You can! Your little startup restaurant needs focus. You need laser focus in every aspect of your business.
Recently we received a cutting board that is laser etched. It has beautiful thin vines, flowers and awesomely delicate type—can you imagine what it would look like if it was etched using a flashlight? What would it look like using the good old fashioned incandescents your Dad had?
Your focus needs to be aligned through and through or you risk coming across as a blurry mess. This is what it takes as a successful brand in Vancouver. You have too much competition not to.
Take for instance the restaurant concept that serves both Sushi and Pizza. Sure the sushi might be out of this world and the pizza to die for, but is this a place you’d recommend to a connoisseur of either? When someone recommends a place like this to you, how big of a grain of salt do you take it with?
Becoming a sushi chef is no quick and easy feat. It can take ten years! A master pizzaiolo basically needs oregano in their blood. Intuitively, we know that one person having both of these qualifications is highly unlikely.
Either you’re going there predominantly for the sushi or predominantly for the pizza, but never both. On top of it, your expectations are probably pretty low. It’s likely a miracle you went in the first place. Odds are the one thing they did focus on is that it is cheap and you’re there for cheap food or the novelty.
If this is your business, do you want to be known for being cheap or for being good? As a side note, we as people naturally associate price with value and quality. Studies have shown identical items priced differently hold different value. Customers actually associate products that are more expensive as being higher quality.
When you don’t focus your message, the customer is left guessing for themselves. They will make assumptions. Their assumptions become your brand. Word of mouth will actively start working against you. You need to focus. Your business’ success depends on it!
It may seem counter-intuitive. By focussing on sushi you might think they are giving up on entire market that likes pizza. With that same logic they should be selling furniture and umbrellas as well. This sort of thing might work for Amazon. It won’t work for you and I because the fact is we’re small—but that’s a good thing! We are unique and specialized. How likely is Amazon to carry anything as amazing as what Vancouver’s Umbrella Shop carries?
People are multi-dimensional and they can like both pizza and sushi but they only want one at a time. I have heard crazy things can happen when you’re pregnant, but I can’t speak to that. Even with the advent of sushi-pizza, what are your first initial thoughts? Do you have high expectations? Let’s expand the offerings even more. To belabour the point, let’s offer pasta, ramen, raw, and Indian as well. When you target everyone, you get no one. Quality dining is never found in the food court.
Let’s say sushi is your gig. You’re a master sushi chef. You’ve been doing it for 20 years. Your restaurant’s name is Sushi Sushi Sushi. It’s very clear all you do is sushi. You have over 200 different rolls on the menu and still business is not good.
People are coming in, the place is busy, but cash-flow is not where you’d expect it. Your table turnover rate is terrible and you hardly get two sittings in a night. Customers take forever to order and the wait times for their food are equally as long. What can help us out here? Focus!
A menu with this many items is difficult to navigate and equally difficult to manage in the kitchen with quality (not even mentioning any overhead for stock). Assumptions are made that these rolls won’t be quality. We all know the old saying “Quality vs Quantity”. Patrons also have no idea where to start because there is too much to look at. In this case, reduce the menu length to 20 and make the presentation excellent. You might even consider raising your price slightly. Suddenly customers are talking about how good your sushi is because you focus on making those 20 rolls amazing. They also decide quicker so you can turn more tables.
The point is, you need this pin-point focus with all aspects of your business. Decide on your concept, develop your vision, and with laser focus make every detail fall in line. We recommend writing a one line brand promise you can refer to back for all your decisions. You’ll be amazed by how clarity and focus can make decisions so much easier.
For example, our brand promise is “Logo design without guesswork: Brandcouver helps position your business in the market”. We came to this promise by asking a lot of questions about what we expected of ourselves and how we wanted to help our clients. For us it may seem obvious that our promise is all about information gathering. We weren’t able to come to this brand promise without following our own process—asking questions.
Having the focus we do guides us in how our web copy is written, what our blogs are about, and why we post on social media.
A great place to start are the questions at the tailend of our blog post Your logo is not a brand.
Relay your vision to whoever is doing your decor, your logo design, and your social media and don’t stop there. Make your vision known to everyone. Remove all assumptions your customers might have. Guide your brand image in high definition, in 4K, and not as a blurry VHS. No one watches those anymore.