Kookoo – Modern Persian Restaurant

Creating a successful restaurant requires experience of what works and what strategies do not work. Making mistakes with the restaurant setup and marketing strategy can be fatal as word of mouth spreads very quickly and a few bad weeks trading can be terminal for any restaurant.

Speaking to the marketing director from what was once one of the leading restaurant chains who remarked that the promotional strategy chosen had effectively killed the restaurant brand, as customers no longer came for the quality of the food but for the low price point of the menu and this had left them unable to compete as they couldn’t make any profit.

Trading as ‘Sarab’, the restaurant was once one of the most popular Persian restaurants in London but had lost its way after the original owners left. The present propiertors were not experienced at running a restaurant and their setup and promotional ideas were not successfully bringing in customers, the offer (menu and restaurant atmosphere) were not attractive. The restaurant was turning over around 2000 pounds a week , which after staff wages, cost of goods and vat were deducted meant the business was running at a loss.

After reviewing the business a strategy was agreed with the owners to rebrand the restaurant and modernise the menu and food offer. The restaurant needed to be seen to be starting again and doing something different as it had gained such a bad reputation locally.

Understanding that the ultimate goal of every restaurant is to use Kaizen to constantly improve helps to build a growing, profitable business that benefits the owners, managers, staff and community over the long term. To do this the restaurant needs to be focused firstly on food, becoming the ‘top of mind’ restaurant for that food type in the area. Good food is the starting point followed by good marketing and publicity to bring in customers to try the good food (and then getting them to return is the next challenge).

Fortunately at Sarab the food was already excellent, so the challenge could be focused on making the premises more attractive both physically and also by word of mouth reputation to bring in new customers and then implement publicity strategies to position the restaurant as the best for its food type.

In order to keep costs to a minimum it was agreed only the frontage of the restaurant would be refreshed (with a further refurbishment of the interor to follow at a later date). A new colour scheme was put into place to help the restaurant stand out and the restaurant was rebranded from ‘Sarab’ to ‘Kookoo’.  A new website and social media was setup and various marketing strategies were implemented to bring in new customers. The restaurant achieved a top position on TripAdvisor in the local area and three months following the refresh the turnover was up to £10,000 per week meaning the restaurant was now profitable.