We want to open a restaurant (to later be franchised) in a small upscale tourist town with some very unique locals and tourists (lenox, ma). Its a hot spot for organic, local, and fine dining. I am currently creating a survey for the locals and tourists this weekend. My question is if there are any good questions Im leaving out that investors would like to know. This is what I have so far: I give them a choice of three different restaurants-different themes-food types-missions etc. I ask which they would prefer or if they would just prefer their favorite local place over all three choices. I ask if they are a local or on vacation. If they choose one I ask if they enjoyed the food and it was a median price for the town would they frequent it. 1. a few times a week 2. once a week 3. once a month 4. once or twice a lifetime. I dont want to miss an opportunity while Im in front of these people- is there anything else I should be asking -considering the starting point (have not chosen restaurant yet- gathering info on which is most favored) i will also be giving them the website and letting them know if they sign up they can be involved in the choices and also get their first meals free for their family. Thanks! additionally: if you know of any follow up questions I should do after I have gathered the info for which restaurant they would like the most- let me know- thanks!
I think it is a good start. From my experience, people don't really know what they want -- they only think they do. An example of this is when Steve Jobs announced the iPad. There was collective confusion (more so than any other time Apple has done something). Now, we couldn't imagine our world without it.
That said, the participants of your survey will likely answer within their comfort zone or what they are familiar with. This is what they *think* they want. If you base your entire business model on what people think they want, you will end up duplicating what they are already accustom to (your competition).
Getting a sense of your market is a good thing, but you most have the "secret sauce" that will woo your potential customers away from their routine.
I don't know what type of restaurant you are aiming for, be it fast food, causal sit down, unique and interesting, or 5-star quality. Based on that, price becomes very subjective.
There is a very unique, one-off restaurant I enjoy visiting when I am traveling in Southern California. It is priced higher than any other restaurant in the area, but I am not paying for the food or even the service. I am paying for the way it makes me feel and the environment they maintain.
The participants of your survey will likely not be considering intangibles like this when they answer. Keep this in mind, but don't build your entire business around it.
Questions to validate your business model may include:
- How important is the selection of adult beverages?
- How important is the selection of healthy choices?
- How important is a family-friendly environment?
- How important is the quality of food (we don't always go where the food is best)
- How important is the speed of service?
Based on your question, I am guessing you are going for a family-friendly, speedy, inexpensive alternative to McDonalds, Burger King, or Carl Jr's. These companies have deep pockets to fend off upstarts. Your value proposition will need to be rock solid to defend against the giants of the industry.
Ask more questions to yourself. In their books on positioning, Jack Trout and Al Ries indicate that people do not give accurate answers to survey questions.
Find an avatar, such as a TV character that might eat at your restaurant and ask yourself what would they do? What would their response be to this restaurant idea?
Bottom line ask how you will make money. Investors invest to make money.
Don't stop taking massive action.
Best of Luck,
Michael T. Irvin
My books are available exclusively through Amazon Books. Check out my book "Copywriting Blackbook of Secrets"
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money
The questions you are asking are insightful, but just based in theory. People visit restaurants for good food and good service. Regardless of what the theme or food type is, it has to be able to deliver good food with good service in a pleasurable atmosphere.
I don't know what the vacation question has to do with the restaurant.
Of course, all restauranteurs would like to franchise their idea and get a steady income stream. However, the restaurant must first prove it is a financial success, enough so that other people will pay you to replicate it (and in return you provide them support). WIthout even a solid concept yet, there is a long way to go before you can even dream of franchising.
I'd love to discuss this further with you.
Here are some good questions to ask in a survey. You can have them provide short answers or choose a rating, depending on the question:
* What did you like best about our services?
* What did you not like about our services?
* What, if anything, has changed about our services since your last visit?
* How would you rate the staff’s ability to meet your needs?
* How would you rate the staff’s willingness to ensure your needs were met?
* How would you rate the staff’s ability to work together to meet your needs?
You can see more questions in this blog from Fieldboom: http://www.fieldboom.com/blog/customer-service-surveys/.
My question would be who you are targeting your surveys towards. Are you giving the same content in surveys for the tourists and locals. In which case, if the commerce is heavily driven by tourism, you are likely to get much different answers. Local communities in tourism areas tend to want places they call home, exclusive to the community. The target segment for your survey should help curate the content of your survey. You may be better served with a different version for each, or if the survey is digital, make the end points vary for questions asked that would supply the survey takers demographics.