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A Good Restaurateur’s New Year’s Resolution

Today, I will pretend to be a budding restaurant operator. I will share with you my, yes, admittedly delayed New Year’s resolution as a restaurateur (but this would still do, we’re still on the second month, aren’t we?)—my list of pledges and resolves towards a better and more profitable 2012.

Resolution # 1: I will capitalize on the smart phone revolution this year, realizing that a lot of people included smart phones in their wish lists last Christmas and hence received one. That’s a few more added to the hundreds of thousands who already have smart phones on hand. I will make sure that my restaurant has a mobile optimized website so that all my necessary info –location, opening hours, menu—could easily be accessed on my techy customers’ little screens. I’ll also make sure that I’m easy to find in Google maps.

Resolution #2: I concede. I won’t treat social media as a fad anymore, after having read that last year’s fastest growing demographic of social media users were those with ages 50 and above. Now I know that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and all others are not just for the young ones, or the 30s and 40s—these sites have indeed become a pervasive medium by which people of all ages now interact, and I guess it’s really here to stay. So I will make a long-term plan for my Facebook page and for my Twitter account—come up with intelligent preparations in collecting ideas on what to post, in taking photos of my specialty dishes, in sharing my recipe ideas and in promoting my special offers to my fans and followers.

Resolution #3: I promise to manage my restaurant’s online reviews this year, recognizing the growing influence that online review sites have over my customers. I will stop getting mad at these sites—promise—that will only be bad for my nerves and my blood-pressure level. Instead, my staff and I, in our cute kids’ chef hats (which we’d wear from time to time just for kicks), will handle our restaurant’s reviews objectively and smartly, and will just focus on protecting our reputation online.

Resolution #4: I will not ignore the trend forecasts everyone’s been giving out the past months—I may have done so in the past, but not anymore. Yeah, they’re a bit overrated and it’s driving me crazy, but they sure could help me with sales. This year, I will make sure to check on them and see if anything is worth using to boost my restaurant revenue.

Resolution # 5: I will not be the complacent restaurateur anymore. I will continuously think of ways to attract my customers, even when sales are at its highest. I will not lose momentum, knowing that it’s harder –and more expensive– to regain speed than to maintain it. So I will never lose sight of my market positioning ever again.

And oh, have I even greeted you a “Happy New Year” yet? Maybe not—I got too busy designing our fancy kids’ chef hats (and all others) and planning my resolutions the past month. Anyway, I wish you, your family and your restaurant team a healthy, happy, prosperous, full-speed year ahead!