A Successful Restaurant Restructure and Turnaround by Dr. Salam Amin

Another Business Turnaround Trip of Success, But this time in Egypt!

The restaurant chain located in Egypt, comprised of 8 locations in the country, in which two of them had been performing poorly due to bad locations and management. The others were better but still in weak condition. It was just 3 months before the tourist rush season when I was awarded the daunting task to turn the chain around.

There were many crippling indicators that pointed out the causes and effects for vanishing prosperity and destined failure with the restaurant chain in Egypt. Among the most obvious problems with the business operations were the effects of indiscriminate cost-savings on a limited budget. For example, poor quality in the restaurant services, food and hospitality that squeezed the traffic streams in customer base expansion, growth, and loyalty.

To save the Restaurant chain, financial losses needed to be stabilized by closing two of the lower performing locations. The remaining 6 locations received a huge performance boost based mainly on a segmented and C.C.S ( Customized Customer Service) approach. The operating branches were restructured and transformed to serve different types of customers based on a thorough strategic evaluation of each branch location and a determination based on the demographics and target niche of the types of customers that they served.

Each branch was allocated to serve local customer interests.

The customer base segments were: -Students, Luxury Customers, Children, To Go Branch, Couples , Oriental Customers. Stores were redesigned with customized layouts Inventory preparation techniques were presented with transparency and visual authenticity. We improved decors and introduced all the update tools and machinery. Dated equipment was modernized and made available for each branch to function effectively and efficiently.

My focus was to deliver an exceptional experience in each branch to gain repeat customers, and provide an enhanced consumer experience, which would in turn result in a higher customer retention, repeat customer attrition, and more customer volume turnout rate.

Some of the tactics I used for example in the Students’ branch involved having randomly chosen table selections for usage during the early morning from 7-9a.m. Since these were non-busy hours, the student populations were given an incentive to occupy the empty tables for their study, or group connections, and this improved the traffic flow and brought in sales during a time period which was not previously profitable. Another one of the tactics I used for the luxury customer branches was to offer every table after ordering; a sample of a unique high cost dish as a complimentary tasting. It really was a successful tactic. It urged potential customers to sample featured menu attractions. Additionally, it served to help make customers feel important, pampered and exclusively catered to.

In the customer dining engagement improvement approach, we applied focused efforts from the very beginning of their dining experience, as in; from the time of making a reservation, to ask questions about dietary preferences , allergies and seating preferences. It improved customer building relationship as it showed an interest in the customer as an individual.

Even servers were encouraged to engage with their table guests, to ask if they needed to be reminded of any timed appointments so they can alert them when the time windows were approaching. This was an improved personalized service opportunity to enhance the customer dining experience. Introducing digital ordering capabilities and providing multiple choices for electronic payment options helped with differentiating the quality and standards from the other restaurant venues and locations

I regularly identified and utilized business improvement alternatives, employed new tactics , promoted incentives and campaign offers each week for all branches to enrich restaurant services and ingrain customer loyalty advancement. I combined strong leadership with marketing and digital activities to outperform not only in high season but even in low season periods.

The restaurants’ turnaround outcomes were immensely rewarding. In the busy times, sales increased almost 50 percent, while even slow periods, the actual average profit margins were bettered by 33 percent

My expansion plan included an increase in the number of the branches inside Egypt and the opening new restaurant venues in other countries like Morocco .

For businesses to succeed they have to constantly re-evaluate their performance, expectations and outlook in order to survive the ever-changing economic conditions and reinvent themselves or adjust accordingly. And this is what I DO. I find a way to help your business achieve sustainability and profitable continuity. So please don’t hesitate to contact me.



Linkedin : @DrSalamAmin

***Note : Due to proprietary confidentiality agreements the names of of the organizations are withheld.

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