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Keep existing Restaurant name or change?

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by LouLou7, 25th Jun, 2016.

  1. LouLou7

    LouLou7 Active Member

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    We have purchased an established burger business that has been running for 8 years. When first opened it was very successful – small town local owner. It was sold 4 years ago and the new buyer introduced curries to the menu (and also kept the burgers) For the past four years the business has been in decline due to a few factors. The whole local feel was lost and instead a successful Gourmet Burger Restaurant became a Restaurant of multiple cuisines and lost the great customer service which made this business so successful.


    This brings us up to current times. Sales have fallen from $12k a week at the beginning to just over $2.5k now.


    We have decided to remove the curries and concentrate on bringing the Gourmet Burger theme back into the mix. We are currently working on the menu and having the logo’s all redone.


    Now do we keep the Restaurant name or have a complete fresh new start? (New name, new designs etc) There is value in the name but I’m unsure whether the name is now more of a disadvantage considering the decline that has occurred in the past four years.


    Any advice/views/opinions would help greatly. Cheers all
     
  2. Special order

    Special order Well-Known Member

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    We experienced this situation some time ago with a similar food business, we initially thought that it would be better to trade for a while under the previous identity but in hindsight we actually would of been better off to start with a new name and face. Didn't make that mistake again
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    If the name had a good reputation you'd keep it eg: Slugway, Mickey Dees, Burgher King, Pisser Hut, Red Rooter etc or great local name eg: Paragon Café (there's one in every country town) but BJ's Burgers doesn't have the same ring about it.

    Best bet is a short closure and new faces with the rebranding and promo (local rag, flyers, redemptions with purchase etc - a freebie brings in people but doesn’tconvert into sales but a redemption requires a purchase).
     
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  4. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    I agree - new name, new launch, new menu, new decor if you can.
    People are always curions to try something new/different, and its then up to you to make it a great experience and convert them into repeat customers.
     
  5. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    i would lean towards starting all over again.

    did you pay for any goodwill btw or was any value attached to the existing operation?
     
  6. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Check out online reviews. See how people rate the business.
    Marg
     
  7. LouLou7

    LouLou7 Active Member

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    Thanks all for your comments.

    We have been trading for 6 weeks under the business name. We have already put an 'under new management' sign up out front but don't want to leave it much longer if we do make the complete change - don't want to confuse people.

    The purchase cost was mostly asset value with only $10,000 goodwill.
     
  8. LouLou7

    LouLou7 Active Member

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    Online reviews are mostly good. There has been a few negative ones (more so in the last year or two)
     
  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I would go for a brand new name and I like the idea of flyers with redemption to at least get back some of the customers who've given up on the current place.

    The shows where Alex Polizzi and Ruth Watson go into this type of business and help them fix broken businesses always seem to incorporate a new name, new signage and some sort of "gala opening" or at least flyers.
     
  10. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Depending on the where the reviews come from,local or people going through the town,you may have to target the people that pass through ,if the parking is set-up outside..
    A few small towns in nth nsw have burgers ect and that are always packed any day of the week,grey nomads motor cycle clubs,plus the first three months in any business is the hardest part,once you work out it';s a job..
     
  11. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    if you do go a new name make sure there are sufficient changes made to branding, fitout etc so that it is immediately apparent it's a new business.

    ive seen businesses do only minor changes and end up feeling too much like the previous business that was underperforming but at the same time also not carrying over much/any goodwill due to name change etc, basically the worst of both worlds.
     
  12. twobobsworth

    twobobsworth Well-Known Member

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    I would much rather visit "the new place in town" than the old place under new management.
     
  13. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    start afresh.
     
  14. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    I would change it to BJ's and Burgers, that would be really popular I reckon...
     
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  15. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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    That would be a 'flop'...
     
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  16. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Limp salad?
     
  17. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    Start over, people might be curious and keen to give a go to something new, perhaps hoping it'll live up to its former glory.
     
  18. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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    In a wooden bowl?
     
  19. LouLou7

    LouLou7 Active Member

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    Thanks all.

    Looks as though a fresh new start with a new name is the way to go.

    Still undecided on how much to change on the menu. We are definitely taking off the curries and adding a few extras to the Burger Menu. In regards to how much change is needed - would you think all new Burger names are necessary if we did go with a name change? The Burger names are pretty good and well known but like Sanj says don't want to stay too similar to the previous business...
     
  20. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    Perhaps no need to change the burger names, but maybe try and add a few more varieties.
    You could consider brioche buns, sweet potatoes chips - these options are quite popular lately.
    Also perhaps consider changing the look of the menu itself as it'll give a new and different feel to it all even if the burger name stays the same.
    Some cosmetic changes in the dining room could be good too, or perhaps you could consider changing the layout a bit.

    In the end the most important is for you to make great burgers, so I would focus on that part. Making gourmet burgers that will have people coming back basically.

    You could also work on a new modern plating, something like this perhaps:

    [​IMG]