Don’t Blame The Great Recession: Smartphone Users Increasingly Are Behind Restaurants’ Near-Death Experiences

As many of us turn to restaurants the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., I’m reblogging a post I wrote over a year ago on how business owners, including restaurateurs, can use smartphones to collect and respond to user feedback in ways not imaginable 10 years ago. Happy Thanksgiving!

Matt Collins' Blog

One of my favorite shows is Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. For those who haven’t seen it, the program follows celebrity chef Robert Irvine as he tries to rescue failing family restaurants. He does this in spite of two limitations: a spending limit of just $10,000 with which to redesign the restaurant and only 48 hours to complete the makeover. The remediation typically involves a menu refresh, staff retraining, and helping the owners undo the bad habits that got them into trouble in the first place.

In the program’s first 10 minutes, Irvine always asks some form of the question, “What went wrong?” If the business has been open for at least the last seven years, and if there has been no major change in ownership, the owners often cite the same root cause: the Great Recession of 2007-09. They’ll remark how business was fine until the economy tanked, and then…

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