People have a natural desire to be distinguished, noticed, special. This realty comes into play even when making decisions about where to dine. Creating an ambiance of exclusivity can generate strong attraction for your restaurant. No matter the class of food purveyor, from fast food to five star, there are elements of exclusivity at play in order to draw and retain clients.
Exclusivity plays into status, and status symbols play into people’s identity. Even something as simple as airpods are a socially distinguishing construct. Everything from the shoes you wear to the car you drive pegs you into a social strata. Setting aside the moral relevance of these realities, it’s worthwhile for restaurants to put forth effort to offer distinguishing service. People pay more for the opportunity to toe the red carpet.
The type of VIP offerings you provide depends on the character of your restaurant. Punch card rewards that lead to a free offering after a certain number of purchases isn’t as suitable for a high-end dining experience as it is for an informal coffee shop or college town diner. The important thing to consider is to gauge what would most interest your client base.
Knowledge is Power
There is a distinct allure to being on the inside track of a situation. Even fast food chains such as In-N-Out cash in on the attraction of exclusivity with their “secret menu” items. Higher end restaurants can offer something similar through “membership” perks. For a fee, restaurants can give certain guests access to exclusive menu items as well as luxury options, such as exclusive seating options or hours. It’s good to get creative in this area, and lean into offerings that appeal to your current client base.
Your restaurant does not have to be pretentious to embrace the perks associated with exclusivity. At the heart of any promotion or VIP offering should be an effort to understand your client and what they would find valuable. Adding a layer of exclusivity to an offering with real value is a recipe for success.
Challenge: ask one of your regulars what would make them feel like a VIP
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