What Will Make Your Independent Restaurant Stand Out?


Anyone who has even slightly attempted to dip their toe into the restaurant industry knows just how ruthless it can be. Young restaurants that are new on the scene need to quickly make a name for themselves if they want to capture people’s interest and survive the toughest months in the beginning. If you are planning to open your own restaurant or have recently done so, here’s how you avoid fading into the background and instead stand out from your competition.

Fill a Gap in the Local Market

There are different kinds of competition in the restaurant industry. The broadest and unlikeliest competition might include an affordable fast-food franchise competing for customers with a high-end experimental kitchen. More pressing competition comes in the form of similar restaurants with potentially shared customer bases. Your price point, style of cuisine, and location all affect who your competitors will be. This is why you need to identify a gap in the market that is relevant to your restaurant’s specific position.

Only Compare Yourself to Others In Order to Learn

Paying attention to your competitors is useful to an extent, but obsessive observation can lead to distraction from your own business. You may unintentionally find yourself copying competitors if you watch them too closely. Instead, only take notice when you feel there is an opportunity to learn from them. This may be in the form of learning from their mistakes or seeing what they do well and developing your restaurant to overtake them.

Treat Customers Amazingly

Two identical restaurants in the same location with the same menus will have vastly different success rates if one prioritizes customer service and the other does not. How you treat the people who dine at your restaurant or interact with your business in any way will directly impact sales and profits. Be respectful and treat customers with patience and kindness, no matter how frustrated you feel. The worst customer interactions can be turned around if you are willing to listen.

Consider Allergies and Intolerances

Some restaurants don’t make any attempts to cater to people with dietary restrictions. Other restaurants use dietary restrictions as the basis for their entire menu. Finding a balance between these two extremes is a great way to capture the most interest from customers. Offer a range of menu items and be thoughtful regarding the various allergies and intolerances people can experience. Adapting your menu even slightly can make your restaurant popular with a wider range of people.

Cook with Quality Ingredients

Regardless of your restaurant’s price point, quality ingredients will make you stand out. This doesn’t have to mean spending too much money. You can buy bulk spices of a high quality┬áthat will save you money in the long run.Keep an eye out for deals that make purchasing ingredients more cost-effective for your restaurant. Decreasing the quality of your ingredients will be noticed by customers and put them off your business, perhaps even encouraging them to visit your competitors instead.

Invest in Talented Staff of All Levels

Whether you are hiring a waiter or a head chef, it is essential that you look for individuals who meet your standards and understand the ethos of your restaurant. Invest in thorough training so that your staff can consistently deliver the service you want your customers to receive. Positive relationships and interactions between staff members and the public will enhance the overall mood of your restaurant, feeding into the reputation you want to spread.

Evaluate Your Menu Regularly

As a restaurant, the food you serve is at the forefront of your reputation. Take note of which menu items are popular and which are not. Use this data to adjust your menu and offer food that your customers are excited to eat. While atmosphere, customer service, and value contribute to a customer’s decision to dine with you, ultimately, the quality of your menu will be the deciding factor.

Create a Unique Online Presence

Restaurants can no longer only rely upon their in-person service to draw people in. The internet is a tool that you can’t ignore, especially if you want your business to grow. A digital presence that communicates your restaurant’s brand will help to fortify the image you want to portray and attract more customers who may not have known of your restaurant’s existence had they not spotted it online. Consider outsourcing to an expert digital marketing team or investing in a social media manager to keep your restaurant’s online presence relevant and engaging. Focusing on what makes your business unique will emphasize the difference between you and your competitors.

Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

When nearby businesses collaborate, there are more opportunities for growth all round. For example, if your restaurant is positioned near a local bar, consider collaborating on a special deal where customers of one establishment can enjoy a discount at the other. Building healthy relationships with other business owners in your area will significantly improve your restaurant’s standing as part of the community. Don’t underestimate the value of getting to know your neighbors and making connections with their businesses. You never know when you can earn a favor that drastically elevates your restaurant.

Offer Your Space as a Venue

For added revenue, take advantage of your premises by making them available to groups for events. By taking care to design an attractive space, you can encourage people to host their gatherings in your restaurant where you can also provide catering. This is a fantastic way to generate extra income and excitement about your restaurant. Use your restaurant’s social media presence to boost this aspect of your business and attract larger groups with special deals.

Going out on your own and starting a completely independent restaurant business takes a lot of guts. The challenges of running a restaurant of any kind, let alone your own original concept, are so many that they can’t all be listed here. However, with the right planning and idea generation, you can help your restaurant to stand out from the crowd and draw in more customers than your competition.