3 Little Details That Set Amazing Restaurants Apart from the Average Ones



dinner table in luxury hotel

Variety is the spice of life, and this is especially true when it comes to dining.

The restaurant industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. According to a Report by Stats NZ, New Zealanders are spending more time and money dining out than ever before.

Consumers today expect perfect food, service and comfort.

They are on the constant lookout for the next best restaurant. And there’s no reason why your restaurant can’t be one of them.

Consider the Trifecta: Concept, Chef and Location

Your restaurant is like a blank canvas. Every colour on your palette will help shade your diners’ experience from their first bite to the last.

A restaurant will never succeed without these three elements:

A Good Concept

A great restaurant starts with a well-developed concept. Begin by researching the market for eating trends, design styles and consumer spending habits to conceptualise a profile that appeals to your target audience.

To create a fusion of comfort and complete the experience for your  guests, you will require:

  • Ambience
  • Music
  • Lighting
  • Table linen
  • Decor

A restaurant’s ambience is the most important factor to consider when settling for a concept.

Pretend your business is a stage where the limelight focuses on the food as the guests become the spectators.

The music you play helps create ambience depending on your goals and objectives. If your restaurant is a fine dining establishment, you might consider playing low tempo, relaxing music to keep your guests in their seats. This could encourage them to eat and spend more.

You can play fast-paced music in the daytime for faster turnover and mellow music at night for leisurely dining.

Like music, lighting is also a key element to the ambience.

According to John R. Walker, “With the wrong lighting, a restaurant’s entire design will suffer; with the right lighting, the entire restaurant design could flourish.

Lighting can also directly affect the pace at which people eat. Pairing high tempo music with bright lighting can be used subliminally to get customers in and out faster during high-peak hours of the day.

Dim, warm mood-lighting can be paired with low tempo music in a fine dining restaurant to make the guests feel more relaxed.

Aesthetically pleasing table linen is a must-have for any restaurant today. As consumers continue to post more and more food-related content on social media, they expect to have an aesthetically pleasing, picture-perfect backdrop for their Instagram and Tumblr food photography.

white glass wipes with blue stripes
Alsco’s Restaurant and Hospitality Linen Service

Having clean linens is vital to the success of any restaurant. Make your restaurant stand out from the competition.

  • Do this by matching aesthetics that the consumers expect by investing in a linen rental service that delivers a variety of affordable, fresh and high-quality table linen.

The decor is the final element that marries the lighting, music, and tableware to create the desired ambience. Switch up the decor in your restaurant to stay current with the latest interior design trends from time to time.

Doing so will help give your restaurant a fresh new look just by changing up a few elements in the decor. Check out: How to come up with a great restaurant floor plan.

A Great Chef

To begin with, choose your chef carefully. Think about what your food concept is to be able to match your chef’s capabilities to your needs.

The chef is the most significant member of a restaurant’s team. According to a 2018 New Zealand Hospitality Report, “The biggest challenge for hospitality business owners is the lack of skilled employees.”

Therefore, make sure to hire a chef that is well-trained and has years of experience. A great chef should have an eye for detail. Only then will you be sure that every meal they serve tells a story.

The chef is the person who sets standards in a restaurant, and therefore, they should prioritise quality.

The Perfect Location

One thing you’ll have to pay extra attention to is selecting a good location for your restaurant.

Spend time to figure out the location and analyse whether the traffic flow is in line with what you are trying to serve.

It would be ideal to pick an easily accessible location that draws crowds and has the potential for growth.

The most important factor to consider when picking a site is the congruency of the community around whatever concept you want to introduce. Choose a community that you will enjoy serving to be able to build up a loyal customer base.

Select a Location that has high visibility and good foot traffic.

To determine whether a location has good foot traffic, you’ll need to:

  • Visit the closest restaurant near the site you wish to set up.
  • Survey the number of people walking through the door to have a clear sense of what their daily performance is like, the peak/rush hours, etc.

This will give you an idea of how much revenue they are making and whether the location is your ideal choice.

The Menu Is the Centre of Your Restaurant’s Universe

The menu is a restaurant’s number one sales tool that can determine whether or not your business becomes successful.

It includes a description of how the food is prepared and presents the dishes in an alternative and fun way. Having secured the trifecta (concept, chef and location), many restaurateurs often end up neglecting the menu.

Offer a menu that will be a feast for the eyes and pallet.

Use Descriptive Language to Make Each Dish Offered Sound as Delicious as Possible.

Get into as much detail as you can. This provides more information and can even open up the guest’s appetite depending on how well you’ve managed to describe the dish.

Incorporate words such as:

  • Braised
  • Seared
  • Pan-fried
  • Oven-roasted

When used properly on the menu, such words can add a topping of prestige to what you’re serving. You can also highlight special ingredients and point out where they came from.

Try Some Menu Engineering Techniques

There is an art to designing the menu to where the guest’s eyes go and how you want to align it. It is a handy way of influencing customers to purchase certain items on the menu.

Highlighting specific sections of the menu and using enough white space, boxes and borders draws the eye and captures attention.

Try this nifty trick: Put a menu board with pictures of the food outside your restaurant during peak hours. This is an effective way of capturing people’s attention.

Keep track of the latest food trends and try adding new dishes to the menu. This is a great way to stand out! Don’t be afraid to expand your menu to meet your customers’ dietary needs.

Have a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media is a fantastic sales and brand awareness tool for your restaurant. Brand your restaurant on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in such a way that your content stands out and gets noticed.

The rise of social media has created a new breed of consumers.

According to Facebook’s 2019 Restaurant Trends and Insights Report, 86% of millennials try a new restaurant after seeing food-related content online.

To have an effective online presence, you need to:

  • Plan and create strategies and goals. Is it brand awareness or sales? Having a plan will help you make that commitment right from the beginning. The right tools will help you enact that plan.
  • Share content that is authentic and engaging. This will help you connect with your audience. For example, taking professional photos of your meals and posting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with a creative caption will catch their attention and convince them to give your restaurant a try.
  • Collaborate with social media influencers. Living in the era of the influencer means that your restaurant is more likely to succeed if it’s endorsed by a social media influencer or celebrity.

Additionally, you can also have your menu online so guests can gauge various food items and the price range. This makes it much easier for them while ordering because they already have an idea of what they are going to have.

An Easier Alternative

One of the simplest ways of creating an experience full of discovery for the guests, while giving your restaurant a “face-lift” without breaking the bank is by changing the linen frequently.

However, buying new restaurant linen is expensive and impractical to maintain. Alsco NZ has you covered. They offer an affordable and efficient linen rental service with an array of different fabrics, colours and styles to choose from to suit your needs.

You can also indulge your guests in a luxurious, five-star royalty treatment by subscribing to.

They have a wide range of luxurious, high thread-count linen form tablecloths, customisable overlays and serviettes in various sizes and colours to match the standard of your restaurant and pamper your customers.

Their managed rental service means that your soiled linens will be regularly replaced by clean, crisp ones.

Photo: JCOMP

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