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- Start offering vegetarian and vegan options on your menu. It is not necessary to add a whole section, but a vegan or vegetarian should feel welcome in your establishment. More and more people are becoming vegetarians and vegans, and the trend will probably continue due to its popular status. Add a traditional mixed green salad with cranberry vinaigrette or a spinach asparagus salad over warm noodles for starters. Switch your vegetarian and vegan meal every week and see which one is the most popular. You may even see carnivores morph to herbivores with these delicious dishes.
- Craft beers are popular and a crowd pleaser. IPA’s and local breweries offer a great brew for your beer lovers. You can group these customers in with the vegans and vegetarians. They are extremely picky about the beer they drink. However, where the vegan may leave because there are no vegan options, the craft beer lover will probably stay, but will not be a repeat customer. Before this happens in your establishment, add a few craft beers to your menu. If you are an exotic restaurant, research your options and taste test. Many craft beers can easily be paired with your entrees.
- Expand what you offer on your children’s menu. Like father like son, like mother like daughter. Today, parents are much more concerned with what their children eat. Many parents who are vegan or vegetarian will not let their children eat meat. So, if the only meat free option on your Kid’s Menu is grilled cheese, you should seriously consider making some additions. Vegan children can be hard to please. You may want to think about making your adult vegan options kid friendly to avoid the difficulty of making two different vegan plates.
- Update your inventory and material assets. Your chairs, tables, silverware, floors, lighting fixtures, and menus should be clean and sharp with a modern look. Customers will feel more comfortable sitting in a restaurant that has made the investment to make them feel at home in a clean and new establishment. As a rule of thumb furniture and silverware should be replaced or renewed every two to three years. You may find that this needs to happen more or less often depending on the volume of business you are doing. Lighting makes a dramatic impact in the dining experience. You do not want it to be dark, but you do not want it to be too bright. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner require different lighting schemes.
- Finally, if you offer take-out, you should give your take-out customers a place to stand and wait other than the front of the restaurant, or the middle of the dining room. Creating a take-out section can be relatively cheap and will make your establishment function smoother at times of rushes. Take-out containers should also be updated every few years. These containers should mirror the sharpness and creativity of the establishment. Having a new unique take-out box may not seem like much, but it shows your customers you care about the safe-keeping of their food. This characteristic assures the customer you care for the food you have prepared for them.
Staying afloat in the restaurant business can be difficult. Give yourself all of the necessities you need to be competitive and drive in customers. Remember, the key to success in the restaurant industry is repeat customers. When diners leave your restaurant they should be well taken care of and looking forward to come back!
Feel free to leave your comments below if you have any thing to say.
Mike is an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry and has all of the skill sets that are possible for success.