Are You Doing What You Need To Do?

One of my all time favorite sushi bars was called Tuna Town located in Huntington Beach, CA. All of us have favorite places for various reasons and certainly Tuna Town had sentimental value for me as well as great fresh fish, awesome decor, and good music playing a few decibels too loud.

The lovely Christy and I had been going there several times a year since our very first trip together many years ago. During that time we took friends there from different parts of the country and always recommended it when people were traveling to Orange County, since we spend a fair bit of our time in the "OC".

Due to us being such fans, Christy has been in their "club" (think service agreement) for many years receiving updates, coupons, specials, and reminders. To our shock, a few months ago she received a message stating that the great Tuna Town was closing its doors.

What? Nooooo!!!!! How can it be? Not OUR Tuna Town! Please tell me it can't be!!!

Currently, we're back in Orange County for a few weeks at the place we stay a lot in Newport Beach (15 minutes south of the late Tuna Town). I knew the restaurant was closed, but seeing it in person hit me hard with the bigger questions for us all.

What went wrong? What really happened? Was it bad management? Was it poor pricing? (The happy hour was WAY too cheap by the way). Did the owners take their eye off of the ball?(The main partner is a drummer in a successful rock band.)

We've always received good service, a good product and a great environment. What changed?

Competition? Yes. A couple years ago a competitive national sushi bar chain opened up the street. Tuna Town always had a local competitor a couple blocks away and still did fine (or so we thought). Did the competition improve marketing, product, service?

Again I ponder, what happened??

What about you? What does some random restaurant closing in a town most of you don't frequent mean to you as a service business leader?

It means everything! This exact situation happens everyday in the US, Australia, and Canada where our clients reside. What can we learn from this misfortune of displacing the staff and the loyal clients?

The biggest thing we can learn is to look in the mirror! Are you doing everything you need to do to stay relevant and progressive as competition evolves?

More importantly, are you priced at a level to be profitable? Incorrect pricing (too low) is one of the biggest reasons service businesses fail! Beyond that, the training of the front line team is usually sub-par to encourage more sales at higher tickets.

Are you training your front line team in converting enhancements and upgrades? If not, WHY NOT?

We must integrate consistent training for our front line, market our companies effectively, and price the product and service to make a PROFIT! This is not a hobby my friends, this is business. If we don't do the things we need to do, we become a statistic just like our beloved Tuna Town...RIP.

Have a better than fantastic weekend!



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