Yes, the food is what patrons come to eateries for, but if the appearance of the restaurant and/or the image of the food or customer service are bad, restaurant owners won’t be eating up very many profits.
That said how would you rate your eatery when it comes to image and appearance?
Don’t Let the Wrong Image or Appearance Sink You
When you have your own eatery, the image and appearance you give off can mean the difference between packed houses day after day or lots of empty tables.
So that those tables are filled as much as possible, make sure you are:
- Selling your brand – It might seem rather easy to want to sell your brand, but it should be done with more than just a little thought behind it. For instance, you want to know what the demographics are for your customers. Do you service mostly adults? Are your customers primarily families? Do many of your customers like a drink or two with dinner? Are you typically busiest during the breakfast, lunch or dinner hours? Do you get a sizable amount of business during the work week or primarily on the weekends? These are just a few of the tidbits you want to know as a restaurant owner. There’s no sense in trying to market your brand to families if you primarily just have adults only stopping by. On the reverse side, if kids are a major part of your customer base, you need to have meals that appeal to them;
- Keeping your look fresh – Even the best food in the world will sometimes get overlooked if your restaurant’s interior/exterior appears too drab for patrons. Yes, it costs money to renovate your eatery, but it can be (and oftentimes is) the best investment you will make. Whether it is the need for new indoor tables/booths and chairs, seeking online restaurant patio furniture, improved lighting, better flooring etc., make sure you do the investing and purchasing sooner rather than later. In holding off on such needs, you actually may end up spending more money over time, something that can prove costly down the road. Another means to keep your look fresh is making sure the walls have a welcoming look to them. Pictures of paintings of happy people or enjoyable locations will dress up a restaurant faster than most anything else. One especially good tactic to use is showing through artwork and pictures the history of your eatery. If it has been around for decades, not to mention has been visited by celebrities and other notables, displaying their pictures (perhaps they’re autographed too) on the walls is a nice feature;
- Presenting a positive image – Face it; some customers will come to your eatery and leave with a bad taste in their mouths. Whether it is the food, the service, perhaps even the décor, you’re not going to please everyone that walks in the door. With that being the case, it is how you react to such an experience that can sway customers one way or the other. Showing concern for why they did not enjoy their experience allows you to perhaps get them back for a second try. Maybe you will even lower the prices or give them some other form of incentive to give you one more shot. If you simply write-off the experience as a bad one without any remorse, you are likely to never see those patrons again. If you think that isn’t such a big deal, it will become an even bigger deal when they tell their family, friends, and even co-workers about the experience. Show your cause for concern and listen to what they have to say in order to increase the odds of having a second chance to woo them.
In order to eat up more profits, your restaurant must always be looking to keep its image and appearance up to date.
While the food is of course the main dish, your restaurant’s image and appearance are more than just casual appetizers.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.