Simple Ways You Can Stand Out From the Competition

Simple Ways You Can Stand Out From the Competition

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring in business and drive people through your doors.  Your menu, your service, and your food quality are without a doubt the most important drivers of sales. But sometimes when people are making their final choice about where to eat, the finer details can make all the difference.  Many of these finer points can be relatively cheap and easy to implement, and can really set you apart from your competitors.  Here are our top 7 simple ways to stand out from the competition.

1. Dog-friendly space 

People love their dogs.  And more specifically, people love bringing their dogs with them everywhere they go.  If your restaurant has an outdoor space, you could benefit greatly by allowing people to bring their pups with them.  This can be especially important if you are located in an urban or walkable area.  When a dog owner is out walking around with their pet and gets hungry, they’ll be able to pop right in to your restaurant and bring you business you would have otherwise missed out on.  

2. Military or first-responder discounts 

Offering a discount for active military, veterans, or frontline workers can be a great way to honor their service, and also help bring additional business in through your doors.  Those you are offering a discount to obviously have an incentive to come visit you for discounted food and drinks.  But as an added benefit, these types of specials can help drive others to visit you as well, because they appreciate and admire the way you are honoring those who have served.

3. Weekend deals 

It is common practice to offer specials and deals on weekdays, since those tend to be the least crowded for restaurants.  This makes perfect sense and is certainly not a practice that should be abandoned.  Understandably, many restaurants are more crowded on weekends and thus do not offer specials on these days.  But if you tend to have any extra space or open seats available on Fridays and Saturdays, you can really draw in a crowd by offering discounts on these days that most others aren’t.  Running Happy Hour or daily deals on the weekends can really step up your game and keep your dining room full from open to close.

4. Live entertainment 

Another offering that can set your business apart from the rest is live music or other entertainment.  Eating dinner out is great, but dinner and a show is even better.  And live entertainment doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg.  In most major cities, there are many local artists and bands who would be happy to play a set in your restaurant for a reasonable price.  Even if you’re not ready to commit to this on a regular basis, something like one night of live music per night can be a fun event and give people an extra reason to come visit you. 

5. Kid-friendly environment  

Making your restaurant suitable and appealing for families is another way to help drive business.  It’s no secret that kids have a different set of needs than adults when it comes to dining out.  Not every restaurant really makes an effort to cater to children as well as adults, so doing so can help you stand out and bring in more families and large groups.  A few of the ways you can make your restaurant particularly kid-friendly: Provide high chairs, a kids’ menu with smaller portions and simpler dishes, and some sort of entertainment for the little ones such as coloring pages or activities to distract them at the table.

6. Updated website 

We really cannot overstate the importance of an up-to-date, informative, easy-to-navigate website.  More and more these days, people are consulting online resources when deciding where to eat.  Their experience on your website could truly be the make-or-break factor in whether they dine with you or not.  Make sure your website includes all the basic business information and frequently asked questions consumers may be looking for.  If they can easily access your hours, menu, policies, and more, they will be more likely to pay you a visit.

7. Reservations or an option to get in line virtually 

Finally, few things are more frustrating to a hungry customer than a long wait for a table.  Sometimes, this is unavoidable during your peak hours.  However, offering people the option to make a reservation ahead of time or get in line virtually can ease this frustration and cut down on wait time immensely. Knowing their table will be ready at a specified time will make people much more willing to visit your restaurant, and much happier while doing so.

With the 7 steps above, you can set your restaurant apart from the rest without needing to invest large amounts of time or money into the improvements.  If each of the tricks above brings in a handful of extra customers, you’ll see your overall sales soar in no time!

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