I get asked all the time if we feel the effects of the sluggish economy in our restaurant, and I have to say no, that business keeps getting better for us as time moves along. I don’t know what exactly to attribute that to, for we certainly are not in a bullet-proof industry, but there are a few factors I believe have given us an edge in these uncertain economic times.
- People are still like eating out.
Our 21st century lifestyle includes going out to eat, regardless of the call by Oprah to eat more meals at home. I don’t believe the common pace of life these days will ever slow down to ever exclude eating out. It may, but I believe we are a long way from that point.
- We’ve priced ourselves to meet a variety of budgets.
Being in a college town, we knew we needed to have a menu that would be affordable to our university across the street. You can come by for lunch and get a savory bowl of soup for four bucks, and I guarantee it will be made with fresh ingredients and not heated up from a frozen block of ice delivered on a semi-truck from some central kitchen 200 miles away. But you can also buy a nice bottle of wine of Stag’s Leap Cab with your locally raised beef short ribs.
We are an independently owned restaurant. How many of those do you find in Lincoln today? Most of your choices are franchised chains that are nothing more than a system of “charts & graphs.” Do you know the owner of Applebee’s? Or further yet, does he or she know your name? We take personal interest in you and your experience, because it OUR place. If it fails, we go down with the ship. If your favorite franchise goes under, the corporate machine swallows the loss. And who’s going to bust their butt a little harder for you, the guy who knows your favorite wine or the one who sees you as a statistic? Our customers recognize this and make their choice accordingly.
- Our first competition is with ourselves.
I know at the end of a night if I have done a good job or not. I know if your food tastes as good as it could, and whether or not I got it out to you on time. I don’t have to ask you for that kind of feedback. Rarely do I get a comment about something that is not up to par that surprises me, because it usually has to do with a customers preference and not the condition of the plate. I stay closely observant over my dishes and taste everything I make. If I am my first critic and competition, I reduce the risk of sending out sloppy food.
We do all we can do to provide a great product, but without you coming out to support us and enjoying what we offer, we would be in the tank. Thank you for helping make bread&cup a success!