Friday, May 6, 2011

Let's Learn What Restaurants Finally Learned

This morning our local paper carried an enjoyable column where a restaurant manager listed his favorite places to eat in our city. What a great insight into the really good dish at the hole-in-the-wall strip mall spot. How nice to know about the old staple local restaurant that still has good comfort food. It's even refreshing to see that a hotel dining room has service that a peer professional admires.

Restaurants have learned that the more people eat out, the more people eat out. Each has to sell its unique place in a diner's options without belittling the place of its peers. Each restaurant's hat tip to another restaurant makes the public want to try both places. Today restaurants aren't focused as much on a growing market share as much as they are on a growing market.

It's a tough business. It's as tough or tougher than trying to keep a 501(c)3 afloat.

Are our ALS organizations being myopic on having a share of a fixed (or shrinking) market of existing donors? Do they view each other as hard-nosed, cutthroat competition rather than peers who bring different things to the fight against ALS? Have they missed the boat on making the market grow?

When a disease is as vexing as ALS has been, donors may actually want to support several organizations. Some people like a Big Mac while others like sushi while others like Michelin stars... and some people actually like them all.

When a disease is such a well kept secret as ALS has been, perhaps it's time to start getting smarter about how to look beyond donor market share and deal with growing the market.

Restaurant week, anyone?


ALS Grumpy said...

Just maybe at least ALSA is getting the message. I'm told that a full time social network employee is being recruited. Interns from Viginia Tech served me well when I needed some help such as this. They are up to snuff on all the latest technology. The four I had were all extraordinary workers and all four have gone on to successful tech IT careers.

How you get these national ALS organizations to realize if they worked as a team or collaborators rather than intransigent competitors is another huge hurdle if history is reflective. The ALS patients and all that are challenged by ALS would be better served by teamwork. Maybe their national parochial and selfish interests are more important than the ALS community.

Anonymous said...

Methinks that we need to keep reminding all of the organizations that there are tens of thousands of people who would like to be supportive of several of them. We expect them to act like adults.