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Restaurant Turnaround Game Plan


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Looking for input from agencies who have experience working on restaurant turnaround campaigns. What works. What doesn't. What you found to be most effective, etc.

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We worked for several years with a local, white table restaurant. Twice we utilized the "we must have more business or we will close" strategy. Both times it was very authentically urgent. They were both long, detailed social media posts, that also supported an "eat local - not just at our restaurant" plea. They were both extremely effective and also generated several news stories, but the restaurant was not prepared, either time, for the influx, and further eroded customer trust.

The big thing is - can the restaurant actually turn around? We met with our friends at the restaurant many times to help them strategize and come up with plans. They never had any budget to advertise and the action items on their part never got done. Their GM was also their head chef, and did pretty much everything. As things got more desperate, poor hires were made based on what they could get an employee for rather than their qualifications. The last full time chef ended up going to prison. Good cook, but he was wanted for a crime. Yikes.

If there are significant cash flow issues, a lack of qualified employees and an inability to advertise at all, don't expect change to be permanent. If you want to chat more, email me!

Mike Sullivan
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Answering that question requires a little more information. The restaurant industry is so competitive and the variables affecting each segment of the category are different. Good operations are table stakes regardless of the segment - QSR, fast-casual, casual, white table. However, good advertising with a healthy dose of appealing LTO products can bump sales. We helped move 600 Dairy Queen units from lagging to leading the rest of the system in a relatively short period of time (despite a lack of meaningful ops improvement). Broadcast played a big part in the plan for us. You can learn more about exactly what we did by watching this short video case study . Hope it's helpful.

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