Becoming part of the catering industry is no easy thing. Anyone can open up a restaurant however; keeping it running and popular amongst the public is the challenging part. The competition is often intense and the demands of customers can be overwhelming and on top of all this, there are quite a few things to perfect apart from the obvious areas of expertise if a restaurant is to survive in today’s business environment.
Let’s take the example of an Italian restaurant. If they offer great cuisine at an affordable price, people will come, right? Not quite. While it is an important factor of running a successful business, it’s not the only challenge owner’s face. This will be the topic of discussion in today’s post as we demonstrate the need for restaurants and catering businesses to focus on these key areas if they are to succeed in this competitive industry.
Location is key; get the right location and you’re half way there already! Your location should cater for your target audience. For example, if you are targeting industrial workers, then placing your restaurant in a shopping centre is probably not the best approach. On the other hand, if you can locate your restaurant close to the services and their workplace, it will be more beneficial for you as a business. So, before you set up, it’s important to consider exactly who you want to target and where they are mostly based.
The Lighting Effects
Though it may not seem like an issue, adequate lighting is vital to a person’s dining experience and can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction. The great thing about lighting, however, is that the sky is the limit as far as lighting options are concerned however;the design should be decided from a customer’s point of view as well as your staffs. If you’re a self-catering restaurant then the area that will serve the customers’needs to be properly lit; on the other hand, if you have staff to serve your customers you need to look into illuminating each table area and the path that your employees will take to avoid any accidents.
You also need to consider the brightness you want to achieve; too bright and it’s a nuisance, too dark and it’s a call for accidents. Consider the needs of your audience and perhaps devise some feedback sheets to help you select the most appropriate lighting for your restaurant.
The type of lighting you use is also important; LED lighting is always a great hit as it comes in so many forms; from under-cabinet decoration to strip and fairy lights. They also help to keep the utility bills in check and the aura alive.
This is the age of the internet and a restaurant’s online presence has become almost as important as it’s physical one. People are talking about and sharing their experiences online so you want to make sure that you’re a part of it. Also, it’s becoming more and more important for restaurants to interact with their customers and potential consumers over the internet, more specifically through social media. By using social media platforms like Facebook and Google+, restaurants can establish a notable online presence.
There are also a myriad of online review sites that rate businesses according to quality, service and pricing. Ranking high on these sites will work in your favour as the majority of people tend to read reviews before selecting a restaurant. So, it’s important to establish your online presence, interact with your customers and generate interest for your restaurant through the use of review sites, social media platforms and of guide way, your main website.
Offering a Unique Experience
Every company wants to make a good first impression, not to mention one that’s unique and intriguing. While some choose to do it through their cuisine, others will focus on perfecting their service. At the same time, many will succeed through innovative layouts. Most restaurants will try to adopt all of the above and create a relaxing yet unique environment for customers to come and enjoy what you have to offer, so have a brainstorm with the team and give a few ideas a try!
These are just a few of the challenges restaurants face in today’s society and a couple of pointers on how to make the most of what you’ve got. Do you have any more that you’d like to add to the list?