Meeting the Demands of Today’s Consumer: The Importance of Flawless Execution

Steven Morris

Today it seems that consumers demand perfection in every restaurant experience. And why shouldn’t they? An overwhelming abundance of eating options exist in the competitive environment in which we operate today. Innovation in technology, equipment, and our food supply chain along with demands for an increasing number of food and beverage options and styles have provided consumers with anything they desire.

The rise of the fast casual segment of our industry, home delivery services, delivered home meal preparation kits, and an increasing number of grocery or convenience store prepared food options provide almost endless options for consumers.

The rise of food and restaurant blogs, food and restaurant focused television shows, mobile real time search capability, and consumer rating services such as Yelp have provided consumers with more information than ever before, all available in real time on their mobile devices.

In a June 2017 article the The Atlantic titled “The Paradox of American Restaurants,” the author highlights these shifts in the restaurant landscape in our country. He highlights four theories that may explain why we are going through a “restaurant renaissance and a restaurant recession at the same time.”

  • The growing number of restaurant options
  • The challenges faced by the casual dining full service restaurant sector
  • The rise of takeout and delivery
  • The growth of leisure and dining spending in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas

In a May 2017 article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Lunch Business Serves up Less for Restaurants” the author cites statistics showing that the share of people eating out for lunch is declining due to fundamental shifts in the way we work and shop.

I believe that one of the most important implications of these huge shifts in consumer behavior and the changes in the competitive landscape is the pressure this puts upon restaurant operators to flawlessly execute day in and day out, for each and every customer.

Poorly prepared food, inhospitable service, and dirty restrooms or dining areas are just not tolerated any longer. The pressure on operators to create the culture, management and operating systems, and teams that can flawlessly deliver on a concept’s brand promise from open to close, every day is greater than ever.

It is imperative that we use all the tools at our disposal and seek out and deploy the right resources to make flawless execution of paramount importance in our business operations. Hiring and training the right people, giving them the right resources, empowering them to use their creativity and ingenuity to get the job done, and creating replicable operating systems to prepare, cook and serve outstanding food are essential.

While I believe that nobody makes the decision to invest their lives in this business with the intention of disappointing their customers, the intense pressures of our business lead to inevitable challenges. We as restaurant operators must renew our commitment to flawless execution to ensure that the people that depend on us can continue to do so.

Steven Morris

Steven Morris is a seasoned business owner, investor and non-profit leader with experience managing large organizations with multiple employees and operating sites. He has over 30 years of executive leadership experience building profitable and sustainable business operations and strengthening the viability and organizational vitality of non-profit organizations.

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