When our favorite restaurant in Cancun went from fast and casual to formal and fancy, we knew we had to check it out and be the official judge for the new strategy. The first two restaurants in the same area that attempted this has failed epically but this one was different because it had a loyal following of people that suggested very specifically how and why the change should be made.
The main issue with the first two attempts from the local competitors was that the massive change was brought on without any real data pointing to the need for the change. The other owners would just happen to overhear customers talking about our favorite spot and how awesome it would be to make it into a date night type of a place. But that same desire didn’t apply to the two failed attempts because the driving force behind going to those places was fundamentally different.
The first one had a strong base of customers with young families who desperately needed a place to serve as the play area for kids while moms and dads had their few moments of relaxation eating in a casual place.
The second was more oriented toward the spring break mentality, so they attracted groups of friends who weren’t there for any sort of date night at all. Rather, they wanted to hang out with the whole gang and sit at large tables with lots of chatter across the room from end to the next.
Unfortunately, both went out of business when trying to go for the shift in market served.
Now the beauty with our spot is that it already has a long history of serving the ideal customers for a date night formal and fancy place. In fact, just last week I was talking to a friend who owns a business up in Texas that caters to exactly this type of crowd. The main products and services she sells are custom blinds and shutters for people in a multitude of high end neighborhoods near Houston. The business is called Bellaire Blinds. Her feedback about this restaurant was that it is even more appealing now than it was because it’s giving us more of what we already wanted instead of something completely misaligned with the core customer needs and wants.
After visiting ourselves, my official opinion matches my friend with the custom blinds business. Lots of hard work and energy certainly paid off, and my expectations for a great customer experience were most definitely met. We will still be frequenting this place after the renovation, and in fact, will probably even go more often now because after going on regular dates, we will plan to ask friends to join us for double dates as well, and possibly triple dates.
Great to report this news, as it would have been heartbreaking to see a third place going down like the first two. It shows just how critical it is to listen to customers’ insights, about your own business, not others!