Disney’s Boathouse: Guiding Business Principles at Work
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I’m back on the Disney train. Maybe it’s because I just spent 3 days in Orlando at a conference.
Or maybe it’s because The Boathouse is so damn good.
If you haven’t been, The Boathouse is one of the restaurants in Disney Springs, Orlando—THE restaurant in my opinion.
They’ve got it all. Waterfront dining, incredible food, delightful staff…oh, and fully restored classic cars that drive around in the water (like duckboats but much, much cooler).
And it’s the kind of place people are obsessed with. Like, go three times during a 5-day trip to Disney obsessed.
The Boathouse’s Recipe for Success
A little bit of background on this place: The Boathouse was created by Steven Schussler, an entrepreneur known for his passion and dedication.
When an earlier project, The Rainforest Cafe, couldn’t attract funding, Schussler apparently built a prototype of the cafe inside his own home and then brought investors by to see it.
That kind of commitment is—well, it’s intense, but it’s probably one of the reasons that Schussler has had so much success.
And you can feel that commitment the moment you step inside The Boathouse.
This place knows who they’re talking to and what message they want to send—and they execute beautifully.
It’s a perfect example of a company that knows and lives its value proposition.
From my perspective (and I’m likely in the restaurant’s exact target market), here’s the value prop that has made me such a loyal customer:
Number of seats.
The restaurant can accommodate over 400 people in a sitting. For as popular as it is, you can almost always get a table when you need one.
The Boathouse is owned by Gibsons Restaurant Group, a Chicago-based restaurant conglomerate. The group is known for amazing steak and extraordinary seafood, and a meal at The Boathouse never disappoints.
The decor isn’t kitschy, but the space is decorated to the nines. There are also different themes depending on which room you’re seated in, plus outdoor waterfront dining where the rest of Disney Springs acts as the backdrop.
Best service BY FAR.
Every meal you enjoy there is a pleasant one. They have tons of team members on staff, so you always feel taken care of. And I’ve talked to many team members: across the board, they love their jobs.
A Strong Strategy Leads to Financial Success
So, The Boathouse has a fantastic value proposition that creates a memorable, A+ dining experience. I’ve known it for years.
But it wasn’t until recently that a friend told me about the other side of the company’s success.
“Did you know it’s the third highest grossing individual restaurant in the US?” I hear a lot of exaggerated ‘facts’ in my line of work, so I looked it up.
That’s the power of knowing your audience, establishing a clear value proposition, and delivering flawlessly. Do those things, and the money follows.
In other words—this stuff really works.
Growth Method Guiding Principle: Remember What Matters Most
One of the Guiding Principles in our Growth Method is: Remember what matters most.
At the end of the day, here’s what counts:
That your customers absolutely love you
That your people love working at your company
That the business makes money
Check, check, check. At The Boathouse, 1 + 1 = 2.
I love when that happens.
Every time I leave the Boathouse, I’m full, happy…and inspired. Inspired to build my own company that creates an amazing experience and leads to financial success—and grateful for the opportunity to help other companies do the same.
Do you have a company that inspires you the way The Boathouse inspires me? Let me know here.