Food Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 12
Welcome back to another edition of The Food Aficionado Smart Brief! With so many restaurants in the United States, sometimes it can be difficult to show the masses why they should choose yours. Brian, a Bonji Foods legend, wanted to explain the X-factor in helping your restaurant stand out.
The X-Factor For Restaurants There are 149,338 single-location full-service restaurants and 107,541 chain restaurants in America alone. As of December 2019, it was reported that there are more than 490,000 independent restaurants in the US. With so much competition out there, how can you as a restaurant owner stand out? Great food and exceptional service are certainly true answers, but there has to be an X-Factor. Let me tell you about the Bonji Take. Picture this -- you just opened an Italian restaurant in Manhattan. Now, you’re one of a thousand Italian restaurants (literally) within a radius of 23 miles. Having a couple of charismatic waiters and a killer Pesto Gnocchi is absolutely a great start. But, how does someone like this create “buzz?” This so-called “buzz” or widespread notoriety comes from having a strong identity. Don’t be fooled, just having a name for your restaurant and a couple of colors isn’t a brand. Identity comes from the decor, music, social media pages, homemade olive oil for your pre-dinner rolls or a jolly restaurant owner who greets each of their guests. And once you're settled with the image your restaurant portrays, lean into it and let customers enjoy the atmosphere. When developing your brand think of the customer base that you envision frequenting your place. If you want it to be the neighborhood first-date spot for young people, maybe Sinatra, dim-lighting and no social media pages might not be your best bet. Even if the place across the street attracts a crowd, don’t be afraid to be different. Nobody wants the same cookie-cutter restaurant on each block, so stand out! If you just started your restaurant or it’s been unusually tough to get people into the door, perhaps consider if you have an established identity. If your coffee shop is in a
progressive, hipster area considers alternative or house music. Put up some abstract paintings on the wall. Source local coffee beans. The beautiful thing about this is that, as an owner, you have complete freedom in establishing your brand’s identity. People gravitate to a place that gives their own “vibe.” So, consider making one if you haven’t already. Wishing you all an amazing week!