Imagine your clients choosing you the way most of us choose restaurants. They decide what they’re in the mood for—sushi, deli, pizza. Or maybe it’s that special occasion, break-the-bank meal. And then they consider where they’re likely to find exactly what they want/need.
If you own a restaurant, you want your clientele to say “I want Canter’s Deli”, not “I want a sandwich.” Ditto every other top-of-their-game restaurant from Fatburger to The French Laundry. Draw your clients to you in the same way. Make your offerings clear, compelling and uniquely distinct.
Choose your category. What kind of restaurant are you? Unless you’re a category-breaker, you’ll slot into a niche—haute cuisine, burger joint, seafood shack, food truck. Look around you and see how many others claim your category. Chances are, clients are surrounded by good choices. You’ve got to make yourself stand out.
Narrow your appeal. Will you focus on an ethnic cuisine or perhaps steak or seafood? Are you all about romantic corner booths, a spectacular view or whacking crabs with a mallet? Do patrons come to you for a raucous good time or are they serious foodies worshipping at the latest mecca? Narrowing your appeal lets those who will love you find you faster.
Discover your specialty of the house. Your clientele will tell you what they come back for. And it may be more about their waiter remembering their name and favorites then about your clams casino. It’s about their complete experience, which any successful restaurateur will tell you includes price, service, ambience and location.
So ask your clients why they choose you. Dig for the truth. And use what you find to let the rest of the world know your claim to fame.