Restaurant Crisis Management

Restaurant Crisis Management:
Which of the following emergencies are you prepared to handle in your restaurant?

  • Hurricane/Tornado/Flooding/Snowstorm (weather-related causing business disruption)
  • Food poisoning
  • Choking
  • Customer or employee heart attack on premises
  • Death of owner/partner
  • Death of employee
  • Shooting
  • Burglary
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Temporary closure of your restaurant due to investigation of crisis

Some things you need to address and explore further:

  • Do you have a succession plan?
  • Who is trained in CPR and first aid?
  • Who is trained to aid a choking victim? (Heimlich maneuver)
  • Do you have a defibrillator on premises?
  • Do you have an executive/employee contact list?
  • Is there an employee phone-in number for emergencies?
  • Is your computer data backed-up daily on a Cloud server?
  • Do you know where the nearest hospital is located?
  • Is there a primary meeting place designated in case of evacuation?
  • Who, in your absence, is empowered to make decisions during a crisis?
  • Are your insurance plans up to date to take care of every crisis?
  • Who is designated to talk to the press and communicate via social media platforms?

Million Dollar Question:

What would you do if – during a crowded dinner hour – a (fill in the incident) occurred? Who would take charge? Who would you contact? Would customers have to be ushered out through the main door or fire exits? Who is available to render first aid?

Next Steps:

Tough stuff to deal with; the best you can do is be as prepared as possible. Don’t know what to do next? Maybe the easiest step is to invite the chief of your local fire station to meet with you at your restaurant for a frank discussion on the “what ifs.”

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Restaurant Marketing: Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?

If Not … Whether It’s Pizza, Burgers Or Steaks, They Just Ain’t Gonna Remember You!

Here’s the magic restaurant marketing question, “Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?”

If it isn’t, then you’re not embedding your restaurant into the mind of your guest. And, you’re making it more difficult for them to think about you for future visits. Let me explain–

Because the advertising landscape has changed, one of the most effective ways now to increase your sales is through “word of mouth” — guests talking to others about their dining/take-out experience.

Once taken for granted, “word of mouth” (call it talking or gossiping) is now more powerful than ever, given that everyone’s talking online and offline.

But what you need to realized is that you can actually influence what your guests say about your restaurant. In order to do this, you have to start crafting various facts, sights and sounds — otherwise called “stories” — that give your guests something positive to talk about and share with others.

Answering this question enables you, as an owner, to have a number of stories and experiences about your restaurant in place — stories that give your staff something interesting to tell your guests. Stories that illicit a response, “WOW, I didn’t know that!” Or … “WOW, that’s interesting!”

With this “word of mouth” concept in place, marketing your restaurant becomes much easier. You now have a reason to connect with people and tell a story. It’s the story they’ll talk about and share with others. Just as I said four years ago and now more important than ever, “Quit advertising. Start connecting.”

Here are some thought-starters:

What are you famous for?
What do you serve that no one else has?
What can you supersize to have the biggest? (Monster Pizza, steak, burger)
What can you downsize to have the smallest? (World’s smallest sundae)
What can you tell a guest that makes them say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

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