There’s a misinterpretation moving around the world as to what the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry actually is. Yes, the passion for food, creating, competing, earning your Michelin and everything about the culinary itself is important, but if you strip it all away, what is the industry’s number one focus? The absolute key to success or failure in the F&B is the PEOPLE.
When F&B professionals understand that it’s just a people industry, Food & Beverage itself, in reality, is just a tool to meeting the needs of the stakeholders, the people whom your restaurant serves each day and everyone involved in successfully completing that goal.
Your Customers are The People Who Have a Direct Role in:
Marketing. Your customers take notice of your brand, connect with your food, and share their experience within their networks. The initial marketing is on you, however, word of mouth is the strongest and fastest form of spreading information, good or bad.
Revenue. If you can meet the needs of your customers, they will return and spend more money with your brand. Without customers in your restaurant, you won’t be making any revenue.
Service. The customer journey you provide customers at your establishment, including the menu items they feast on, will determine the type of service you provide within your brand identity. If the journey is difficult to follow, that will reflect poorly on your restaurant when your customers share their experiences with their personal and social community.
These People, your customers, are where you should focus your Branding, Marketing, Loyalty Programs, and, of course, where all your culinary creativity will go to be judged.
Your Employees are The People Who Play a Direct Role in:
Brand Identity. Your employees are your most valuable resource. They are the face of your establishment and will determine the vibes and ambiance that will reflect on your customers. Employees at every level in the restaurant environment, kitchen to service, will also provide the word of mouth identity when sharing their experiences with their peers and social networks. That word of mouth is important for future customer retention as well as aiding in seeking out more potential employees as your brand grows.
Service. Your employees are the stakeholders that provide and enact the customer journey. If customers have a negative experience during this journey, it’s the responsibility of your employees to navigate the issue and set it back on track. The customer journey needs to be smooth and free of as many hiccups as possible, to ensure guests return.
Creation. Both the creation of the food your customers have sought out to consume and the creation of the connection your customers have with your establishment is almost solely dependent on your employees. Your staff should have access to the resources they require to assure the creation process is positive and satisfying.
These People, your employees are where you should focus on conveying your Brand & Identity, Customer Journey, Passion, Creativity, Consistency, and, importantly, the overall Hygiene of your restaurant.
Your Vendors/Suppliers are The People Who Play a Direct Role in:
Tools and Costs of Production. The equipment your employees depend on to serve their creations to your customers is provided through the equipment, including the food, that your vendors and suppliers delivered. Your Cost of Investment and Cost of Goods Sold needs to reflect the proportion that your equipment needs to succeed relative to your stakeholders as well as the amount of money in which your customers are willing to pay for your final product, which includes their restaurant experience.
Consistency. Your vendors are important for maintaining consistency in ingredient quality as well as the functional abilities of the equipment that creates your product. Even the system in which you utilize to serve your customers more efficiently plays a direct role in managing the consistency of quick service as well.
Expansion & Improvement. The ecosystem in which your establishment is able to build and expand is created by your vendors and suppliers. If they are unable to provide equipment that is of absolute quality, that can grow with your business, then it will make the goal almost impossible to meet. Your vendors are also able to share with their networks and working relationships in the supply and equipment industry to open up more opportunities for your business and spread your brand identity.
These People, your vendors/suppliers are where you should focus on Quality, Technology, Productivity, Costing, Expansion Opportunities & Economy of Scale.
Word of mouth is immensely important across the board of people involved in the success of your establishment, therefore the image you represent needs to be as positive as possible - and your customers’ experience with your brand is a reflection of the rest of your people (including yours) roles they play within your F&B establishment.
In makes sense then, that the F&B industry is less about the food and other components, and is about the people, the stakeholders, that create the experiences in which the rest can succeed.
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