Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Nandu Awatramani from New Orleans. Nandu helps restaurant owners grow their business and has the distinction of being the gentleman who opened a chain of Italian restaurants in India.
He has a very interesting character, we had a great conversation, and one of the things we talked about was establishing what I call proprietary metrics; ways to help you know what you're doing is working, so you can pass the results on to the businesses you're working for.
If you establish a metric that you know, that you can help effect, that can create the foundation for a training program, that you're the only one in the world that can help people with, then you're on to a winning formula.
You're going to enjoy this episode.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 140
Dean: Here we go. Nandu.
Nandu: Hi Dean.
Dean: How are you?
Nandu: Very good, how are you?
Dean: I am fantastic. Tell me-
Nandu: Pleasure to speak to you.
Dean: Yes, I'm very excited. Where are you calling in from?
Nandu: New Orleans.
Dean: New Orleans? Okay, perfect.
Dean: I'm in position, I've got my evil scheme hatching tablet here and I'm all ears. I want to hear all about the Nandu story and what we're going to focus on today.
Nandu: First of all, I think I've been following you on I Love Marketing for a really long time with Joe. I've been following The Genius Network. The work you guys have been doing and then, More Cheese Less Whiskers, I haven't yet really heard the podcast with Dan Sullivan, but I've used a lot of work you've spoken about in your podcast.
Dean: You know what's funny about that Nandu? Is the podcast with Dan Sullivan is called The Joy of Procrastination and you just basically admitted you've been procrastinating listening to the Dan Sullivan podcast.
Nandu: Yes, I have. Yes, I have.
Dean: That's funny.
Nandu: Yeah, it is funny. Now I got to go do that. I've used a lot of the things you talk about and I love the way you write. That's really what's kept me interested. I heard a few podcasts over the time and I'm really glad to be here.
Dean: I am too.
Nandu: What do I do? At the age of 22-
Dean: Tell me what's the-
Nandu: Go ahead Dean.
Dean: Tell me what you've been focused on. What's your business?
Nandu: Currently, I run an online school to teach restaurant owners the best business practices in the industry. It's important because it's a business and a mission, not just a business. How this came about was at the age of 22, I was in India, where I'm from and I started India's first Italian restaurant chain. I spent my 20s working 15-hour days, seven days a week, trying to build a restaurant business from scratch. Not knowing much about it. I was formerly educated in hotels, but it was nascent in the Indian scene of food. No data, no statistics, everything's going on gut.
Over the next 15 years to cut the story short, I pretty much opened over 30 restaurants, shut over 20, finally landed up with a dozen of them. Then, sold the company in 2016. My wife's American. We decided to move to the States. The week of moving, I have a heart attack.
Dean: Oh no.
Nandu: I'm 38, I was a chain smoker.
Dean: Wow, that's young.
Nandu: Yeah, I was a chain smoker, I didn't eat too well. I worked out but by the time I made all the positive changes which were in the last four years of the business, I think my body had already taken a toll. What happened was I was kind of in a stump of what to do because I couldn't jump back physically putting those hours into building a new restaurant, or with the vision of new restaurant chain in the States. I said, "What do I do?" I said, "There's a lot that I've learned. There are a million mistakes I've made and there are a lot of creative ways I've solved some major issues that are affecting restaurant businesses. When I say restaurant business, I mean any food business really.
I said, "Why don't I teach this?" I started F&B Business School, which is food and beverage in short. F&B Business School. To teach restaurant owners the best business practices. It's not what a typical consultant would come in and do, which is train the servers or train the cooks and all of that stuff. It's more the money side, the systems, the habits, the disciplines, the techniques that get you to scale your business profitably. That's what I really learnt is how to scale profitably. How I learnt this was in 2009. I was running out of money and I needed to raise some money. Nobody had raised money in Indian history in the food business.
Nandu: I'm banging on doors for a long time until finally one investor says, "Yes, we'll invest in you, but first, we need you to go do this and go do that." What they were pretty much doing for the next 12 months were testing whether I would listen to them. What came out of it was that I started meeting CEOs and consultants who were consulting for Fortune 500 companies and CEOs of other industries and I was listening to them having solved issues that were affecting my business such as employee turnover and not scaling profitably. I said, "Why can't I use what they've done in my restaurant business?"
I started adopting their techniques. Some worked, some did but, when it finally came together, I took these complex solutions, simplified them to the extent that a majority of my employees, which were over 100 employees at that time, were mostly uneducated, not past more than the fourth grade. I got them to execute complex solutions, which taught me alignment in the business. Adhering and putting everyone to one goal. I learnt a lot from the scale up habits. The Rockefeller habits, upgrading net promoter score and all of that. I pretty much took all of that and simplified it so that an uneducated person could understand it, execute it, align with it and deliver results.
The other thing that was really a big learning lesson throughout that period of time was I was a horrible person to other human beings. They were just a number on my piano and I learnt the hard way that, that's not right. You got to change and they're human beings and they need to feel appreciated, acknowledged, involved in your business, and as a human being, respected. What do I do to make that happen just as a human connection? And two, how do I translate that into retention?
Now I'm jumping to 2016 when I created F&B Business School. When I figured out how to solve employee turnover by actually starting off to be a better person, but also looking at the techniques I used to stop employee turnover and scale profitably, I created two courses. One is called Stop Employee Turnover, which is the biggest problem in the food business globally.
Dean: Is that right?
Nandu: The second one I called was the Restaurant Profit Accelerator, which was the scale up habits of growing profitably. 2016 onwards to 2017, I pretty much spent a year breaking my head, banging it against the wall, trying to understand the online landscape as compared to brick and mortar. Connecting the dots was a little hard for me, but I finally figured it out. I took courses from people you know in Genius network such as Jeff and other people, and I learnt what they were doing, and I experimented what they suggested, but it wasn't working with my audience.
Finally, I launched the first course last year, which was the Restaurant Profit Accelerator, which is the most expensive course. Which, was priced at 2000 and it didn't sell. Like zero. I built my list up to I think I was like 150. I didn't wait, I just went for it. I didn't know any better, I thought you can sell through ads. I spent a lot of money, a lot of my savings on Facebook ads.
Dean: Oh boy.
Nandu: Zero return on ads. Zero. Not even one signup. These are on my learning lessons. Understanding. The person I serve, the restaurant is a whole different animal as compared to the other business people out there and I'll tell you a little bit about them. The second course I started was Stop Employee Turnover, which was for 197. I wanted it to be an entry-level course that somebody comes in, gets a feel of how I teach. Also, uses the technique. It's funny, you have the Eight Profit Activities, I have the Eight Techniques to Stop Employee Retention. It absolutely worked for me and I put it out there in a video course. Very simple to execute. I did sell, but I only sold two out of a list of 300.
I also figured out that I need to reach out to more people in the industry and do JV launches, etc, etc, which I'm working on. But, coming to how you can really help me is at this moment of time, I've been vlogging for a year and a half religiously every week. I have finally identified who I want to speak to, which is restaurant owners who own one to three restaurants, and not the people who really want to get into the business, and not the guys who just started. It's the one to three, one person who's been in it for a little bit and then has up to three.
The reason I came to this was I feel that one can afford courses. Two, I feel they are more committed to growing. A little more clear with their own vision to an extent. This is where I am. What really worked from me was your super signature. When I started using it, I at least got back some kind of engagement. Over the year, I've been speaking to a couple of other people in the industry. People who own a couple of restaurants, consultants. But general consensus is that restaurant owners don't really hang out on Facebook. If they have a restaurant, they've usually outsourced their social media to someone and the only time they really get involved is when there's some complaint which freaks them out.
My focus is really moving towards LinkedIn and that's where I am really. My biggest problem is really getting people on my list.
Dean: How many people do you have on your list right now?
Dean: Are these 400 of your ideal people that own one to three restaurants?
Dean: Or is that everything you've got?
Nandu: That's everything.
Dean: Okay. We're basically starting fresh here.
Dean: What I've heard so far is you've been talking a lot about the primary thing of employee turnover.
Dean: Is one of the biggest things. Tell me what the impact of that could be on a restaurant. If you look at what's a typical person who owns one restaurant.
Nandu: I'm just going to reach there in a second. What I did forget to tell you was the reason I'm actually doing all of this is I realized that I became a mission more than a business. It has to make money, but the idea is to help the restaurant owners lead a better life so they have more time at home, more time with their partner, more time with their kids. Because the kids are hanging behind the bar while they're working. I can make that change. Now answering your question, when I can help them stop employee turnover. What happens is that they begin to treat their employees better. When they treat their employees better and the employees are happier and more stable and feel better, they begin to treat the customer better.
When they begin to treat the customer better, imagine when you've gone to a restaurant and you've had a really great time and you walk out. It makes your day versus when you go to a restaurant and you have a horrible experience. You're kind of pissed or in a pissy mood and it starts to ripple effect in things that you do. The ripple effect of that good service to the customer going out to the customer's evening in the next day is a ripple effect of positivity in the locality that a restaurant owner can make. Which, in today's day in age, he may not realize the positive influence he's making to people's lives because we depend so much on eating out in restaurants.
Dean: Yes. Now-
Nandu: Yeah, that's the benefit.
Dean: What would that turn into economically for him? How would they practically look at it? How many employees would a single restaurant have?
Nandu: Let's say an average of 15 for now.
Dean: They've got 15 employees and you were saying earlier that, that's the number one problem that they have is employee turnover, correct?
Dean: Is that in the kitchen staff? The wait staff? Is it all across the board?
Nandu: All over. Across the board.
Dean: All over, okay. When you think about that, what's the cost of that in terms of dollars that it could be impacting them?
Nandu: I would have to generalize here, but if I were to generalize as realistically as possible, I'd say at least half their turnover.
Dean: When you say half their turnover, you mean half their revenue. It's caused by-
Nandu: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, yeah. Half their revenue.
Nandu: That's right, have their revenue.
Dean: Now, do you have anything to back this up?
Dean: It's a speculation right now? Right?
Nandu: It's a speculation.
Dean: Let's make it more scientific and say it's a hypothesis. Have you worked with anybody who has increased their revenue by 50% by solving the turnover problem?
Nandu: No. When I did sell the courses, it's like they were ghosts.
Dean: I understand. Here's the thing though is that because you're selling theories, you're selling hypotheses, you're selling-
Dean: This may work. Here's what I've learned about this, but it's a difference between what I end up calling book reports, versus field reports. A field report is something where you've actually gone in and done the experimenting and gotten the result and duplicated it. Everything that really has impacted what I do is that I take the scientific method in everything that I do and I'm looking to see. I come up with a hypothesis, I choose an end of one study to test my hypothesis, right?
Dean: Because everything that you're doing, if you're going to solve all of the employee turnover in every restaurant in the world, you've got to be able to solve the employee turnover in one restaurant in New Orleans.
Dean: Right. Then, when you do that, when you're testing your hypothesis, when you test it out and you see what actually happened and then you document the results and then you can do it again, now you've got what I call a scale-ready algorithm. You've got the algorithm that you can deploy in any restaurant and get the predictable result. The things that I was listening to is that your focus on the way you're describing things to me has been on the course and not on the results.
Dean: The courses are just a mechanism to get the result. That's why I'm probing now. I was listening to have you tell me, "Here's what we did and here's how it works and here's the impact that it has." All of those kinds of things, but your focus even in the way you've been describing it to me has been, "I got these courses."
Nandu: I completely agree with you. In the last year and a half, I joined the restaurant association here. The state association and I started mingling with restauranters who attended these events. I found that the restauranters, they say, "Yes. Yeah, it sounds good." But then, not committing to even something for free. I was like, "Okay, I may be doing something wrong or maybe I have a product-"
Dean: Nandu, hang on one second.
Dean: I lost you for just a brief second there. You said you talked to the restaurant owners and they say-
Nandu: Right. They were like, "Yeah, it's interesting." Then, there's no further interest, even after me following up. I was like, "Okay, maybe I'm doing something wrong or maybe I have a product nobody wants." I said, "All right." I started digging more and I met other consultants who work with let's say, government organizations, banks, small business administrations, stuff like that. I was like, "What am I doing wrong?" I just started asking this to people thinking, "Let me just get a different perspective." Because, I'm not adverse to changing what I'm doing as long as it solves them, but that's not what I heard back.
I heard back, "There's a tremendous need. Maybe you're in the wrong market. Maybe you need to look at bigger markets such as New York, San Francisco, LA, where rents are higher, business is tougher. People are losing a lot more money so there's more of an urgent need and urge to want to make a change. That is my actual current focus. Trying to reach out to people in bigger cities to do exactly what you're saying, which is for free. Let me come in and help you do it. Then, use them as examples of what I've done. That is my current focus. I'm the midst of actually reaching out to people.
Dean: Part of it, when you look at it, I can imagine that the response or the lack of response or the lack of followup response, is because it's unclear what the outcome can be.
Dean: First of all, it sounds like a lot of work when you think about it. Because you've got a course, which means somebody's got to take this course now, which means time and hours. Then, they've got to actually then do stuff after the course. Right?
Dean: To get it actually done. You've got to first of all learn how to do it. As opposed to, when you look at it, that the restaurant owner and any business owner really, there's no magic between restaurant owners or dry cleaners or anybody. It's really that their biggest concern more than anything is, "I need to get more business," I guess. They don't see the connection between that and between a course on treating their employees better, that's probably how they interpret it, right? Versus, at the end of it turns into more money quickly. It seems like a long process. On its own seems without any evidence, it seems very unlikely that that alone would impact my bottom line and it's a difference because the cost of turnover is really more of a hidden cost or an absorbed cost than it is a black and white thing. Tell me about your scaling up for the $2000 course.
Nandu: The outcome that I saw within my business was my business shot up to three X and more. Close to four X.
Dean: What did you do? What was the best thing that you did? What turned it around immediately?
Nandu: Clarity of what I want, and the discipline of prioritizing, and creating a chain of communication that aligned everyone to one goal. That's what I think turned it around. In addition to what made actually the biggest difference to my revenues was feedback. Customer feedback. Creating a robust customer feedback system that just didn't land up on my desk and I ignore it, versus creating a way for me to read a lot of information and get an idea of what my customer wants and just do that. Effectively, I stopped taking decisions. I just said that 80% people want this, let's do this. How can we make it happen?
Dean: When you say 80% of people, 80% of your customers? This is what they want?
Nandu: Who gave a feedback, yeah.
Dean: What was the insight that you got from that, that you made the actual changes?
Nandu: When we began using this system, I understood one of my concepts was selling pizzas by the slice within cinemas. In India, it produces the most amount of movies a year in the world.
Dean: I didn't know that.
Nandu: Yeah, when you have a one-hit movie, you're talking about 3000 or 5000 people entering a cinema for the weekend to watch a movie. By Indian law, once you're in the cinema, you cannot exit it for security reasons. I pretty much can sell you what I want and charge you what I want. It's a great business. I started selling pizza by the slice, which was hot food in a cold environment. More like a meal rather than popcorn, which is a snack. It was a hit. What was happening was my sales were stagnating and once we began to take feedback, we came to know that your food is not piping hot. It took me six months to figure out why my food is not piping hot and how to make it piping hot because it was exiting the oven at the right temperature.
We created our own packaging that retained the heat, but let the humidity escape. Therefore, making the pizza crispy and piping hot. 80% of my customers were saying your food is not hot. Once we took care of that, zero percent or no one was saying that your food is not. The rest of the 20% that were the negative feedback, we made that the 100% of focused on and fine tuned it just the way our customers want to finally arrive at. Most of them being really happy and our repeat customer percentages shot through the roof. That's how it helped me really make a difference to the business.
Dean: I like it. Now, how long of a timeframe was that over?
Nandu: Maybe a year.
Dean: It's interesting that what drove your innovation or drove your problem solving or your projects was what customers were saying. You took a customer-centric approach to it.
Dean: Getting that feedback and then making the thing. Where did you get the idea for doing the pizza in the movie theaters?
Nandu: We were in food courts and one of my franchisees gave me a call one day and said, "Hey, the cinema wants to sell pizzas. Do you want to do it?" I was like, "Okay, let's give it a shot." At that moment of time, we just started preparing pizzas one floor below in the food court and then sending it up as per order. But, as it started to get busy, we created a-
Dean: Sorry, Nandu.
Dean: I don't know what's happening, but every now and then, I'll lose you for about 15 seconds or so. I asked how you got the idea to sell the pizza in the theaters, then you disappeared.
Nandu: I had a few franchisees and one day my franchisee calls me up and says, "We are in the food court. We have one of our stores in the food court. The cinema, a floor above us wants to sell pizzas. Do you want to do it?" We just quickly created a concept to make and sell pizzas within cinemas in a very small square footage area. That's how it began. Once it caught on like fire, we just started expanding that and we put our focus more on that rather than the restaurants because that vanillas stores or the small stores, the revenue was very high and the profits were very high. That's how it started.
Dean: That's great. Did you go set up in their kitchen or did you-
Nandu: When you walk in a cinema, you would normally see a counter which sells you popcorn and all of that stuff. They just gave us a portion of that and then we'd bring in our own equipment and get going.
Dean: That's so great. That was a nice innovation there. So much of that's a serendipity. It's what we call having a starving crowd. Because you're the-
Nandu: You can say that.
Dean: You're the right thing. Years ago I ran and owned a hotdog stand in college and we had a contract with a night club that would allow us to put our hotdog cart outside the night club. This was a night club that was kind of isolated. There wasn't all kinds of stuff around, it was on land. We were the only game in town. We would show up at nine o'clock at night and stay until two and it was just nonstop people buying hotdogs and sausages because it was the only game in town. That's great. It's a little bit of an outlier from what a traditional restaurant would be, but the lesson of getting that feedback would really help restaurants. If I'm your restaurant owner, what I'm really getting at Nandu, is partly to get the outcome that I can expect in engaging with you or collaborating with you. You know?
Nandu: Right. I would agree-
Dean: That's where in order for anything to work, the baseline thing has to be what is the exchange that we're going to make. What is the outcome that you're 100% going to be able to create for me. Preferably, what would it be that would be a dream come true outcome for me as a restaurant owner? That you're so confident in it, not that you would get paid this way but that you would be willing to put your payment dependent on the results? You worked on the thing. There's a good lesson here is that in a micro examination here of it, your pizza situation there, what you did in figuring it out, once you figured out how to make it hot and not soggy, that that became your winning formula. You had 100% confidence that you could deliver piping hot pizza right to your customer and they were going to be 100% happy with it. Right?
Dean: For that you charged however much money it was. Usurious prices because you were in a closed environment where you were the only game in town? Right?
Dean: There was no other real hot options.
Dean: Now, with that model here, what we need to do for your course, your outcome, the engagement with you, is figure out what is it that we're actually going to deliver for somebody. Rather than just the information. You know?
Dean: That information only is valuable as it is leading to an outcome.
Dean: That's what I'm trying to work through with you here. To try and guide you in a direction of what could we do that could create some immediate and direct result for people. Do you have any other things in scaling up? If I came to you and said, "Listen, I really want to turn things around here. I really want to get more business." What would you say?
Nandu: One of the disciplines is customer feedback. The other is the financial planning. I've noticed a lot of restauranters don't plan their finances going ahead one to three years. They don't break it up and they don't view it as per half year or quarterly results. There is no direction. It's just like, "I did 100 X last year, let me do 105 X, 105%." It's getting them clarity of growth in terms of finances. Then, teaching them the habits to identify those KPIs or indicators towards their bigger goal. Then, showing them how they can read those figures every month and then communicate and get their team involved in it to improve them. That's another part of-
Dean: If I'm a restaurant owner, that the KPI that I'm mostly interested in is the number of dollars that I have at the end of the week or the month?
Nandu: At this moment, that's what somebody would. Yes.
Dean: All of these other KPIs, all the other ones are going to fall into line-
Dean: If we can get that number up, right?
Nandu: Correct, correct.
Dean: Solving those things or looking at those numbers, or measuring them or knowing them, is not going impact the trump KPI. The master KPI, right?
Dean: Of bore dollars.
Dean: I think that part of what you would have people's attention with is if you were able to focus on them getting that number up right away without having to know all these other numbers. I talk about things like a nine-word email or things like a super signature or things that you can immediately deploy that make an immediate difference right now. Do you have any of those kind of things that would if I put a gun to your head and said, "Listen, you got to increase the revenue over the next two weeks here in this restaurant," what would you do? I'm saying that not out of being dramatic, but that's the reality of what a lot of restaurant owners probably feel. Right?
Dean: They've got that gun to their head meaning the rent, the mortgage, payroll, suppliers, all the overhead. Everything that they need to pay.
Dean: They're just barely getting through that. Surviving.
Nandu: Correct. If I were to go in and to answer your question, I think I would focus on selling more at the table.
Dean: Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Right?
Dean: Now you can have a let's just infuse cash and then we can stabilize it and build a structure around it. If you can bring more cash in, then you have my attention. Because what you're taking from me as a restaurant owner without your complete alignment on feeling my pain and my objective is that you're taking my time and attention and resources, and turning it backwards towards something that is not solving my number one problem right now, which is more money. But, if you can do that get something that they can do right away that would make a big difference, that's a good thing. I use the restaurant example often as a perfect microcosm for the during unit experience. Right?
Dean: Because a restaurant is a very short timeframe. You may a reservation, you show up at the restaurant. Or, if you're a quick-serve restaurant, you don't even make a reservation. You're there, you come in, you are seated, you get your order taken, your food comes out, you eat it. You maybe or maybe not get dessert. You get the check, you pay, and you're out. That's the two-hour or hour and a half or hour client experience timeline that we go through. What we look at is at the end of that right now, they do have a baseline metric, which would be a hundred diners come through the restaurant and they get at the end of the day on average $3000 at the end of that let's say. Or $2000 or whatever it is. Somewhere in that neighborhood.
If you can show them that on their next hundred diners, that if they deploy this one thing, we can turn that $2000 into $2500. Or that $3000 into $3500.
Dean: That would get someone's attention, right?
Dean: What would be your strategy for a restaurant to increase the money at the table?
Nandu: The one I just mentioned, which is increasing the average guest's check.
Dean: What would you recommend for that?
Nandu: There are tricks one can do. Would you like me to share that?
Dean: Yeah, of course. I want to get a practical, actual thing.
Nandu: For example, when you go to a restaurant and they seat you down, give you a menu, or you're going to a quick service or fast casual and you find a menu on the table and you're looking at it and the person comes and takes your order. Then, they serve you water and you get the food and your drinks. Whatever you ordered and then you leave. At the end, they may or may not ask you, do you want dessert? One of the easiest ways to do is to introduce the dessert right in the beginning, which is I don't ask you what you'd like to eat. I'd say, "Today we have this for dessert. We have a key lime pie that's really good. It's baked in house, it's smelling really good and it's very fresh, so keep some space for it.
Throughout the meal, what you're doing is you're envisioning this dessert if it resonates with you and you want a key lime pie. Whether you have space for it or not, there is a higher likelihood that you're going to order it because I've put that seed in your mind right in the beginning. This is one of the simple ways. At first, let's say 10% people order dessert even if 20% people order dessert. Taking your example of 100 diners, if 10 diners order dessert, now you got 10 more. 10% or 20%. That's more revenue in the day and that multiples depending on what time your business hours are and things like that. That's one of the easy ways,
Dean: Can I ask you something?
Nandu: Of course.
Dean: How many diners or tickets would they call? What's the actual language that they would use for the number of diners per day?
Dean: Yeah, seats. How many seats would somebody-
Nandu: Actually, that's a very big question to answer, but let's just say a simple, casual dining restaurant where your average guest check is between $20-$30. It would have around 50 to 70 seats and then you got to measure your turnaround. You would typically see a one and a half-
Dean: One and a half turnaround?
Nandu: Maybe one and a half at dinner. If they're open throughout the day, I'd add one more. One and a half more at the best. That would be your average.
Dean: It would not be uncommon for a restaurant to have 100 diners come in on a daily basis?
Nandu: No, it wouldn't.
Dean: Okay, this is what I'm talking about. This is where you have an opportunity to immediately get some results for somebody on the next 100 diners. It's not, let me examine what's been going wrong and let's see what you're not doing. It's, let's just agree that they're doing something. Whatever they're doing is getting 100 people to come in and let's just show this one thing. Excuse me. That, you could get immediate results by finding one restaurant and doing that tomorrow. That's where you could show a proven impact on that one thing.
Where you look at it that if you can show them how to just by saying the words at the beginning, telling them about this key lime pie or about this apple pie or about whatever it is. Even if they don't make pie, if you went to a bakery and you got some pies and you said that's it, that, you could get the results of an experiment. Now you're putting the scientific method to this and you've got documented proof that if they can extrapolate this, you've got something now that can over time, if that becomes the standard, that becomes a pretty big impact. If you can add revenue per hundred dinners. You know?
Dean: It's an interesting thing. If that's not a standard metric, one of the things that you can create and I do this all the time, is create what I call proprietary metrics that you've got a metric that they're not even used to measuring. It's there like a magic trick, it exists. They've just never looked at it that way, right?
Dean: On their last hundred diners, they got this. Or, even if you add a rolling average of their last thousand diners, that their average revenue per available table, in the hotel business they have a standard metric called RevPAR, which is revenue per available room.
Dean: If you look at the same kind of thing, not even necessarily on the available space that they have in the restaurant where their shortcoming is, but on a hundred diners, whether that happens today, or it takes two days or three days, whatever it is, it's each hundred and you can make an impact on that. I like that idea and there are probably five or six things or more that you could layer on top of that. That if you start with that one, that's great. But, if they're not getting contact information from people, they don't have a list of their diners, that could be a big thing-
Nandu: I agree.
Dean: If in an addition to that, if you instituted a birthday club, where if they just joined your birthday club, they get a piece of cake tonight and get a $20 gift card on their birthday. Now, you get a hundred people come to the restaurant, you get what you would normally get, plus you get the pie bonus, plus you get 30, 40, 50 people who've joined your birthday club. That becomes an asset. I think that those things as an entry into a relationship with the restaurant are going to open the door to all of the other deeper things where you're coming in with the thing that they need more than anything. You're giving them what they want in a way that starts a relationship that will allow you to then give them what they need.
Nandu: I was having a little resistance for a few minutes on this part, which is we'll even mention that if my focus is someone who's my focus really has been one to three restaurants because I find them more committed. I love these ideas and at the end of the day, after you finished talking, I was like, "Yes, I think this makes a lot of sense." But in between, I think the block or the speed bump that I was having was somebody who owns one to three restaurants usually has figured out their own little ways of doing things. Maybe they're looking for bigger impact, but I like that you said that this is an entry into a relationship. It really isn't what I would like to teach them, which would make a bigger impact. It's what they need, rather this is what they want.
Dean: Part of the-
Dean: Part of the thing that makes the whole system work is that you are creating a result for somebody. You know?
Nandu: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dean: In a way that maybe they haven't thought of or a way that is demonstrable. Do you have a relationship with any restaurant that would allow you to test this experience?
Nandu: I'm sure I could find one.
Dean: I think that if you look at that and you're documenting this as you go, that's really a great way to start the relationship. You know?
Nandu: Correct. I like this start the relationship. I think that's what I'm really taking away today because when you want to help, I think you ignore the basic, basic door opening. Something that will crack the door open and that could be the simplest thing, which you just mentioned. What would you say for building a list online, what would you say that would entice a person like a restaurateur to share his information? I've tried-
Dean: I think a birthday club would be a good thing. Here's what you could do and an additional thing. If they don't order the key lime pie, I've only ever seen this at one restaurant is they had these little shot glass desserts that were a little bite of a brownie with some chocolate syrup and some whipped cream on top. They were like $2 for this little bite. When people would refuse dessert, when they declined regular dessert, then they would come by with the tray of these little dessert shots that almost nobody could resist. Everybody's got room for just a bite of dessert. You know?
Dean: If you can do them with a high margin because it's very little cost to do it, that becomes another little win. It's really like this whole dining experience is like theater in a lot of ways. It's a performance and the more things you can do like that… Getting back to that little shot thing that if they join the birthday club, that they get one of those tonight and then, they get a $20 gift card on their birthday. What you get in exchange is you get the contact information of 30, 40 or 50 people per hundred who come through the restaurant. That builds the list fairly quickly.
Nandu: If I were to just shift it back to F&B Business School for a second, what would your advice be on building a list for me? Meaning getting more restaurant owners on my list. I've been blogging, I've been vlogging. Tried my being active on Facebook groups, I don't think they hang out much there. I've tried the guide. I read one of your emails, you had used a restaurant actually, and you had said, "Catering guide," or, "The best catering ideas in your town or something." I can't remember exactly.
Dean: Those were wedding invitations.
Nandu: Yes, yes, yes. I did try something like that for last Christmas, which was incentives. The right incentives for your employees for Christmas. It was a guide giving them the ideas. Maybe it wasn't the right thing, but I just tried out the idea. Any advice on how to build a list online so I can communicate to more people?
Dean: Yeah. It's those things. If you've got your experiment, I would almost do this experiment, show the impact that it can have and then, document it has a case study as something that you can implement tonight to increase the things. That, that becomes field report. That this becomes an action guide that it's something they can actually implement. That'd be a really good thing because then they'll be thinking, "Oh. What else have you got?" But more importantly, what you have is now you've turned an invisible prospect into a visible prospect.
Nandu: Correct. I like that. Thank you.
Dean: That's the kind of thing. I think that, that's focusing on not so much getting in the course-selling business, but in the result-getting business.
Nandu: No, it's been great. It's been great. You've made it really simple. You've brought it back to the basics, which always works and I'm very grateful. Thank you Dean. It's been really, really helpful.
Dean: Awesome Nandu. Keep me posted because I think there's a lot of good lessons in this for anybody helping any business grow. You're just representative of that. I really enjoyed it. Thanks Nandu.
Nandu: Yeah, I really enjoyed it. You're very smart. Thank you.
Dean: I'll talk to you soon.
Nandu: Thank you Dean. Thanks. Okay.
Nandu: Okay, bye.
Dean: There we have it. Another great episode. Thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation and go deeper in how the eight profit activators can apply to your business, two things you can do. Right now, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com and you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book and you can listen to the back episodes of course if you're just listening here on iTunes. Secondly, the thing that we talk about in applying all of the eight profit activators are part of the breakthrough DNA process, and you can download a book and a scorecard and watch a video all about the eight profit activators at BreakThroughDNA.com.
That's a great place to start the journey in applying this scientific approach to growing your business. That's really the way we think about breakthrough DNA as an operating system that you can overlay on your existing business and immediately look for insights there. That's it for this week, have a great week and we will be back next time with another episode of More Cheese Less Whiskers.