The sales of most weak-performing restaurants can be traced to the fact that there is nothing unique about the restaurant.
In this bad economy a restaurant has to be unique to successful. Live music can make almost any dining experience more enjoyable and it will bring in a crowd, but how can a small restaurant afford to have live music?
People are still eating out and many restaurants I visit have a waiting line — even in the middle of the week. These restaurants have a waiting line because they are delivering an enjoyable dining experience and they are unique in some way.
If your restaurant is not unique, consider making it unique by adding live music
Many people are choosing to dine where they can enjoy live music. Of course, live music costs money, but musicians are hurting too and many very good musicians are now willing to play for a lot less they used to. Also, young musicians are a great source of good musical talent.
Be creative and find innovative ways to have live music in your restaurant. The conventional technique of paying good money for a three to five member band to play is probably not the way to go in this tight economy.
Here are three creative ways successful restaurants are getting great live music for little to no cost:
- One restaurant I visit a lot has a 13 year old girl playing the violin. She’s good and she really draws in a crowd — the cost is very low.
- Another restaurant lets a local music school have some of their best students play one or two nights a week. The music is good, the cost is zero and all of the relatives of the young musician come to eat and hear little Johnny or Sally play.
- Another restaurant has jam sessions most nights and they don’t have to pay the musicians anything (except for furnishing them a pitcher or two of beer). They have a different type of music every night — Sunday nights is jazz, Friday nights is country, etc. They have more musicians wanting to play (for free) than they have room for.
In other words, be creative and innovate, but do whatever it takes to give your restaurant an unique advantage and adding live music may be just what your restaurant needs.
Peter Drucker, who was the world’s greatest expert on management, said that…
Innovation is the only real and lasting competitive advantage any business owner can ever have.
Right now, live music is one of the most innovative and under-used techniques for making a restaurant unique.
Bottom line: There’s money to be made in the restaurant business in this bad economy and as an independent restaurant manager, you are in a better position than chain restaurant managers to take advantage of the situation because you can make decisions fast and change with the times.
One thing is for sure, you may not be able to make money in the restaurant business if you keep doing what you have always been doing — but I think you already know that.
Now is the time to go make things happen and live music may be just what your restaurant needs.