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Are you making buffet choices or fine dining decisions?

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 by Kathleen Hawkins

Like many families, we have a tradition of going out to lunch after church on Sunday. Recently, we were bored with the usual places; so we decided to give the local family style restaurant buffet a try. Thinking it would be less money and more fun for the children then we normally experience, we pulled into the parking lot with anticipation.

It had been years since any of us has eaten at an establishment like this, so we were a little shocked that what we thought would be cheaper actually was not. Now, at first the kids were ecstatic to see all the choices of food available to them, but as I observed both my family and the other people eating at the restaurant I noticed two mistakes in judgment many consumers make.

Two things were happening here:

  1. Some diners were eating for a profit. You know what I mean. They are the ones determined not to stop until they got their money’s worth. It really was just sad. I think many of them were trying to eat an entire days’ worth of food and possibly more, so they could leave feeling good about their investment.
  2. Then there were the people who were overwhelmed by so many choices. I actually saw the anxiety my daughter was experiencing trying to make good choices.

This kind of dynamic is the basis for a brilliant marketing plan. Every business should focus on the following:

  • Make your clients leave feeling they received a good value for their investment.
  • Offer a selection of choices for a wider customer demographic range to simplify their decision-making.
  • Make your company profitable.

On the surface, it might appear as though this restaurant did exactly that. However, when you really evaluate the experience the customer received, it’s unlikely an overwhelmed or overindulged consumer is likely to return with excitement. So whether you are thinking of your waist or your wallet from a consumer prospective, the buffet concept might not be the best option for you. If you are thinking about your business, remember: more is not always better!