In April 2005 we helped to re-open The Falls Restaurant set in an historic building in the heart of Henderson, Auckland.
As owner / restaurant manager I helped the team turn around a business that was losing up to $100,000 per year to breaking even in our first year of business. We managed to build the business from $900,000 turnover in 2004 to $1,200,000 turnover in 2010.
For the first 6 months we would see 10% of regular custom until last year where wouldn’t go a day without knowing at least half of the restaurant.
Starting to realize the power of social media I then started up The Falls facebook page and started to communicate with the wider Auckland twitter community. In October of the same year we held a Tweetup (gathering of twitter users to meet and network in person) A hugely successful event that showcased the Falls, not only as a food and beverage venue but also as a conferencing facility. We also managed to spread the word on the night by using a twitter wall and managing to included Tweeps that missed out on the festivities. After this tweetup we started taking bookings through twitter and noticed a growth of social media bookings from 0 per weekend to at least 10 – 20 people every weekend.
In 2010 we entered the Waitakere Enterprise Westpac business awards in 2 categories. Best Hospitality business and Young business person of the year reaching the final in both categories. My only regret in the whole time at The Falls would have to be listening to my business partner and withdrawing our final entries. We may not have won the award because of the figures in the business looking the way they were but we were certain to do well and the marketing that would have come from the process would have been invaluable. It was at this time that I realized that the business was only going to prosper with a strong plan behind it that filtered down to job descriptions for all jobs, including directors, to hold everyone accountable in the business and give everyone a clear path to a common goal.
In 2011 I realized that a plan was only going to be followed if all driving forces behind the business were working from the same plan so I decided to sell my shares and move onto my next venture.