88 – The sad, sad demise of Esquire in Brisbane

Esquire Restaurant

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We talk about a Restaurant in Perth who had been struggling for years and years now.  He had a Restaurant that had very poor SEO, was quite hard to find in Google.  He had a purple website with no images and no online bookings.  It seems that the Restaurant wasn’t too bad, but the marketing was just awful.  The marketing mistakes that he made over the last 4 years could have easily cost him an extra $200,000.  What could he have done with an extra $200,000?  Or should he have closed the restaurant 4 years ago?

Either way, he would have been better off if he had made a choice 4 years ago to either change something fundamental with the way that the Restaurant was run.

We also look at the tragic story of Esquire.  Head Chef, Ryan Squires, had worked at elBulli and French Laundry.  A great chef who has worked his guts out running a great Restaurant and now he has closed it and he views it as a waste of time.

The food was immaculate at Esquire, great sommelier, eclectic mix of food and drinks.  I thought the pricing was on the cheap side for the experience that they provided.

How do we build a Restaurant business that gives great chefs the resources that they need to run successful Restaurants?

We look at some of the issues that Esquire had with its marketing.  Full on a Friday and Saturday night but quiet during the week, that is the hallmark of a great restaurant with marketing issues.  There were a range of issues with the website and the online marketing.  You don’t want to have the best Restaurant that no one has ever heard of.

He had a falling-out with his business partner and that left him alone.  Partnerships, when they work, can be very powerful and Ryan was left with all of the problems of running the Restaurant.  For a chef like Ryan, who needs to be highly creative and focused, it is very hard to do that when you are running the business yourself.

Ryan is a highly mature chef, who approached his business in a very mature way.  Hopefully we will see him back at some time in the future.

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