Mr. Peppery and Building your Restaurant Brand from the Inside Out

I recently met with a customer (Mr. Peppery, not his real name, read further to see how he got that name) that I have been working with for several weeks and I want to share some of  his feedback from our most recent meeting. Mr. Peppery has been in business for over thirty five years in an iconic downtown location and like many restaurants has been rebounding from a pretty serious drop in business since the start of the economic crisis. Over the last couple of years they have seen some rebound but not at the levels it had been before the economic meltdown that essentially started in the fall of 2008.

In my discussion with Mr. Peppery, he reminded me that from the outset of our meetings that I encouraged him and his staff to focus on the internals of the restaurant and not become distracted with online reviews, marketing gimmicks, or to  become overly reliant on external factors to drive business. I assured he and his staff that if they could work to become “picture perfect” in all facets of their business that they could build the business back if they worked together as a team.  I encouraged his staff to become “brand ambassadors” and to treat every encounter with customers as an opportunity to build relationships.  Mr. Peppery told me that his staff has become “passionately engaged” in building the brand.

Recently the chef encouraged a business customer to “give him a shot”. That business customer had habitually entertained Fortune 500 customers in the bar before heading off to a well known chain nearby. The customer agreed to bring their next group of clients to the restaurant and after spending a great evening and a whole lot of money the client announced that they would be back on their next visit. After all, they could have eaten in that chain in virtually any of the cities that they routinely visited but now they had a local favorite that was unique.

Another member of the team recently secured a $8,000 party on a weeknight and made 80 people very happy. That same staff member has recently engaged with concierges, bell hops, and local businesses and invited them to encourage their guests to come visit and they are coming.

The point of all of this is that my customer made it pretty simple for me to understand. What had originally started as a request to help them in the online world has turned into good old fashioned hospitality and teamwork. Earlier this year we had done a pretty comprehensive analysis of the online reputation of the restaurant and found some relatively unflattering reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon. Many were eye openers and I encouraged the restaurant to treat this feedback as if all of it was completely true. I told them that “Feedback was a Gift, whether it comes wrapped in velvet or wrapped around a brick.” There was an almost natural tendency to treat all of the reviews with skepticism but I encouraged the team to focus on learning from the reviews and get back to building relationships. 

continue reading


Three rules for restaurants:

  1. Build your brand from the inside out.
  2. Don’t subordinate your brand with that of something or someone else.
  3. Never, ever, ever discount.

Views: 56

Tags: brand, leadager, restaurant, urbanspoon, yelp


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service