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How to Keep Your Restaurant Concept Fresh

By Jackie Prange | 3 min read

Your customers are the bread and butter of your business. We know getting them in the door is half the struggle, but actually getting them to return? That’s a separate struggle entirely.

Seriously – new restaurant research shows that only 18% of restaurant goers will regularly re-visit a restaurant. So what about the other 82%? The majority of customers are on the prowl for the latest and greatest dining or private event experience, and they’ve got no shortage of spots to choose from. While these stats may seem alarming, there are steps you can take to increase the amount of repeat business at your restaurant. Here’s how you can keep your restaurant concept fresh to make sure you’re satisfying your customers’ appetites for something new, visit after visit.

 

Get creative with your entertainment options

We know, you know: a great restaurant has more to offer than just good food. Your customer experience is what people will remember and talk about with their friends after they’ve left. So what better way to elevate your patrons’ experience at your venue than by engaging their other senses? Creative entertainment options can do just that – and your most fickle patrons are asking for them. New restaurant research shows that 42% of millennial diners say that entertainment offerings influence their decision to eat somewhere.

Live music, interactive art, arcade games, and even photobooths have become a huge hit in restaurants and private events. That last idea is Kardashian confirmed, as Kendall’s birthday was spent taking over the photobooth at LA’s The Nice Guy, while their geotag was flooded with photobooth selfies.

Whatever your entertainment idea might be, it will give your patrons something to talk about outside of your food offerings. They’ll start to think of your restaurant as more than just a place for good eats, but some fun as well.

 

Host events

Whether it’s a wine tasting, a cooking class, or a game day party, hosting a wide variety of events will make your customers think of your venue as a place to broaden their experiential horizons with every repeat visit. And if one event goes off without a hitch, you can bet you’ll be seeing them again at your next one.

Thomas Hill Organics has mastered the restaurant event category. Not only are there a variety of events to attend, they’re all visible right from their Facebook feed – from live music Saturdays to jazz events, anniversary celebrations, and a “soul night.” Thomas Hill offers their customers a range of different experiences at their venue.


Offer a specialty item

We know the thought and care that goes into a restaurant’s menu, but are your selections driving repeat business? If not, consider the benefits of having a specialty item.

Take Toronto restaurant La Banane’s “Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg”: what appears to be just another option on their dessert menu has now become one of the most Instagrammed desserts of 2017. The restaurant’s Instagram geotag is flooded with pictures of eggs – the true mark of specialty item success. This menu item took off to the point where countless media outlets have taken to Olsen’s chocolate shop just to film the creation of the Instafamous chocolate sensation.

Find your golden (chocolate) egg. Create buzz amongst restaurant goers who will seek you out for one special item. If it’s a hit, you can put new spins on it to keep those curious diners coming back for more.


Get involved in your community

One tried and true way to get more customers in your doors is to go through theirs. Community involvement will help amplify your restaurant’s name and make those in your backyard, patron or not, think fondly of you.

Take Fidel Gastro’s: the restaurant’s head chef, Matt Basile, worked with Toronto’s Casey House to pull off a pop-up restaurant to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Matt was able to amplify his own restaurant’s name while helping raise awareness to a charitable cause right in his business’s backyard.

 

Chances are your first-time patrons won’t be sitting around, waiting for you to give them a reason to return. As a restaurant owner, it’s your duty to ensure your restaurant concept is fun, relevant, and most of all, creative, to stand out from the sea of restaurants vying for their visit.  

 

This is a guest post from TouchBistro.

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Jackie Prange
Guest Contributor

Jackie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro. She covers the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry.

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