Tuesday November 17, 2009
Ben Buet makes his debut in blog writing and discusses some creative concepts to boost business.
I recently visited the restaurant show at Earl's Court. There were a few seminars running at which I heard different experts speak on a variety of subjects. Even though it's become a bit of an 'old-chestnut' by now, one that really caught my attention was the discussion on how to beat the recession and all the different ideas restaurateurs have had to come up with to stay ahead in a highly competitive environment.
It's common to hear of lowering prices and offering better deals. For example the '£10 meal' and 'two for one' deals that companies like Pizza Express offer have proven very popular. I know if I ask any of my friends or colleagues nearly all of them have heard of or taken advantage of one of those deals. It makes sense that in this market if you can offer a good product or service at a competitive price, however big or small, your customers will likely take it up. The recession has hit people too after all - not just companies - so every little helps.
Another strong theme was how vital it is to keep investing in people and how key employees are. Every member of the discussion panel, which included David Gibson (Gibson Business Infrastructures), Peter Illic (Little Bay Restaurants), Will Smith (Arbutus and Wild Honey), Tristan Welch (Launceston Place) and Bob Cotton, Chairman of the British Hospitality Association, agreed. Bob Cotton said "Businesses need to spend more money on the skills of the people they employ, so waiters know how to encourage customers to spend more, and chefs are able to use cheaper cuts of meat. Training is the last thing you should be cutting back on at the moment."
We could not agree more. We know that our online level 2-food hygiene course will save companies time and money on current face to face training systems they have.
Frighteningly, there are still many cases of people who handle food not having the right qualifications and companies are being fined thousands of pounds. For a course that is only £30+vat and can be done in less than two hours, it's hard to understand what's stopping them. It's not as if this is going the extra mile for their customers in terms of food hygiene - it's recommended by law. This is always important but never more so than right when keeping every customer is vital!
Right now win-win partnerships are a great way to boost business. We're in the business of making business improvements as easy and simple as possible. We therefore created an affiliate link whereby companies can offer our courses on their websites. Not only are these companies creating extra revenue but also giving added value to their members and associates by offering discounted rates on an award-winning course.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you found a creative way to add value for your clients, or even your employees that saves money, and increases business?