your products outside a cramped space.

With plants outside the venue, the wind and the sunshine create a very relaxed ambience. It has been shown by several studies that customers say food tastes better when consumed outdoors.

A more relaxed atmosphere means more people will come to your establishment to enjoy it which in turn means more revenue.