65. Adapting To Market Needs With John Hart

65. Adapting To Market Needs With John Hart

John Hart

Adapting To Market Needs

John Hart is the CEO at Restaurant and Catering Australia. The association assists small businesses with the hospitality industry by influencing the policy decisions and regulations that impact the operating environment. They proactively lobby the government on issues like policy reform and provide information for business owners on superannuation, education and training, food safety, workplace relations and liquor licensing. John Hart has led Restaurant and Catering Australia in the role of CEO for 17 years and is a passionate industry advocate. Here he shares practical ideas to survive and thrive in a competitive market.


During my conversation with John he shares:

  • Why what you currently offer may need to be dumped to adapt to market desires
  • Why staff need to have freedom to make decisions without management approval
  • Suggestions for how to identify customer needs
  • Why social media must be considered as core business
  • How to select ‘influencers’ on social media to promote your business
  • Ideas to counter labour costs
  • The need for investment to streamline functions and maintain customer connection
  • What’s required to ensure owners in hospitality can take holidays


John’s Example Of A Customer-Centric Business


Selected Links For This Episode


“Having a relationship with your staff that empowers them to serve customers and make adjustments that they need to make through their daily work…Having the latitude to give away a free bread roll or a serve of vegetables if that’s what it takes. It’s about empowering them but also taking that information from them and using it in your business. Having a relationship with your staff and time to talk about what customers are saying” John Hart


“I think we can get a bit carried away with quantitative evidence. It’s really about about staying in touch with your customers. In our business that means getting around to the tables, making sure you’re talking to the people in the business everyday and they’ll soon tell you what they like and what they don’t. Maybe validating that with some very easy survey instruments .. it’s about talking to your customers, speaking their language and listening what they say” John Hart


“Loading up into facebook and having a community with facebook or instagram is not a ‘nice to have’. It’s an absolutely necessity.” John Hart


“Unless you’re engaged and treat social media as part of core business, then you’re going to lose. The businesses that are making good strides in this new world of attracting that very fickle customer are doing a great job in the area of social media and making users their own and attracting new customers in the process” John Hart


“It’s about using the review sites and making sure you’re managing that process. Ensuring that if there’s been a bad review, it’s followed up and if it’s a good review, it’s acknowledged” John Hart

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