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SOMETIMES YOU WIN – SOMETIMES YOU LOSE
The greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fall.
Philip J. Romano, founder of Fuddruckers, a nationwide gourmet hamburger chain, truly is a restaurant entrepreneur. Romano has experienced the taste of failure on more than one occasion. Yet he realizes that success in the volatile restaurant business requires trying creative new concepts that may fail. Failure is common in the restaurant industry; eating and drinking establishments top the list of businesses with the greatest failure rates.
Much of Romano’s success is attributable to his ability to anticipate dining trends and to develop effective restaurant promotions. He caught on to the salad-bar trend early in his first restaurant, the Nag’s Head Bar in West Palm Beach. He captured customers’ interest with another venture after his grand- opening; he padlocked the door and sent keys to select customers. The gimmick created an informal cadre of salespeople touting the restaurant by word of mouth. When meat prices pushed up prices 30 percent at his Friends of Edinburgh Scottish Pub, Romano had new menus printed. But he issued the old menus to regular customers, who continued to pay the old prices as long as they brought their old menus. The gimmick at his lunch-oriented First National Bar & Grill was for customers to punch time clocks and pay by the minute.
The gimmicks didn’t always work, and Romano’s instincts about diners’ preferences weren’t always correct. His Pasta Palace, a combination art-deco movie house and pasta restaurant, opened in 1975, well before art-deco or pasta became chic in Florida. It closed quickly.
In 1985, Romano thought he was catching the wave for lighter fare with his health-oriented Stix Eating Spa in San Antonio. But the upscale restaurant appealed to only a very small
customer base, and sales fell well below expectations. “It was the right restaurant in the wrong
place,” he claimed after the restaurant closed.
Even Fuddruckers, which for a time was one of the hottest food chains around, began to slide. Romano overestimated the public’s willingness to pay $5 for a burger. The restaurant failed to adapt its menu and its prices in time and incurred a huge loss. Romano sold Fuddruckers the next year.
His current venture, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, is highly successful. Modeled after his memories of his grandfather’s warm Italian kitchen, the restaurant draws crowds on traditionally slow nights. Romano offers free meals on Monday or Tuesday each month. The catch: customers never know which Monday or Tuesday!
Romano’s newest restaurant idea presents yet another challenge for him: convincing New Yorkers to indulge their palates with hearty Tex-Mex fare. The competition will be stiff; there are some twelve thousand competing restaurants in Manhattan, and overhead expenses are outrageously high.
The real test of success or failure will be told on the tables of the Texas Tortilla Bakery.
1. Describe the small business failure rate.
2. What factors cause most small business failures?
3. Is failure among entrepreneurs necessarily bad? Why or why not?
SILA BERIKAN JAWAPAN ANDA DIRUANGAN YANG DISEDIAKAN (SERTAKAN NAMA, NO.PEND. ,KELAS/PROGRAM)..SELAMAT MENJAWAB!!
Sources: Adapted From Marj Charlier, “Romano Varies Menu to Cook Up Another Restaurant,” reprinted by permission of Wall Street Journal, April 11, 1990. p. B1. _ 1990. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.