Competition within the restaurant industry is intense and ever-mounting. There is no time for complacency in today’s market. The trendy restaurant of today can be obsolete tomorrow. So how do you survive? It’s important to define the character of your restaurant and clearly identify what sets you apart from your competition.
What Makes You Unique?
Identify at least one concrete distinguishing factor and go from there. Dave Dahl’s Dave’s Killer Bread is a prime example of using a unique feature to promote awareness and attraction. Dave is open about the history of his time in prison. Not only does he share his story on every loaf of bread, he also takes it a step further by hiring ex-cons to create his notable creations. Similarly, identify the passion that is at the root of your desire to manage a restaurant and use that to fuel your restaurant’s unique image.
Say No to Gimmicks
Another important take away from Dave Dahl’s story and Dave’s Killer Bread is the fact that he didn’t rely solely on the wow-factor of his story to sell his bread. Dave is an artisan bread maker, and he worked tirelessly and artistically to create a product he could be proud of. There is no staying power to gimmicks. Don’t take shortcuts.
Once you’ve identified the heart of your restaurant, create ways to promote it. Dave Dahl encountered great resistance when he proposed that his story be shared on every loaf of bread. It’s hard to be vulnerable and share something you value, but authenticity resonates. If you can share something genuine and real, people will empathize with it, and it will attract them to your restaurant.
There’s something about your restaurant that sets it apart from all the rest. You may know what it is or you may need to give it some consideration. Invest time into refining it and promoting it.
Challenge: Take some time to reflect on what motivated you in the early days to manage your restaurant. Fan that old spark and decide how you want to start sharing it.
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