Reply To: Upholstery – Restaurant Warning Signals

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Owners and Associates,

I have observed another Covid pattern. Along with receiving calls from existing customers again, I have also received calls from NEW customers. This group of customers includes restaurant chains that we were previously unable to get into, even locally. This was due to restaurant chains where corporate had set up contract agreements with vendors to do their upholstery work. One restaurant in particular was Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. There were 2 reasons this restaurant chain called us. One was their contractual vendor did not survive the restaurant maintenance shutdown for Covid. Two was that we did work for a sister company of theirs, Longhorns. Both chains are owned by Dardin group. We have long done work for several Longhorn restaurants but never any Cheddars. This was a mutually beneficial arrangement. They needed someone to fill the gap immediately and we gained a customer that is very loyal to its vendors.

I say all this to encourage you to look for the gaps in upholstery accounts you may not have previously serviced. It may be at a Cheddars or almost any other restaurant chain in your area. We have also had calls from medical facilities and playground rental companies. These are all brand new customers to us. They are searching for someone to fill the gap of a displaced upholstery company. Whether we like it or not the last year and a half has been a time of attrition. Many small businesses have not survived. I would encourage you to take advantage of this time and scoop up as many customers as you can take care of. I know we will be looking for them. It is always a good idea to be looking for new customers, but there will probably never be another time like this with so much potential new business. Whether it is the biggest accounts in town or the ones that have always turned you away, now is the time to knock on their door. Your next customer may just be waiting for you to drop by. You never know when you will arrive just in the knick of time to fill a gap for a customer you may have for years.

Please take advantage of the time immediately following this Covid catastrophe. Your business can surely benefit and grow during the weeks and months to follow.

Mitchell Reid
The Wandering Upholsterer
“All Who Wander Are Not Lost”