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How the High Cost of Gas Can Be an Opportunity to the Restaurant Owner

Jun 24, 2008
As people scuttle their plans to travel far this summer due to the high cost of transportation whether it be by car , train , or plane , these same people will spend their savings on other things close to home. They will not necessarily bank the savings but spend it on local attractions , backyard barbeques and their local eateries. I have never heard of a vacationer who did not want to spend money. It is just what they want to spend their money on that is important. Gas or food ? Let us think about what they will choose.

So now that pretty much all of us have decided food is more fun to spend your money on this is an opportunity for the local eatery to advertise like never before to people within their community to come at eat their delicious selections from the menu. Instead of cutting back and fearing the surge in commodities it is time now to put the hammer down and offer great selections , great service , and get involved locally as never before. The competition is going to be fierce to gain the local's favour but if the restaurant owner can embrace the fear and overcome negative thoughts about the future they can be a big winner and withstand any downturn in the economy.

The days of the long road trip by car and the month long trips internationally by air are coming to an end. People will vacation in the future closer to home just because of their belt tightening they have had to do just to meet the bills each month.

As a Food and Beverage Waiter what I have noticed is any decrease in people that have come into the restaurant on a nightly basis has been offset by the higher check average. What this probably means is rather than go away and spend their vacation pay on transportation they are choosing to stay home and sightsee locally and go out to eat more often nearby. The good restaurant's bottom line has not been affected. Even if a slight increase is passed onto the customer , people are willing to still pay for good value. I mean no one feels like an increase in gas prices means a more enjoyable ride so why pay more. The dining experience is perceived differently than a drive.

This means that an owner that knows what their market is and can sell it to the locals can still turn a handsome profit. In addition an excellent waiter or bartender will still bring home substantial tips each night.

In conclusion , the current slowdown and uncertainty in the economy will not so much affect the restaurant industry but as with any slowdown separate the men from the boys. If you are an owner go out and locally advertise your superior dining experience and if you are a waiter or bartender be more attentive than ever so that you can insure those people will come back.
As with any difficulty and hard time there always is a window of opportunity. Here is our chance in the Hospitality Industry to seize it!
About the Author
His motivational speaking engagements are both funny and informative.Find out more about Steve Nicolle at his website which is at http://www.stevetalks.ca
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