If you’re going into the restaurant business, one of the first things you’ll need to think about is how you’re going to make your restaurant stand out. With so many different dining options available in even the smaller cities, you’ve got to do something to draw customers to you. Here are several tips for making your restaurant stand out from your competitors.
Yes, nearly every business is online these days, but you can do more than have a Facebook account for your restaurant where you post your weekly specials or offer the occasional coupon. People are always curious about what goes into running a restaurant, so why not show them? Create a video tour of your kitchen or post pictures of your chefs preparing meals.
But the Internet is useful for more than just marketing. You definitely need a website for your restaurant that lists your location, hours, menus, and other information. If you have the knowledge or if you want to hire an IT person, you can even expand this into offering online reservations, virtual gift cards, or even the option to pay via a mobile app. These are great ways of courting the local technology lovers, plus you’ll be offering something that most other businesses don’t.
Do Something Different with the Menus
Most restaurants have the same type of menus: you flip them open and see columns of dishes, ingredients, and prices. Many have some pictures of the food scattered throughout to break up the text, but if you put all these menus side by side, they would still all look about the same. One way to switch things up is to use menu boards instead of folding menus. This is an especially great option if your menu is only one page long or it can be a way to highlight your wine list or desserts. These boards look great and can add a touch of elegance to your restaurant.
Many restaurants are trying to offer more fresh or organic ingredients, so while you may not be the only one in the area advertising organic meals, you’ll certainly grab the attention of those who are trying to eat healthily. You will also want to offer a good variety of dishes on the menu so there’s something for everyone. Have dishes that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free to attract a diverse group of diners.
Provide Extra Value
If you provide something extra, even if it’s something free or very low-cost to you, you’ll stand out to your customers. This can be something as minor as offering them a free cookie for dessert or having local newspapers or magazines on hand for patrons to read. Featuring live entertainment certain nights of the week is also a great extra value, and you may be surprised at the number of local talents willing to perform for tips or a small fee. They will invite their friends and fans, which results in free advertising for you plus more sales.