This last Monday and Tuesday Golden Gate Restaurant Association hosted their annual Industry Conference. Over those two days we got the opportunity to listen and talk to a variety of people in the industry and learn about how they are running their businesses and how they started. There were a wide range of topics covered, such as: Chef Development, Going Green, Social Media, Litigation, Restaurant Culture, and Immigration & Diversity.
It's always great to hear fresh perspectives, as you can find yourself easily entrenched in your own practices. Here were the top 5 take aways from the conference that seemed to be clear across the board of speakers.
1. Social Media is a incredible (free) way to get your brand out there! As a restaurant owner it is important to think of how your space, brand touch points and food or beverage is represented in the social media platform. Make it easy for guests to take great photos by keeping the space light and bright and hiring a great design team...like us :)
2. When you are building a restaurant concept authenticity is key. What are you passionate about and what do you really feel supplies a need for the neighborhood. Do not compromise on either of those elements.
3. Fast Casual is here to stay. There will always be a need for full service or fine dining models but as labor become outrageously expensive, concepts either need to be really clear and the best around and/or reduce labor with fast casual spaces that still give an interesting experience.
4. Chose your real estate and landlord wisely. Your location, style of the space and who owns your building really matters. Pick a place with good bones, a landlord who cares about the success of your business and a neighborhood that needs your concept.
5. Don't open your own concept unless you are extremely passionate about the industry. If you live, eat and breathe restaurants and there isn't anything else you can or want to do then...give it a go. If not, this industry isn't for you!
A few of our favorite clients spoke and had incredible advise to give!
Jen Pelka (owner of Magnum PR & The Riddler) was a panelist on the Social Medial 101: What Are Your Social Media Channels Actually Saying? panel.
Marko Sotto (owner of Barzotto) was a panelist on the What's The Future Of Service? panel.
Adriano Paganini (CEO of Back of the House) was a panelist on the Best Practices In Profitability panel.