Own Your Brand.

Restaurants are struggling. It’s hard not to find a tweet, video, or news story describing the struggle.

The past year has crushed independent restaurants across the country and brought a reality to their doors: Many were unprepared for a digital world.

The Catch-22 that restaurants find themselves in now comes from dependence on the food delivery platforms. The lead generation that these platforms deliver is awesome. It’s a Faustian bargain though. The platforms take fees of at least 20% and own the customer themselves. The loss of ownership of the customer is absolute.

The customer was always important. The pandemic has highlighted the value of owning your customers, starting with knowing who they are. Restaurants face a loss of revenue from in-store dining. They need their customers ordering delivery but don’t own the customer and are now entirely dependent on the platforms for almost all the revenue.

Every restaurant wishes their customers would order from them directly because the margins are better and the customer experience is better. And it is not going to happen without effort from the restaurants themselves.

Technology has made it easier to publish information, take orders, and communicate with every customer. And with the basic building blocks of your brand in place, spreading the word also becomes easier, less expensive, and more effective over time.

Easier means that there is an abundance of tools, solutions, and expertise willing to help guide owners into the digital world.

Easier does not mean zero-cost, zero-effort, or zero-risk.

Some of the easiest ways to get started are to

  1. Own your brand. Ensure that you own your domain name, your phone number, and your website. It may seem minor until it is too late. Don’t own it by proxy. Activate your brand with your website and your phone system. These are minor details until someone else controls them for you.
  2. Own your customer. Aggregate leads across every platform in a common database and use the data to have one-on-one conversations with each customer.
  3. Own your business. Give your customers a way to find you and the ability to order from you when they want to.

BlackLab helps customers de-risk their business by owning their brand, owning their customer, and owning their business.

BlackLab invites conversation with restaurants and other customers who want to de-risk and grow their business by doing easily doable things.

BlackLab can be reached at hello@blacklab.app.

Originally posted on April 29, 2021