We only ever talk about ‘Product Market Fit’ in the world of tech & start-ups; but it’s too important a concept to ignore for other industries.
My business background is primarily in hospitality/food & drink; yet I’ve always been fascinated by start-ups and the movements of Silicon Valley. This has led me to finding plenty of overlaps and transferable messages that I can carry through to owning restaurants & cafes.
So what is ‘Product-market fit’ or PMF?
Finding a PMF is essential in making any business successful; because it’s essentially identifying whether there’s a demand for your product/service. Are people going to pay for it?
First of all you need to be in a ‘Good Market’. That means a market that has enough demand within it to sustain a business and to allow plenty of growth. Then you have to decide whether your product has a place within that market. Are you better than the alternatives? Are you giving the people what they want?
It seems pretty obvious right? You’d think so, but it isn’t always as plain sailing as you’d imagine. We’re all ‘in our own heads’ every day, and when we think of a new idea, we tend to think it’s pretty great! We think it’s impossible for it to fail, it’s exactly what the world has been waiting for. As human beings, we tend to turn a blind eye to the negatives and choose to believe the positive.
So, how does this apply to restaurants?
Have you ever walked past a restaurant and seen it heaving and thought, I just don’t get it. It may not seem to be anything special.
Maybe you’ve seen a new place that’s won awards, but it’s always dead?
The market doesn’t always make a lot of sense on the surface, but when you delve deeply enough into it, you start understanding it a little more.
That place that’s always busy but isn’t serving anything special. Maybe your preferences are higher end drinks & food, but other people place more importance on atmosphere and cheap drinks. Then you’ve got to consider, that, within your area, maybe there are just a lot more people who share that opinion than those who share yours?