EXPERIENCE: How Can You Make Your Restaurant More Than Just a Place to Eat?
The need (and love!) for food is something unites us. That being said, restaurants are more than just food. Even if the meal was a little sub-par, a guest’s overall dining experience might be saved by a truly unique and memorable atmosphere. And that is the secret of an amazing restaurant -- creating a cozy and inviting environment that goes above and beyond what’s just on the menu. Here are a few tips to consider to be one of these restaurants.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Merlin Entertainment is a British company that runs more than 120 attractions, including a series of Dungeons which illustrate an assortment of horror – typically with a specific theme to the location. Five of those locations have plague-themed sections. They also love to host “rate cafes” at some of these spots. For $50, you get a trip through the Dungeon, an “Ama-RAT-o Sour” cocktail, and a half hour of “play time with the rats.” We’re assuming the plague costs extra, though.
No doubt that food waste is a huge problem in the US. To combat it, a couple of Brooklynn businesses teamed up to brew beer from uneaten bagels. Folksbier Brauerei is released a limited-edition beer called Black Seed Glow, which uses leftover bagels from Black Seed Bagels. Folksbier takes the uneaten bagels, breaks them up by hand, and uses them as replacements for a little under 25% of the grains necessary in the brewing process.
Mexico Tariffs and Food
In 2018, the U.S. imported billions worth of fruits, vegetables and alcoholic beverages from its southern neighbor, with avocados the most obvious example. Despite being one of the largest avocado producers in the world itself, the United States imported more than 900,000 tons of avocados worth a total of $2.14 billion from Mexico last year, accounting for 87% of total avocado imports and roughly 80% of American avocado consumption. It's not just guacamole lovers whose appetite may be spoiled though.
DATA DRIVEN MARKETING AHOY!
Why it matters to you: Data can direct you to your best marketing strategies.
If you don’t already know this, we LOVE data at The Daily Rail and this infographic posted on Modern Restaurant Management has some great data-driven insights. The first that jumped out at us was 85% of consumers report they visit a restaurant because of their food quality. Items like price and location were important (69% and 63% respectively), but what comes out of your kitchen matters most. Since many of our subscribers use entertainment as their key draw (which didn’t even register on the infographic, BTW), this should be an obvious opportunity to grow your business. Knowing that food quality leads the way, if you are already seeing solid traffic, increasing your commitment to delivering a great menu can only further build your business.
In addition to food quality, the data also asserts the best marketing channels for restaurant ad placements. Of course, TV is number one, but since that’s out of reach for most of you it’s the other channels that matter which include social media advertising, mobile ads/texting ,and sponsored search results like Google Adwords.
Since social media ads were the second most responsive ad placements, we thought we’d share a quick hack. Facebook allows you to upload your email list to their platform and then they will match your list with people whose behavior online is similar to those folks. They target them based on factors like location and demographic. Since 42.1% of customers respond to those placements, this will be a great way to attract similar guests to those that already love visiting your restaurant.
[Source: Modern Restaurant Management]
Why it matters to you: Do you know what’s in….everything?
We live in a chemical world and stories like this about the presence in our food supply and impact on our health of substances like perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) should be terrifying. The PFOS and PFOA varieties have been connected to serious health problems, including certain kinds of cancers, liver damage, and an increased risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. The worst part is they exist in a variety of products you serve or utilize in your restaurant every day. They exist in products like non-stick cookware, stain-defending carpets, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, and weatherproof patio furniture. Since all of those items are currently in most restaurants in North America, this should be a cause for serious concern.
In fact, states like New Hampshire have sued eight chemical manufacturers of PFAS is being found in drinking water and other natural resources as a result of exposure to it. While none of us is directly responsible, we are certainly a central user of products that may contain those products. Even if you are just thinking in terms of your own health exposure to PFAS is just plain bad. However, we have to be realistic that any individual operator can impact this global problem. Fortunately, more states than New Hampshire are addressing this in their communities. Both New York and Vermont have taken steps to change the prevalence of PFAS. So, stay tuned, because this will likely be another issue that impacts our industry’s sustainability and expense profile as these fights progress at the state level.