One intriging story of failure and success in the restaurant business is that of a Sports Bar named "Daisy Dukes". Playing on the "Hooters" concept this sports bar themed restaurant was positioned to take-off with a great conceptual idea. They offered customers the sports bar environment with the added allure of young girls in "barely-there" daisy duke shorts. The concept was a winner in our opionion, then management completely messed it up.
On the opening weekend I visited the establishment. Had to sit myself since there was no hostess to greet customers (mistake#1) . After we sat down, it took the waitress nearly 20 min. to acknowledge that we were sitting in her section. She did, however, apologize and asked what she can get for us. When I asked to see the menu she replied, "we have no menu's currently". (mistake#2) I mean really? How can you open a restaurant without menus. After hearing about the specials, we asked to have a particular beer (which I will not name here) and was told that they did not have it since the delivery truck hasn't arrived. (mistake#3) 1st never tell the customers your problems. 2ndly, How do you open a "sports bar" themed restaurant without having one of the most popular beers on hand. Apparently they had not signed their agreement with the distributor, so they did not fill the order. (mistake#4) I then asked well, what beers do you have. I ordered one that was comparable. When the waitress brought it to the table the bottle was lukewarm, not even close to cold. I asked the waitress, "can you please bring me a cold beer". She stated that all the beers were like that (lukewarm) since they had filled the coolers only 1 hour prior to opening @ 6pm. (mistake#5)
After a few months of declining sales, the struggling restaurant (in a desparate attempt to gain customers) even tried stealing the local "Hooters" bike night crowd. The closest Hooters restaurant had been developing and hosting a motorcycle gathering on Wen. nights. This had been a local event for years. So, instead of holding their rally on another week night, the management decided to hold it on the same night as Hooters. Guess which restaurant won?
When the owners spent nearly 100K in remodeling the retail space, they failed to spend any money or time in developing the things that matter most. No time was spent training the staff ( this could have also been avoided by hiring a seasoned waitstaff) . Now, spending money on decor is fine but, the decor wont help you sell food or beer. The 3 main ingredients to a successful "sports-bar" themed restaurant (in our opinion) are TV's, Cold Beer and good chicken wings, everything else can only add to the experience. They failed at thier venture miserably.
The restaurant only took less than 2 years to close. That was 6 months longer than I had predicted. The only difference is how much money the owners were willing to lose before they gave up.
The Menus, Beer and other issues were eventaully resolved but it brings into focus the old saying, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A 1ST IMPRESSION. Most customers will never return after having such a bad experience. What worse, is that they will tell everyone they know about it.
The reason why I chose this particular restaurant as an example of failure and success is due to the fact that months after Daisy Dukes closed it door, a rival restaurant chain BRUS Room (named after the former Miami Dolphins player BOB BRUSINSKI) again remodeled the space and reopened. Yes, another sports-themed restaurant and bar. The restaurant is enjoying unparralled success. The place is full every night and a sell-out on every game day. I am sure if you asked the former owners of Daisy Dukes why they failed, they would have said "well its a bad location" which was apparently not true. This restaurant is situated between two very well know sports-bar themed restaurants (Hooters and the ALE House) . So why does one thrive while the other died.