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Why Do Restaurants Decline Over Time?

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Why Do Restaurants Decline Over Time?

PaulF | Apr 16, 2012 04:25 PM

I thought this article from Slate was very interesting.

Didn't agree with everything, but liked this part:

"I was particularly struck by this because he applies it as an explanation of the general phenomenon of restaurant decline, which I think is better explained by a very different model. Imagine some diners are, by temperament, venturesome while others are regulars. Over the long term, the best business strategy is to appeal to regulars since they offer a stable client base. But when a restaurant is new, it by definition lacks regulars and needs to appeal to venturesome diners both to get an initial wave of customers and also to attract "buzz" and get the temperamental regulars in the door. Over time, a successful restaurant will attempt to switch and become more a place for regulars, which means that venturesome diners will come to like it less. At the same time, alienating venturesome foodies is very low cost because being venturesome they would perceive their own growing familiarity with the food as declining quality one way or the other. One reason venturesome foodies like Cowen particularly enjoy very "authentic" "ethnic" restaurants is that what counts as comfort food for the Annandale Korean community (thus ensuring the existence of a sustainable business model) counts as venturesome dining for the mainstream American diner."

Here is the link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2...

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