Why Your Atmosphere is Important in These Tough Times for Restaurants

From the onslaught of takeout options taking away from in-house visits, to some predicting an oncoming “restaurant apocalypse” in 2020, there’s a lot of anxiety in the restaurant and bar space today. Hyperbole of doomsday language notwithstanding, operators should always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Unfortunately, hard times have already hit multiple national and regional restaurant and bar chains. Hospitality industry writer David Klemt, however, thinks there may be hope yet, calling these closures “both omen and opportunity.”

For Klemt, there are lessons to be learned from the reasons why large chains closed so many restaurants this year. “The reasons for these closures run the gamut,” he writes, “failure to innovate; lack of agility in adapting to shifting consumer preferences; failure to capture younger demographics; branding that no longer resonates with the public; reduced traffic; overexpansion; increased competition; increased costs across the board; a slip in public perception; and controversy.”

Those who can learn from these mistakes should be able to use these lessons to their advantage. But those who are stuck in their old ways of doing things will have a much harder go at it.

Donald Burns, aka The Restaurant Coach, suggests that “[e]go, pride and denial will be the major reasons most restaurants and bars won’t survive the impending restaurant apocalypse.” In the same article, Burns also says that having the mindset of “we’ve always done it this way” be one of the biggest detriments to growth in these upcoming challenging times.

The winds are changing, and so should your business practices. Go against the grain, try something different, and make each step with determination and strategy.

If you’re missing those in-house visits, or looking to increase them, it’s time to act on that goal. It’s time to create an atmosphere that makes people want to come to your venue again and again. You need to give them an experience as well as amazing products, make your brand stick in their minds, pay attention to every detail you can in order to enhance the guest experience.

In fact, guest experience is everything today. There’s simply no competing in this space without a clear, conscious effort to not simply meet guest expectations, but exceed them. So, let’s talk about your atmosphere.

When it comes to modernizing or upgrading your atmosphere, well, that’s what Control Play does best. Our goal is to make brands stand out from their competition and wow guests right from the very moment they walk in.

A common mistake that too many F&B venues make is letting their TV screens go to waste. Simply flipping on ESPN or The Food Network doesn’t cut it anymore—it’s a below average experience. Luckily, this can work to your advantage! While other places are playing network cable, you can instead provide your guests with relevant entertainment and messaging that gets their attention.

How? With music video playlists that are catered to your demographics, as well as easy-to-use digital signage that’s built right into the system.

Now, instead of the same content customers see everywhere else, people walk in to hear the music they love, the videos they want, and advertisements that are relevant to their current experience. They’re immediately positioned into the mindset of a fun, social experience from a place that seems to just get them, rather than a cookie-cutter experience they’ve settled for.

Music videos themselves are more popular than ever. When 97 million people a month are watching music videos, according to statistics from Vevo, it’s pretty obvious. So, providing them to your guests just makes sense—they’re already consuming this medium, surprise and delight them by making it a part of your guest experience!

It’s not just the fact that your TVs are playing something different, either, any video service could potentially offer that. It’s the fact that our professional Music Mixologists craft each and every playlist for you by hand, ensuring an engaging sequence of songs that are demographically targeted and scheduled for your specific dayparts and the guests that come in during them.

Much like putting on whatever cable channel on your TVs and never touching them again, playing any random order of songs simply isn’t enough to captivate your customers. There can’t be a jarring shift in tone or a song that doesn’t fit with the established vibe—something that’s almost certain to happen if someone just pushed “shuffle” on a hap hazardous group of songs.

Of course, we don’t expect you to spend your time keeping up with the top charts, examining the energy levels of each song, compiling songs in a logical order, and creating transition points to ensure a perfect flow throughout the playlist—that’s our job! We want to ensure the best audio/video experiences for each of your dayparts and let you get back to the work that needs to get done.

Crafting the perfect atmosphere through playlists and on-screen entertainment isn’t going to be the savior of every bar and restaurant across North America, especially if a recession does hit in the near future. But it can be a very valuable step, another tool in your apocalypse prep kit. And if your brand is playing what everyone else is, both on screen and through the speakers, it’s time to do something different. It’s time to take that step in the right direction. It’s time for Control Play.

Don't wait to improve your venue's atmosphere, click the button below to talk with one of our Business Development Executives and learn how we can help:

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Kevin Avram

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