Surviving and thriving in small markets

Man, now THAT is impressive. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind sharing. My sales are plateauing again . . . they do every 6 months or so until I boost something cool out.

  1. Do you have beer/wine/liquor sales by the drink?
  2. What’s your business breakdown in terms of Dine in/deliver/takeout?
  3. Do you happen to know your median income in your town?
  4. What town are you in? Nearest city? Do you get much customer business driving over 15 miles to get to you?
  5. Do you have a college, apartment complex, commercial complex in town that helps drive business?

Our town poluation estimate in 2005 is 2500 with median household income around $29,000 . . . per capita income is almost $14000. We’re actually a semi-depressed town that is coming out of an economic coma. The only businesses open after 8pm are me and the two gas stations at the interstate.

Our challenge is to get people outside our city limits and zip code to consider our place as worthy of trying out the first time. When they try us, they become at least monthly for a while. We are only abuot15% dine in, and do not have beer/wine due to political challenges. That should come to us in February, which will add some bg flexibility and creative opportunity for us.

We are buiding out a sit-down dining room specifically for some casual semi-upscale options. We will be the only tablecloth restaurant in 15 miles of town when that is done. That said, there are only maybe 4000 people within 15 miles :shock: NO apartments - NO college - NO shopping center - NO hotels - NO office buildings. We have things working to get some new mareting strategies played out . . . we aren’t a charity case by any means. We’ve increased sales almost 65% in three years to where we are now.

So, anyone out there got some genius to offer on top of what I’ve been posting around here? Small and tiny markets offer a slightly different set of challenges than the uber-markets with 26 competitors slugging it out.