>Yesterday, I took a stroll down Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.  Having lived in Orlando for most of my life, it has always been my favorite place to go for a walk, relax, shop, dine and just enjoy the day.  Walking by the street shops, I noticed how many were empty or had signs of Coming Soon….  Most of the restaurants were new and different.  The memories of my favorite stores and places to eat that were now gone and replaced with others reminded me of the stark reality of “survival of the fittest”.  Only two restaurants have stood the test of time:  Brandywine’s and The Briar Patch.  What do they have that the others didn’t?

Brand, quality of product, customer service and price.  Brandywine’s is a deli sandwich shop that caters to all ages.  From businessmen and women looking for a quick bite to eat and good food or young mothers meeting other young mothers with their children in strollers who like to sit at the outside tables and enjoy a sandwich or salad.  It is casual, friendly, quick and the price is fair.  Customers feel they get good value from the ambiance, efficiency and healthy portions of food.

The Briar Patch about a block away, offers a different ambiance.  More branded for a great breakfast dining experience, the tables are crowded close together for an intimate feeling.  The friendly hustle and bustle of the staff, the quality food and competitive pricing, keeps customers coming back.

In both of these dining places while each is very different, the customer feels they get value from the dollar spent.  With dollars tight in today’s economy, customers are thinking twice about how they will part with their hard-earned money.  So,whether they have chosen the restaurant for its setting, quality food, price or brand, for years customers have continued their patronage in good times and bad because they know they will get what they were promised.  And when you add in customer service and are made to feel welcome and appreciated as you are in both of these restaurants – that’s when you have an unbeatable organization and survive all the others!

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