Reignite the Limelight

By James Henderson

Many great venues make the mistake of resting on their laurels.

I won’t name names but we all know some that the limelight has set on — the popular venues that have had their day and died out.

When service gets sloppy and dress codes relax, chipped corners and stained tables lose their reminiscent charm and instead turn into an ugly reminder of an impending fit-out, necessary to reinvigorate the space (visually, at least).

Ill-motivated or poorly-qualified operators become hinges on which this turn takes place. They starve the cash cow and milk it dry.

The public wonders why — what happened to the business.

As good operators, we know though.

We stopped turning up when the coffee supplier changed or the cutlery was laid out incorrectly — long before staff stopped welcoming us or the water became self-serve.

We knew the turn was coming.

But for those who are just inexperienced, they don’t know any better. So when their demographic changes or ‘All Day Breakfast’ blurs into the evening, they don’t know that a 2pm close isn’t enough.

These are the same operators who need help to breathe soul into a space, absent after a clunky restructure or when a hefty new aesthetic is bankrolled for them.

It’s these operators that make the skilled among us, look good. Despite that, it’s healthier for the future of the industry to support them — not with our wallets, but with our time — to educate, motivate and inspire.

Experienced operators are here to demonstrate how businesses can continue to reinvent themselves and still stay true to their North Star — we know how to identify and hone in on what makes a brand popular.

…and it’s not an empty smile, expensive fit-out or the latest oat milk.

Ignore the noise — there’s a lot of it.


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