The Paco Method Customer Formula & System
Why Are You Calling This The Paco Method Bob?
What the H… Is It Man?
Who is Paco? Who Is It For? What Can It Do For Us?
Give Us 5 Quick Reasons The Paco Method Will Be Perfect For Our Business!
And The Questions Keep Coming. They Deserve Answers And We’ve Got Answers.
“It’s About The Empty Seats, No Lineups, Empty Store, No Names On The Appointment Calendar”, I responded, “Truly Your Number 1 Problem If You’re In Business” Tweet This.
“But Let Me Start The Answer With A Story, Please”, I Said.
It was the Sunday just before New Years in Ixtapa, Mexico, and people weren’t ready to wind up their vacations. Mid afternoon, either time for a late lunch or early snack. I was walking around, but it wasn’t easy. The foot traffic was heavy. If you know Ixtapa, you’ll know there are many restaurants and bars off the main street in a commercial area where it’s just foot traffic.
I was alone. First I passed one establishment with the tv on loud enough for me to notice and a waiter handed me a menu with a smile. I said gracias and on I went.
Next, I passed a new bbq restaurant…ribs and more, not fine dining, but likely great tasting food and perfect for a tourist crowd. Not open yet, and sort of hidden away. They were going to need a great marketing approach just to fill the seats, it appeared to me at first glance.
Then I came up to a place let’s call Franklin’s Restaurant & Brews
I sat down and observed…
So I started talking with Tess, the greeter standing outside. Tess was a friendly sort, with a great smile, and we chatted a bit in between her “Hello” type greeting to the Tourists in groups of 2, 3, 4 and even larger, that kept walking by quite regularly. A treasure trove of new customers, it seemed to me, but she had “no game”.
Perhaps it was her restaurant and bar and owner who had no game. I don’t know for certain. “I’ve got too many customers and I want to keep my seats empty, said no restaurant and bar owner ever, I thought to myself. But maybe I had found one. Successful, complacent, not enough motivation to make that extra dollar. With that kind of thinking the seeds of ultimate destruction have been sowed, I said to no one in particular.
Well, I just read something recently that famed chef and restaurant owner, Gordon Ramsay had submitted.
Worth sharing with her. Firstly I said, I’m just a simple customer who wants to go where there seems to be a chance for good food at a good price. What do I look for? I just want to see how full the place is at normal busy times, Busy at off times really piques my interest. There has to be a reason why the place looks busy. I’m willing to take a chance. I walk in. So what’s that principle of human behavior, I said? Important I think to know and remember. I’m not the only one who is willing to follow…for great food, great atmosphere, great value. I don’t know what is the reason until I’m inside, But I have to try.
The second thing is to know your customers. Cook within the vicinity you are in and don’t start reaching too far too soon.”
What Is The Most Common Mistake New Restauranteurs Make?
Two relevant answers by experienced restaurateurs, from this Quora thread. More on the Empty Seats Empty Premises problem.
“They try to be superman and do everything so they can be all things to all people.
If that is hard to read or process imagine what it is like trying to live it.
Small business people tend to think they can do it all. After all, they put in the work to get where they are now and were successful so why can’t they keep on that route?
The problem is most people cannot maintain that level of focus and cannot be experts in all fields. My goal is if I can hire someone to do my tasks at least to 80% of what I can do then I should hire them for that so I can focus on what I am good at.
What is a restaurateur’s time worth? If I am worth $50 an hour and I pay someone $15 to do 80% of a job as well as I do then I am getting 180% for $15. I get my time back to focus on what I am best at and I get the other job done as well. Worst case scenario I need to touch up their work.
Why be penny wise and pound foolish trying to spend 4 hours hacking out a plumbing job when a plumber can do it better, faster, and ultimately cheaper.
Then they need to focus on their Unique Selling Point. You cannot easily be simultaneously a high-end wine bar with cheap food, late night music, Chinese Tapas with an Ecuadorean Veg Forward bent, and whatever the top 10 trends list say are going to be popular. Pick a USP and go all in on that.
Then market it. Collect email addresses and get Facebook advertising going. There are so many outlets for marketing and most restaurateurs have a website that hasn’t been touched in a year and think their annual Yellow Pages ad is enough.
Any restaurateur, especially a first timer, needs to learn to focus, to work on what is truly important and not try to be Superman.”
from 12 Year Restaurant Owner Damon Sauer: written February 6, 2017
“I opened my second restaurant and thought I had done everything right. Advertising, ramp-ups, dry-runs, the works. I didn’t have more than 1 or 2 customers in the first 3 weeks in a 250 seat restaurant. One night during dinner, a couple walked into my empty restaurant and I heard her say to her husband “This place is totally empty, the food must be terrible!” and they turned to leave. I chased after them and explained that we had just opened (Grand-Opening sign wasn’t enough?) – I treated them to anything they wanted. Another week went by and I had already started letting all but a single cook and waitress go home early. 5 pm came and people started coming in, and more people, and more people. Every seat was filled and I only had 1 waitress and 1 cook. I tried calling people back in… but nobody EVER answers a call from the boss after they have been let go early lol. Turns out that that couple was friends with a critic who subsequently reviewed my restaurant in the local paper with 5 out of 5 stars. (It was a local paper I am sure I wouldn’t get a 2 out of 5 in New York). We made it through the night and were busy from that day forward.
Most common mistake – being under-funded. You just know that you will pack your place in the first day/week/month and that just isn’t reality no matter how good your food is.”