From cool interior accents, to an inspired menu, to exceptional service, there are many ways in which your restaurant attracts and delights diners. Dining out and outdoor dining both are seeing new highs after the peak of the pandemic seems to have abetted.
According to intelligence company Morning Consult, 75% of adults surveyed feel comfortable going out to eat at a restaurant, while 81% said they are comfortable with outdoor dining. After a long period of unsurety brought about by the pandemic, this is great news for your restaurant. Use these unique ideas to help your restaurant be attractive to potential guests.
Use Lighting to Create a Mood
It is no secret that the right lighting is important in a restaurant, yet many business owners and designers get it wrong. We are sure you’ve been to restaurants where the lights are so dim you have a tough time reading the menu, or so bright, they take away from the ambiance. Designing the right lighting is an important factor in your restaurant’s success.
Consider LED recessed lighting in the indoor spaces of your restaurant. This type of lighting can illuminate larger spaces without being too overpowering. With its dimmable feature, recessed lighting works to create different moods in the same space. If you have an eclectic bar area, pendant lighting may be a good option. This type of lighting focuses light on a specific object such as the menu or your food and drinks, while not throwing too much light where it can be jarring.
Don’t limit yourself to the inside. Use landscape lighting to attract passers-by who are likely to be drawn by a lit up building. Outdoor dining is a favorite with people, especially as warmer weather approaches. Make the ambiance feel elegant and intimate with well-thought out landscape lighting. Punctuate your outdoor space with path lights, light up an architectural detail or trees with up lights. Not only will you create an inviting ambiance, but your building’s highlighted architectural details will be a conversation topic at the dining table. If you are concerned that this will take a lot of organizing and remembering, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Landscape lighting transformers are a handy, discreet way to automate your landscape lighting. They can be mounted in any area with a strong wifi signal and once you set it up, you can reap its benefits without investing any time or effort.
Involve Your Guests
One unique way to help your guests feel more connected to your restaurant is to invite them to give their feedback and suggestions on menu items. No, we do not mean inviting them to write reviews. While reviews are certainly important to your restaurant, you can go a step further by including experiences that guests want to leave a good review about.
Most diners have opinions on what they would change about a particular dish or drink. Why not make it official and organize regular experiential events that empower guests to actually make their suggestions work? Not only will your guests feel heard and your team feel inspired, but this will also help your restaurant create a sense of community — something we all missed sorely through the pandemic’s peak.
You can consider tying up with other local businesses, invite chefs and bartenders from other restaurants, or tie up with local markets to make these events more community driven and fun.
Set Up a Farmers Market Stall
There are few things as much fun as a local farmers market. Join in with your own restaurant stall. There are many ways for you to get creative here, but this is also a good testing ground for any new dishes you may be considering introducing. Invite people to do a tasting and give you feedback, or sell small quantities of the dish so people can take them home.
Farmers markets are also a great way to get to know your local farmers and makers. Not only can you spread the word about your own business, but you can also show them support. When your community wins, you win.
Owning and running a restaurant is an exciting job. There are unforeseen challenges and exhaustion, but there is also an opportunity to be the highlight of someone’s day! Delight guests with these unique ideas that keeps your restaurant top of mind all the time.