Life is all about choices. The pair of shoes you put on each morning; the colour for the bathroom feature wall; the latest boxset on which to binge. We encounter them all the time.
The same goes when it comes to eating out. Think back to the last time you booked a restaurant table; why did you pick that particular establishment?
The reasons aren’t always that obvious. Sometimes, it’s led by a desire for a specific type of food, while sometimes it might be off the back of a rave review from a friend.
If you’re a restaurant owner, understanding why diners choose your establishment over the competition will enable you to refine your service and capitalise on what people love about the experience you deliver.
Here’s a few reasons diners might opt for your restaurant when booking their next meal out.
You make it easy to book
There’s a lot to be said for convenience when it comes to buying or booking anything in the digital age.
When dining for pleasure, people don’t always have a solid idea of where they want to go. The geographical area may have already been defined, but the destination could be swung by something ridiculously simple.
Often, this will come down to the ease with which the table can be booked. For instance, if Mrs Jones finds two potential eateries online, both of which look good aesthetically and appear to have great menus, she’ll probably opt for the one that has a clear ‘BOOK NOW’ button on every page of the website.
It really is that easy to sway people towards your restaurant, so if you’re currently lagging behind in the online table booking stakes, now might be the time to invest in a decent system.
You’re active on social media
Sometimes, it pays to get there first when it comes to the booking experience for your restaurant. And by that, we mean proactively reaching out to potential diners and putting the idea of heading out for a meal tonight firmly in their minds.
If you’re active on social media and invest occasionally in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you’ll stand a greater chance of drawing people towards your restaurant.
With PPC, you can create highly targeted advertising campaigns that appear in front of your ideal customers. So, what may have been a standard night in for some soon becomes a booked table at your restaurant – and that’s before the competition even get a look in!
Some people want to be able to bring their dogs to restaurants. Others want plentiful gluten-free and vegan options. An increasing number of people even expect delivery or takeaway to be an option at traditional restaurants.
Modern diner expectations may raise a few eyebrows among those in the restaurant biz, but if you’re willing to cater for as many bizarre or mundane requests as possible, you’re more likely to raise the number of covers you serve each week.
Don’t fancy having dogs in your restaurant? Why not look for an area that could be turned into a pet-friendly zone (perhaps the bar, for instance)?
Menu devoid of gluten-free and vegan dishes? Speak to the chef and ask them to start researching!
Delivery service seemingly beneath you? It might be time to rethink – particularly with services such as Deliveroo continuing to redefine dining for many.
You can be ultra-accommodating at your restaurant – if the desire is there. And, if it is, you’ll win over plenty of happy customers.
We’ve only scratched the surface above. If you’re a restaurateur, what tactics have you employed to direct the attention of diners onto your establishment? Get involved in the comments, below!