Specialty Of The House

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.



  • Corey Bearak

    Definitely a good suggestion for self review but I find it hard for know to determine where I would place myself in cuisine. I know the dishes and venues I like. Just don't know where the allegory fits me. As a sole practitioner who sometimes handles projects/ clients in concert/ coalition with others. Maybe I am that quality out of the way place that does not crave a full house to survive since I can be host, server, chef, busboy and dishwasher. LOL.

  • Rochelle Moulton

    Hi Corey,

    Let's remove the reframe (doesn't work for everyone!)and look at it this way. Let's say your category is consulting to public officials and entities. Perhaps you narrow your appeal by focusing deeply on one of your talents (Public Policy, Government Affairs, Political Consulting, Strategic Campaign Management, Media and Public Affairs). Or you create your niche by the type of client/client profile you serve best (Borough Presidents, Councilmen, DAs).

    And then comes your "specialty of the house". What do you do better than anyone else? And like in the restaurant business, it's not just the technical presentation of your work. It's how you treat your clients, how you charge and how you deliver your services that make you memorable. Your total package…..

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