How Foodservice Operators Around the World are Driving Customer Traffic
By Dwayne Reno
I was recently talking to a friend of mine who does a fair bit of traveling to other countries.
He recently got back from Europe where he told me he was intrigued by some of the techniques restaurants where doing to keep customers coming through the front door.
Yes, product variety or knowing what makes your foodservices business standout from competitors is not unique to restaurants in the GTA alone. Foodservice operators around the
world are employing ' tried & true' techniques to market their restaurant, bars and cafes
to potential customers.
Give ’em the goods (food)! With a sprinkle of great service (ambiance). Let’s take a look at some
of the methods foodservice operators are using around the world to grow and excite their clientele.
Many foodservice operators have decided to give customers a feast for the eyes as well as their stomach. Selling the ambience or theme is nothing new to the food services industry. A great theme paired with a great menu and drinks can be a great way to help increase word of mouth
with customers; and in a short period of time, thanks to social media.
A great example of this is the Shaka Zulu restaurant in London. The restaurant, which boasts a
far from subtle South African-inspired decor, offers a wide-selection of game meats - and I’m not talking pheasant or pigeon. Here you'll find such delicacies as ostrich, springbok and even zebra; somebody call PETA! If you have a weak stomach, this restaurant isn't for you.
Food (Prepared - goods)
The Food (Goods) is as or more important to your restaurant’s success during any marketing campaign. If your food is not great! Chances are you will not generate very good word of mouth
or revisits from new trials. Many establishments are taking the time to add variety to their menu items to keep customers talking and increasing cheque averages at the same time.
Burger King has recently added a black burger bun to their American restaurant’s menus as a Halloween LTO offer, here. An easy way to add variety to your menu is by simply adding seasonal foods to your menu items as LTO (limited time offers). I did a previous article on seasonal foods, here.
Exotic Menu Item
Exotic ingredients have been on the rise for some time now. Access to exotic ingredients has changed the global food services industry. Exotic items such as Asian infused with everything is offering customers more than your typical hot dog, more and more we are seeing exotic flavors used as the backbone of many success restaurants. Exotic menus are very popular in the United States, here, and are gaining some headway in the Canadian foodservices industry, thanks to the amazing collection of cultures in cities all over the country.
Popups & Event – Focused Operations
Popups have become very popular over the past few years. Many customers spend a lot of money for tickets just so they can eat at one of the many popup dining experiences offered by top chefs from around the globe. And popups are not going away with many top chefs leaving their jobs to start their own; popups are seeing a surge in popularity because of chefs like Michael Gallina, who recently left his job at Stone Barns to pursue his own popup and events-focused operation in St. Louis, here.
The foodservices industry is not changing, it has changed. The best road is the one that shows your customers variety in menu items and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Not doing so can cause your hard work to look dated and fall behind operators
Until next time your customer want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant.
So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
Once a month, Building Block Associates serves up some food for thought with our foodservice Social Chat Blog.