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This article was contributed by our friends at Forbes.
Restaurant entrepreneurs need more than just a great menu and a good team. They must be fantastic marketers as well. While many people have some idea of where they want to begin, there are four questions to consider when positioning any type of business.
- Where does your restaurant stand among the masses as of yet?
- Where is your restaurant located?
- What are other restaurants located around your area?
- How do the competitors position their brand?
After answering these questions, you may find that a few things seem clearer. They can help you take in your surroundings, find out what you’re up against, and keep vigilant about those who are around you, whether competitors or customers.
How to set your restaurant apart from the competition
When there’s a lot of competition in your area, it might seem a little intimidating. After all, these restaurants have built their bases for years so the locals in the area know them. You need to observe what they do well and where they fail.
For example, if your competitors offer a specific type of cuisine, let’s say Italian, and your restaurant is also based on Italian cuisine, it could pose a serious threat. You’ll need something that makes you seem different, something eye-catching, that can compare with an established restaurant that has years ahead of you.
Some examples are:
- Creating a professional-looking logo
- Setting up a restaurant positioning statement
- Offering samples to street-goers, opening for special events and catering services, and providing daily specials
- Using different techniques to attract customers, i.e., meat-carving, mixology, etc.
- Offering surveys on customer service to street-goers
Creating a professional logo
A good logo is crucial to success, but you might get discouraged, thinking it might be too expensive. However, this is not the case at all. There are many ways you can create a professional-looking logo on your own, using simple online tools designed for those who are not particularly graphics-savvy. Several free online logo makers offer templates for every type of logo out there.
Choosing the right template
Depending on your restaurant’s title, choosing a suitable template to fit the title is crucial, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the perfect one.
Using the right font
A font that is easy to read is your best bet in creating your logo.
Positioning your design
Using neat designs that offer some distinction for your restaurant is also essential. For example, an ice cream parlor would use something related to ice cream — or even a cherry on top — for their logo; find a design that resonates with your brand.
Restaurant positioning statements
A positioning statement in a restaurant can go a long way. It is a short line consisting of one or two sentences telling your customers what aspect of your restaurant is different and what new things you have to offer.
Regardless of your restaurant’s cuisine focus, the positioning statement is a promise to your target customer base that you will serve quality, clean, and tasty food.
Offer samples to street-goers, open for special events and catering services, and provide daily specials.
Use different techniques to attract customers.
Offering samples to street-goers
Try to get people interested in your new catering services. Give out samples to make your restaurant’s cooking well known. Offer tiny bits of your dishes to people passing your restaurant to try for free. This will make the customer feel more self-important, and the slight taste of your restaurant’s cooking may leave them wanting more. This is a great way to market your samples directly to your customer base and help your restaurant grow.
Use different techniques
Attracting customers may be one of the most challenging things a restaurant has to face when there is a lot of competition. You’ll need something new and unprecedented to offer to the customers. Check out what your competition is doing, see what their restaurant is missing, and add it to your restaurant.
The most common way to do this is to offer bar service. Creating a bar inside your restaurant can compel a broader range of adults to frequent your restaurant as well. People also bring art into their restaurant by carving intricate patterns into meat dishes right before the customers.
This gets them awed and advertises a good look for your staff. Some restaurants are called hot pot restaurants, where customers are given ingredients to cook for themselves. Get creative with your restaurant.
Offering surveys to customers
Finding out what the customer wants is imperative. Surveys are a great way to help this, and they give your customers a sense of importance. They can input feedback for ways to make the restaurant experience more enjoyable and unique. It’s also good to brand these out in public; this will help your restaurant’s name settle into street-goers’ minds and may compel them to check out your establishment.