In business, there are certain taboos around the idea of “learning from others”. It is also often thought that this idea is at odds with innovation, but this is not the case: as in all research, creativity (and innovation) is required in the way of approaching problems and interpreting solutions.
Benchmarking: learn from the best
This business practice, also known as "benchmark comparison," has a decades-long history of proving its effectiveness. Very useful for companies of all types and sizes, the idea of this practice is not only to compare a business with a similar one (direct competences), but also with the businesses of one industry and another.
Questions like what winning strategies can I take from others for my business? Are the ones that start this process that will surely be very profitable in your restaurant. But beware, there are certain steps that you must follow so that you do not get lost in the comparison.
Step 1: how well do you know your restaurant?
Before looking at the competition, ask yourself how well you know your own business: do you know the needs of your consumers? And those of your employees? What equipment do you need? For this step, we recommend implementing a tool that you are probably already familiar with: a SWOT analysis.
Step 2: now yes, what are others doing?
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is to "plant yourself" in the restaurant in question, however, to meet the competition you can also follow a series of steps that we will tell you below:
- Know exactly who your competitors are (both direct and indirect).
- Research everything about them.
- Create some links (if possible).
- Cooperate for the growth of both parties.
- Let them know you too (avoiding unfair competition and price war).
- Finally, stay alert to changes in your relationship.
Step 3: (effective) implementation and evaluation of strategies
As we discussed in the previous point, it is valid to apply everything you learn from your competition as long as you stay within the loyal margins (and, of course, legal). Ask yourself: is it feasible to make X changes in my restaurant? How long would it take to implement the change?
Regardless of the answers to the questions above, remember not to lose sight of something super important: the value proposition. It is not simply about copying the competition, much less being "reactive" when they implement a change in their business. It's about taking good strategies from the competition and adding to them the value proposition of your own restaurant. The result? A "corrected and augmented" strategy.
On the other hand, don't forget that any change you want to implement should be properly discussed with your team. And it is that they themselves will be the ones who help you measure if these changes are being effective, so do not forget to always involve them in the process.
You can always learn something from others, and now with the internet age this process is less complex than before. As if that were not enough, if you follow these steps you will surely do it successfully and in the process you will establish new relationships that will strengthen your restaurant. Don't forget to tell us how it went!