Thank you for your input.
Why is this happening is first question to ponder ?.
How to nip it in the bud. And what am I going to do about it.. There are to many factors depending on local and surrounding circumstances unique to every place.
Could be staff or service, could be weather, could be new competition, food quality going down, tired atmosphere and menu. new trends. crowd moves.and on and on .
OWNER HAS TO SPEND MORE TIME THERE WATCHING , and he should swallow their prid and listen and learn.
Yes the owner has to be pro-active daily like a full time relationship and needs to be nurtured everyday.
Make a to-do evaluation list everyday and add new things to it.
Myriad of factors as to why things go south..... Here's what I encourage my clients to do first...ASK YOUR PATRONS:
1) what can we do better for you?
2) what other restaurant do you like to frequent and why?
3) are there things you don't like here and why?
Talk to them, show you care enough to ask and most importantly be open to criticism.
weather/demographics/competition.....well hit each one
WEATHER...Get a calendar make the bad weather days and put your daily numbers on it and look for a trend. If you see one.... well on inclement days scale back staff, better to be understaffed
and work harder than over staffed and paying for nothing.
DEMOGRAPHICS...Look at who your customers are. Get to know where they live, what they do and what they want and need and what they spend. Create a patron contact management system CRM that tells you all this so you can stay on top of them.
COMPETITION.....Take a drive around the area and see, go in and check-out competitors places, see what and how they are doing. Google reviews get an idea as to what patrons are saying.
This is paramount...STAY ON TOP OF WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE WRITING ABOUT YOU!! Remember addressing problems as they unfold at the restaurant is the best way to avoid a bad write-up by not putting that fire -out as it burned.
and CHEFeDB...My hats off to you..."owner needs to swallow thier pride and listen and learn" advice coming from a man 30 years in the business...well said!
Thank you GEVH