Italian restaurants are popular with food lovers worldwide. Famed for their crowd pleasing and flavoursome dishes, Italian restaurants cater to the cravings of many food lovers daily.
Setting up a restaurant isn’t easy, but staying ahead of competition in order to survive is where it gets really difficult.
Restaurants prepare and serve food to customers but that is only the very beginning of what a good restaurant does. Giving your customers an experience they will not forget is the key to getting them back through the door regularly. When demand for your services are high, you are on the path to ensuring a steady stream of income for your business and stable restaurant finance is where every restaurateur wants to be.
So how do you make your Italian restaurant stand out from the crowd and keep your customers coming back? These three essential tips are intended to help you do just that;
Know Your Target Audience & Define Your Customer Persona
A customer persona is the demographic and behavioural profile of the people that will be patronising your restaurant. In a university town for example, your customer persona is probably someone in their early twenties looking for an affordable meal. In a built-up city street, close to a commercial centre, your likely clientele are office workers and professionals.
For most restaurants however, there will be multiple personas walking through your door daily. However, your top three personas should be your best customers. You can then go through your restaurant’s sales data and correlate the customer type with the food they are ordering.
Armed with this information, you can then go about finding ways to optimise the experience of these sets of customers. If one of the personas patronising your restaurant is a family with young children, then you should be looking at having high-chairs and changing tables readily available, family-sized meal options, as well as specials. If students are amongst your restaurant’s most regular guests, then having a “starving student” special speaks to your understanding of your restaurant’s personas.
Understand Your Competition
Yours is probably not the first Italian restaurant in the area. In that case, there are some others also offering the same services as you. To stay ahead of competition, you need to know what your rivals are doing that is making them successful. The key to this is not recreating their formula but finding ways to improve on it and then owning it.
For example, if you find out one of your competitors offers a unique drink that is driving people to their front door, offering the same drink is not likely to change the fate of your restaurant. Instead, focus on coming up with a unique offering of your own, a new dish, a new dessert, that will drive people into a frenzy and have them walking through your door. You can only beat competition if you are constantly one step ahead of your rivals.
Capitalise On Your Competencies
Your competencies are your strengths; use them to your advantage. Focus on key areas of the business where you are well-versed and where you could make your Italian restaurant stand out. For example, you may have an eye for aesthetics, make this work for you by putting some extra effort into food presentation.
Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see someone whip out their phone and take a quick picture of their meal before digging in. Most photos are taken to capture a beautiful sight, and that applies to food as well. Certainly, a boring plate of spaghetti with sauce slopped on top isn’t going to tempt people to take photos.
Take your time to present your food in a unique and pleasant way. A satisfied customer sharing their food photo is definitely great exposure for your restaurant. It is a positive review from a satisfied customer and one that is likely to drive many more to your restaurant, so make sure you are present on all social media channels to take advantage of the free marketing.
Achieving success with your Italian restaurant is quite possible if you follow the three tips provided above. Knowing your customer, understanding your competition, and capitalising on your core competencies will ensure your restaurant stands out and is primed for success. With this knowledge, you will be able to give your customers the best experience possible.