3 Ways to be a Leader in the Community as a Restaurant Owner
Updated: Jun 19
How to be a leader in the community as a restaurant owner or a restaurant professional?
Sales can cure the majority of the issues that we have in this business. It can't cure all the problems, but you need to be obsessed with growing your sales, this has been our approach to our restaurants. We are keen on increasing our sales and profits.
Let's talk about why this topic matters. Specifically, in the first years when you are trying to survive in this business, not making enough profits, and below break-even.
This may not really matter for you as much at this time. However, it's good to know this, I feel like that's the vision where you and I need to be in.
A leader is a person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. It could be a president or an owner of a restaurant. At the end of the day, you and I are leading our organizations.
We're leading our team. It does not matter what size of a company you have, 1 or 2 members, 50 or 100, you are a leader.
I wholeheartedly believe that a small business can have a massive impact. That is something I stand for in the community.
So if you are a restaurant owner, no matter how small or big your business is, you are a leader.
The question I have for you is, what do you stand for? Do you stand for something in the community? Do you have a well-respected voice in your area?
Let me tell you about my passion for small business. One of the things that happen to us, here in our community, in Texas, where we're located, is that as a whole, Texas is franchise-driven. People want convenience, they want what they are already familiar with.
But I believe that the flavor of a town comes from local businesses, particularly restaurants. This is something we strongly believe in.
So what is that you stand for in your community? Maybe you're into pets, and you have stands, or advocacy when it comes to pets?
I don't know about different charities and different things that go on in your community. But we need to focus, understand what we stand for. Have a voice and use it wisely.
One of our strategies in 2019, when it comes to marketing is to get more involved in our community. A leader in the community is a connector. When you can connect different groups of people, you become a leader.
As a restaurant owner or restaurant professional, you and I can connect to the different communities by:
1. Being the community of our restaurant, our staff.
2. Being the community of our customers.
3. Being part of a business community, such as:
👍 Local Chamber of Commerce
👍 Lions Club
👍 Rotary Club
👍 Other networking groups
You can connect the business community to your customers. You can connect your customers to your people.
This is a great privilege to be in this position, being a leader, and being a connector.
Just recently, our restaurant was recognized and given the "Small Business Awards of the Year."
This is a token of representing small businesses. We are a small business that has been heavily involved and trying to make a difference in the community.
It's a privilege and an honor for us to receive that award. This is the third year that we accepted that award, and we've been in business for five years.
Also, this year, I was voted in as one of the board members of our Local Chamber of Commerce.
Because I believe that as a small business owner, I represent other small business owners. If I want us to have a voice, I need to be up there and be a voice.
So another question I have for you, what are you passionate about? If there's one thing I'd like you to do now, that is for you to know your voice. Realize that you have power in the community as a small business owner.
If you and I are not out there fighting for our people group, no one will, right? In the Board that I'm part of, there are folks from banks, there are folks from other franchise restaurants, etc. who are there to fight for what they represent.
So I want to give you three ways that you can be a leader in your community starting today:
1. Own it, believe it and humbly be proud of it!
You need to know that you are a leader and your role in the community matters. I don't care if it is a 500 square foot restaurant, it does not matter. You are a leader in the community, your voice matters. Be proud of it.
Especially in this day and age, it is hard to sustain a business like restaurants. I commend you and admire you for being in this business. So own it, and be proud of it.
2. Be actively involved in your Local Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc.
👌 Attend their monthly luncheon, take biz cards. Get business cards and follow up!
👌 Take some food and say hello! How can you join? Take a few of your food, go to their offices, and offer your food for free. Shake some hands, get to know them, pass on your business card. Figure what is going in the community.
3. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to serve.
👉 Opportunities to bless others with your food
People reach out to us all the time.
There's a family in need, they had a death, or a house was on fire in the community.
They were putting up meal trains and a lot of times we were asked to donate some food. We are happy to do that always.
Aside from that, I'm always involved in our local Facebook Groups. I'm listening, looking, reading, and trying to figure out what is going on around the town. You'd be surprised how much this simple routine can affect your sales.
As you listen to various things on this social media platform, opportunities come in.
You can directly reach out to people by exchanging words through direct messaging or comments and then accomplished something beneficial to others.
There were a lot of times when we donated our pizzas to some organizations who volunteered for a cause. We do this out of goodwill.
👉 Opportunities for partnership
Find ways to partner with other businesses.
This is something that we have applied remarkably in the last five years to serve our customers.
For instance, with our pizzeria restaurants, we serve a lot of families with young kids.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, we have something we call "BYOP or Build Your Own Pizza" nights for children, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
There was a local business that provided pottery classes for little kids, and we partnered with them. We host events in our large patio, and they bring their customers to the event. We organized a "Pizza and Pottery" event, or a "Pizza and Painting" event.
It's a wonderful feeling to create a unique experience for our customers. Something that they can not get anywhere else.
They can come in with their families, kids get to build their own pizzas, and they get to take a piece of pottery or a painting that they personally make.
We are not competing with local businesses, instead, we are continuously looking for opportunities to bless fellow business owners. We build mutually beneficial business relationships.
👉 Opportunities to get to know fellow business owners, understand how you can help them grow their sales
I am always working out on how we help other businesses grow their sales.
Because if I can help them improve their sales, then the economy of our town will improve as well.
As a restaurant owner, you embody a lot of skill sets that other people don't have.
For instance, handling customer complaints, taking numerous marketing strategies, and etc. that you can share ideas with other business owners as to how they can grow their sales.
I'm always looking for allies in the community, they could be business owners, group of customers, and etc.
And guess what?
A lot of those folks who are also business owners would always end up telling me how their families love to come to our restaurants.
Know that your fellow local business owners are also your customers. You are being generous, and by having this mindset of looking for opportunities to serve fellow business owners, it will equally help you grow your sales.
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