The way the sidewalk in front of your establishment looks says a ton about how you do business inside.
It isn't easy to keep the sidewalk clean. The sidewalks here in Chicago are a doozy. On these gritty paths I have seen mattresses, diapers, red panties, chicken bones, and enough broken glass to encapsulate a high rise. Heading out to pick up coffee beans on an early Sunday morning after a ruckus Saturday is a war zone in most places. Kicked over trash cans, crushed beer cans, pizza boxes etc.
Every patron walks on the same sidewalk and through the same door that the proprietor does. If you are the patron and you walk by a shattered beer bottle, a banana peel, or poop on the sidewalk in front of the bar you are going to, do you still want to go in? Also the jury is always out on whether it came from a canine or a human in the city limits...
What if it has been there for a few days?
What about in the dead of Winter and the sidewalk isn't shoveled in front of the bar?
These are choices that every person working at this establishment has made.
To not sweep it up. To not pick it up. To not shovel it up. To not care.
If this is how the ownership and staff feel about your first impression of their business what do you think their kitchen looks like? What scary stuff has leaked in the low boy cooler that holds the cold beer and fruit? How much attention gets paid to washing glasses and cleaning the bar down after close? When is the last time the bathroom got a deep clean?
One of the biggest things I took from my time as the beverage director at The Whistler was taking pride in the sidewalk. The owners, Billy and Rob, know that their outward appearance to everyone walking by is of the utmost importance. Everyone is a potential customer and because of that the sidewalk in front of their bar is always clean, always shoveled. I have seen Billy down on his hands and knees picking small bits of trash out of the permanent planters by the street. If it is snowing someone pops out every hour or so to shovel and salt. If someone flicks a butt it gets picked up.
The patrons walking in may not even notice that the sidewalk is clean. That's fine. It's subconscious. They would notice if it was dirty though, and then subconsciously notice other things about the inside.
Why is it that the places with dirty sidewalks always have sticky bar tops?
The "sidewalk" can be used as an analogy. Is the "sidewalk" your Facebook page? Your Instagram or Twitter feed? Is it the way your staff acts when they are out having drinks in the neighborhood?
The first impression of your business can take root before a customer even walks in the door. Make sure it is a good one.
Now go grab a broom!
Bar To Home
A simple translation from bar to home.