Embracing Failure: Sure, You Can!

$709.2 billion. Now, that’s a number!

As reported by the National Restaurant Association, $709.2 billion is the amount of U.S. restaurant industry sales we’ve seen this year.

It seems as though that number represents an amazing quantifier of restaurant success in the U.S., right? Well for as much success as our industry has, there are most likely just as many (if not more) failures.

You may ask yourself: with a number in the billions, why didn’t my last venture work? Why did my restaurant not survive more than a year? Why did my restaurant fail? What did I do wrong?

We’re here to tell you: looking back is the key to moving forward successfully.

Clean Slate. When you embrace failure and are really willing to look at the whole picture you can stand back and assess; allowing the process of gathering information on the how’s and why’s of failure to reveal themselves. Was your inexperience on display? Did your competitor(s) just blow you out of the water? Did your location kill your business? Go back. Assess. Start over.

Live & Learn. Yup, the old adage rings true. Even though the U.S. reportedly has one million restaurant locations, trust us … the U.S. restaurant failure rate is particularly high. It’s a fact that many of us who’ve been in this business long enough know: failure is a part of this business. But, savvy restaurant owners and operators don’t wallow in failure; they use it as fuel. They learn from it, using it as a gateway to success.

Put Your Plan in Place. Year’s end is the perfect time to reflect. With the task of looking back, comes the foresight to embrace your failures and move on. Your go forward strategy should include: a realistic business plan, spot-on demographic research on your local area, guest preferences, spend habits, and the like to help chose a viable brand concept and property, and hiring a restaurant consulting team if you need further, concise support for staffing/guest relations advice and innovative ideas direction.

The Takeaway. Celebrate the failures. Don’t take them personally. Revel in the fact that you tried. That you’re willing to learn, do your homework, and be inspired …

Embrace failure. Use it to fuel future success.