Maximizing the Dining Experience by Satisfying Diner’s Desire for Enrichment and Education

Caution seems to be the current buzzword, and moderation is the trend among today’s money-weary consumers. More and more business owners are finding they have to adapt to the changes in the modern consumer and the ways in which they calculate their decision to purchase.

Capturing the Customer’s Imagination
In the not-so-distant past before corporate greed and federal bailouts were the norm, consumers weren’t shy about purchasing items on a whim or for pure pleasure. Today’s consumer, according to a recent survey, is looking for ways to enrich their lives through their purchases. Experiential and educational values weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

For the restaurateur, this means recognizing that customers are looking for more than just good food, a nice location and fair prices. Consumers are, with increasing frequency, looking for an establishment that provides an overall enriching experience.

A server who shares information about the local ingredients used for example, or a sommelier who explains why a particular wine perfectly complements a specific dish add to the diners overall experience of the evening.

In the Mood–Restaurant Atmosphere
Another way restaurant owners can add to their customer’s dining experience is by gauging their mood. Gleaning information during the reservation process is one way to achieve this. Someone reserving a table for two in celebration of a 25th wedding anniversary is likely to be in a different mood than someone making a reservation for a bachelorette party.

Creating quiet spaces for romantic occasions and open spaces for louder, celebratory occasions enables the restaurateur to meet the needs of different customers.

Beyond the Restaurant: Technology and the Hospitality Industry
Some savvy restaurateurs are using technology to reach their customers beyond the restaurant and to continue adding to their overall experience. For some, this means monthly newsletters sent via email. For others, this means creating a website that offers information about cooking techniques and a chef’s column that explains the weekly or seasonal changes in the menu.

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