Yesterday, I went back to my favorite restaurant during my college and early yuppie days. The restaurant was exactly where it was, in the exact same spot but it looked different.
It used to have this old country home feel, complete with large couches, chairs and was even structured like home with that triangular roof and shingles. Now, it looked a little bit modern but not quite.
It now has this modern yet vintage feel. You know, that type of artisan places that are popping up everywhere.
I kept an open mind.
As soon as Alla and I went in, we were greeted by the waiter right away. I remembered that warm and friendly feeling I had whenever I ate here.
I hurriedly checked the menu if my favorite dish is still there. It was! I quickly ordered and was definitely filled with excitement. The food arrived and it was exactly how I remembered it. Even with the modern and new look, I was taken back to those “old times”.
This tiny restaurant succeeded in something that most companies fail to do - they adapted without compromising who they were.
The changed with the times. They knew that the old look of their restaurant no longer appealed to the younger generation that was coming in. They had to find something that appeals to this new crowd while keeping their theme. That’s when they found the artisan-modern look.
They now found a way to bring this new crowd into their doors.
However, they knew pretty well that their foundations - the quality of their food and the warmth of their service is something that need not be changed. This was they key to keep them coming back. They knew that for years and decades of being in business.
This is the big lesson here - Adapting with the times does not mean sacrificing what your business stands for. It does not mean abandoning everything.
You can change your look, your website, upgrade all these things but know what your core is and keep that.
Keep your WHY.
Keep your values.
Keep your identity.