Information for this post was pulled from “5 IDEAS WE STUMBLED UPON IN AN UNDERGROUND FOOD HALL” written by Patricia Cobe, which can be accessed directly by clicking here.
Restaurant owners should always look to innovate to capture to biggest chunk of their designated target market. Below are 5 different ideas to help separate your restaurant from the competition. These ideas are based on innovative approaches taken by New York’s TurnStyle Restaurant.
Make your restaurant social media friendly.
Social media is filled with pictures, recipes, and videos of food. When customers receive a visually appealing entree or are just excited to be eating out, they want to be able to share their excitement with their friends/followers. This is great from a marketing stand point for your restaurant, but it would be even better if you encouraged your customers to use certain hashtags or take a picture at a certain angle. Adding social media friendly elements to your restaurant may generate more traffic in the long haul.
Provide different seating options for establishment. Most restaurants offer tables and booths, but don’t be afraid to think out of the box. Places like Starbucks and Panera Bread offer seating (and free WiFi) in a way that encourages customers to sit for long periods. This helps build customer loyalty and provides them with a go-to spot to sit comfortably and get work done.
How do you box food for your customers when they don’t finish their meal? How do you package your carry out menu items? If you’re still packaging your food in all black or non branded cardboard containers then you may still be living in the past. Placing your company name and/or restaurant locations on these boxes/containers can benefit you in the long run. The box may be recognizable to previous customers (which can encourage them to come back) and the consumers who have never eaten at your establishment will see this packaging and possibly stir interest.
Photo Booths, Touch Screen games, and more. If your sit down restaurant has some downtime before the food reaches the table, investing in entertainment while your customers wait will take their mind off the wait time. Get creative and have your customer’s fully engaged with the restaurant even while they’re waiting for their delicious food.
This may not apply to all restaurants but it will definitely apply to some. If your restaurant provides uncommon food, then you may want to include a brief how-to guide for proper food etiquette. If the food is particular to a specific culture then customers of that culture may not need it, but if you want to expand past that target market then you should help alleviate any learning curves. People fear what they don’t know or don’t understand, but if you are able to show them how easy something is, they’re normally willing to give it a try.