Some Exciting Ways To Set Your Restaurant Apart

This article is contributed by Max Cooper.

If you’re planning on opening a restaurant or you already run one, then there’s a good chance that this has been your dream for a long time and that you’re pinning a lot on that business being a success. Unfortunately though running a restaurant and generally entering the catering industry just so happens to be one of the most stressful things you can possibly do and one of the most challenging types of business to run.

This is partly due to the high pressure nature of running a restaurant. Cooking means you’ll literally be surrounded by hot fire, grease and smells all day, while at the same time getting told off for being too slow by your various clients.

At the same time this is also just a very difficult industry to succeed in. Look down any high street and you will probably notice several different restaurants all competing for customers. Getting enough of a buzz so that people know about your new place to eat can be very difficult and it’s not uncommon to find you just don’t get enough business to stay afloat.

That’s why it can often be a good idea to try and find a way to set yourself apart. If you can make your restaurant stand out in some way you’ll find you get more media coverage, that people talk about you more and spread the word for you, and that you stick in people’s minds.

So how do you go about standing out in such a crowded market? Here are some suggestions…

Cuisine

innovative cuisine

Choosing which cuisine you want to serve at your restaurant is a little like choosing a niche for a website: it can literally make or break you before you’ve even begun.

If there are 100 curry houses in your area then don’t open up another one. If there are thousands of gastro pubs then don’t bother competing with everyone’s favourites. Instead perhaps think of a cuisine that’s popular-but-under-represented. Is there a Thai restaurant in your area? Or a Lebanese restaurant?

Alternatively you could choose a cuisine that’s generally lesser known and that way pique people’s curiosity. How about German? Or Polish?

Another option is to choose a cuisine that’s a fun novelty in itself in order to stand out. A great restaurant in London for instance is called ‘Bubble Dog’ and serves purely champagne and hotdogs. This alone ensures that it gets a lot of coverage (even in this article for instance!) and is a very popular place to eat. If you can come up with something fun and quirky then you’ll find you get a lot of people behind you.

Décor

outstanding decor

Another way to stand out is with unusual décor which can sometimes change the entire experience of eating at your restaurant. This might mean choosing to make your restaurant a more relaxed and fun environment for instance: you could have armchairs and sofas instead of tables and chairs, or it could mean coming up with a theme for your venue and creating that with the right decoration. Another example in London is ‘Rainforest Café’ which is decorated to look like a Rainforest – Giraffes and all.

Experience

dans le noir

Another way to make eating at your restaurant unique is to look at the actual experience of eating there and how you could make that different. The chain ‘Dans Le Noir’ for instance serves food entirely in the dark, which is said to heighten your other senses as you eat. Whether or not that’s true it’s certainly a fun and unique experience.

Other restaurants let you cook your own steak, or order your meals from computerised touchscreens. One of the biggest selling points of Yo Sushi when it first opened meanwhile was the fun of choosing your Sushi from a conveyor belt as it moved around the room.

There are tons of ways you can make your restaurant more unique and interesting and in that way stand out. Try eating in a few, looking at restaurant equipment and browsing online to get more inspiration. If you can’t be the best… be different!

Author Bio:  Max Cooper is a part of the team at AB Restaurant Equipment, a company that provides commercial refrigeration. A foodie, Max likes to experiment with food and visits restaurants that have something different and delicious on their menu.

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