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.…

Seeking Advice On What Goes Good With Wine? Look Here!

Although any delicious meal can stand alone, a good connoisseur knows how to create a celebration at the table with the right wine. Learning the process can be a little exhaustive, but the following article will help speed things up for you. Put these tips to good use for your next meal.

Avoid buying trendy wines. You may hear a lot of buzz about a new wine; however, this does not make it right for you. Just because a celebrity is seen drinking a wine, this does not make it noteworthy. The real truth is in researching the wine itself and knowing if it suits your palate.

Leftover wine should not be saved for any more than four days. When wine comes in contact with oxygen, it starts to break down. This greatly effects the taste and balance. It is best to use any wine you have leftover for cooking instead of drinking it as it is.

When storing wines, you should make sure they reach a temperature of 57 degrees. This is the best temperature to serve a wine, but you might want to chill your white wines or let your red wines warm a little by simply placing the bottle on the table half an hour before your meal.

Do not let others influence your taste in wines. It is important you try different wines and decide what you love. Everyone has different taste buds and might not be looking for the same thing in a wine. Do not assume that drinking a wine recommended by an expert will make you more sophisticated.

A good tip if you’d like to get more into wine is to come to your own conclusions. Everyone’s a critic these days and wine is no exception. If you’re just blindly following a so-called expert’s advice, you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Instead, try to figure out what you like on your own.

A nice Pinot Noir is a wonderful wine to use when having a dinner party. This wine pairs very easily with a variety of foods and side dishes, and it is not too bold or sweet. This is also a type of wine that many people are familiar with, meaning your guests are more likely to enjoy it.

If you are trying to find a way to drink a less-expensive wine, consider making it into a punch or Sangria. Adding some fruit, a bit of sweet soda and a little ice can completely change the taste. This makes for a nice addition to a baby shower or birthday party, and one of your guests is sure to enjoy.

If you are venturing into trying new wines, it is better to get an experimental bottle over a whole case. Given the wide variety of wines and styles out there, single educational bottles are a great idea whenever drinking something new for the first time. If you like the taste, move up to a half-case.

Topping off a great meal with a fine wine requires a bit of know-how. Hopefully this article has shown you some new ways to select and serve wine that will complement your next celebration. Keep these tips in mind next time you are shopping for wine and practice making the perfect toast!…