Insights from NCB Showas Conference Sessions

Setting yourself apart seems to be the big takeaway from seminars and keynote speeches at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show over the past two days. While the bar, nightclub and restaurant industries are finally back, resting on laurels is definitely not an option. Having the courage to rebrand one's business - effectively and in a way that will attract more business rather than repel it - is certainly a message being driven home by many industry leaders, consultants and experts.

The humility to understand that your chosen theme and branding may not be working can be hard to find for many business owners. We've all witnessed the hesitation to, and in some cases outright hostility towards, rebranding on some episodes of Bar Rescue. Sometimes we simply must stop or at least put on pause our pride and stubbornness and listen to input from others concerning our businesses.

That, of course, brings me to the point of remembering that we are all in the business of getting reactions from people. We don't just sell food and liquor, we provide an experience. It really makes zero sense to disregard feedback from customers and employees. Your employees, if you're making them into the heroes of your business and the community you serve, are constantly getting feedback - this is free information directly from the source. Listen to them. Encourage open communication. Be willing to accept that a promotion you've chosen to implement may simply not be working, no matter how near and dear it is to you.

You may feel what you've come up with is brilliant but it may just not work. Being open to change doesn't simply mean setting aside pride concerning your branding, it starts at a very fundamental level: listening to your customers and choosing to serve their needs and desires. If you aren't willing to change for your customers, your competition will be more than willing to open their doors to them.


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