Canadians love eating at restaurants. But that doesn’t make us all that original. The restaurant business is booming in countries all over the world! In Canada, however, the warming up of the weather in the spring and summer make dining out especially enjoyable. Not only are people more motivated to leave their homes for fun nights out, but they’re also encouraged to spend more time on restaurant patios.
All week long, the Canadian POS Corporation Blog has looked at the many benefits that come along with offering Pay At Table options to restaurant patrons. Being able to pay with credit cards or debit cards right at the table, following a meal, makes the entire dining experience that much more enjoyable for customers. This is something that Canadians are getting used to.
But what can restaurant owners do to set their restaurants apart? Here are three inventive ideas:
1. Study what your competitors are doing and do better. To truly stand out from your competition, it’s important to know exactly what they’re up to. Do your due diligence and research such things as their advertising methods, their menus and their customer service practices. What can you implement at your restaurant to outshine everything your competitors are doing? Dave Scholten of Gordon Food Service practically insists that restaurant owners answer this question.
“You don’t want to position yourself as the family-friendly pizza parlour if somebody else in town has already staked that claim,” he explains, “unless they’re doing it badly, which can be an opening for you. Just avoid mentioning the competition by name; that can be more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t stop with the current competition either. Keep your ear to the ground to get the early scoop on who else might be coming to town.”
2. Get ahead of industry trends. These days, it’s quite a popular activity for most meal-seekers to go online and order food. People tend to use the internet to book reservations at restaurants as well. How can you utilize the internet to make your restaurant stand out from its competitors? On RestaurantEngine.com, it is suggested that restaurant owners get ahead of today’s top technology trends.
“You might be the first in your town to start using online booking or e-gift coupons,” says the website, “For more adventurous restaurants, digital wallet payments could be the next big step. Research each new technology thoroughly, and see how it’s fared in other markets. Then turn some heads by applying the best ones to your restaurant. Make your restaurant website the best in town by learning about responsive web design.”
3. Offer new and inventive dishes. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the food you serve, doesn’t it? People often frequent restaurants that provide meals they can’t get anywhere else. Obviously, this requires that you hire the best chef you can find. He or she needs to be someone who is willing to experiment with a variety of flavours and put ingredients together in ways that truly amaze the taste buds.
“Both the global research firm AlixPartners and the Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc. identify flavour innovation as a key differentiation strategy for restaurateurs,” reports Scholten, “According to Technomic’s 2013 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 73 percent of consumers who try an item with an innovative flavour and enjoy it are highly likely to return for the same item. Forty-one percent say new flavours can influence their dining decisions.”