Going to restaurant trade shows at least once a year is always a good idea. Not only do you get new ideas, but you also see what the latest trends are so you aren't left behind.
Guest Innovations returned from the Western Food Service and Hospitality Expo in Los Angeles where we met many restaurants looking for new solutions. We have follow-up to do. What about you?
Remember your goal. It's a good idea to have a goal in mind before you even get to the trade show. Like grocery shopping, if you don't have a list you'll end up with a bunch of unnecessary purchases. After the trade show it's important to remember to review your goal to see if you found what you are looking for.
Sort through your notes. Trade shows are overwhelming with the amount of people, products, and ideas. Go through your brochures, business cards, and notes and pull the ones you were truly interested. The others can usually go in the round filing cabinet.
Do it while its fresh. Restaurant life is constantly busy and it will be easy to push those notes aside on your desk and forget about them. If you were seriously considering a product or service of a vendor you met, reach out to them first. They have a huge list of leads they will be pursuing and much prefer hot leads than making cold calls. By contacting the vendor yourself, you put yourself at the top of their priority list.
Check your budget. A good idea to do both before and after a show is to check your budget. How much can you afford for the solution you are looking for? Do the vendors that you like fit within your budget?
Open yourself up to new possibilities. When it's time to implement your new solution, remember that change means adjustments. Often there is training involved and new approaches on how to do things. People can be resistant to change and give up too early, reverting back to their old ways, but being open to change via your new solution could greatly improve your business. Remember, the vendor wouldn't have a viable service to sell if it didn't help their clients.
Implementing a new idea or product each year can be of great benefit to your business. You never know when one will really click and elevate your business to new heights.
Presented by Guest Innovations. Be sure to check out our affordable hospitality products Rezku, Waitku, Sendku, and Dinnerwire.