Posts Tagged ‘reputation building’

3 Fun Ways to get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit (and Boost Business!)

December 4, 2013

The holiday season brings what has traditionally been the biggest sales days of the year – for retail and restaurant owners alike. As a restaurateur, you are uniquely positioned to leverage the holiday season to the benefit of both your business’s bottom line as well as its reputation. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about fun ways to get your restaurant into the holiday spirit!

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #1: It Starts with the Food

If there is a single thing that could be named as the commonality shared between most of the holidays, it would be people coming together over food. That said, you would be remiss not to alter your menu in some way as a nod toward that understanding. This could mean something as simple as adding eggnog to the menu or something as elaborate as creating a complete list of holiday specials, complete with festive decorations.

It could mean offering group discounts or freebies for kids or simply stringing up lights and adding some decorations to give your eatery a festive air. Showing your holiday spirit attracts all the people who are out looking for special holiday food and experiences.

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #2: In-House Contests and Games

Another fun way to engage employees and customers alike is to host fun in-house games and contests for the holidays. There’s a number of ways you could do this, and it could be done to raise proceeds for a charity or just for fun, it’s up to you. Host a raffle to win a free meal every day for a month. Run a contest to see who can come up with the best holiday photo for your social media pages. Implement a game where customers can choose to give a gift certificate for a Secret Santa item off the menu to another customer, as well as receive one in return. Whatever you pick, tell everyone about it, get your employees in on it and most of all, have fun with it!

Get Your Restaurant in the Holiday Spirit #3: Get Out in the Community

Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit while building your restaurant’s reputation is to take your staff and get involved in the community under the banner of your business. You could do this by signing up as a vendor for a holiday event, delivering excess food to people who need it, organizing a community clean-up project for customers and employees alike who are interested in volunteering, or simply taking your staff out for a night of caroling and eggnog.

Getting your restaurant into the holiday spirit through these types of activities is both fun and business-savvy. It engages your employees and customers, builds your reputation in the community, and helps to bring people through the door. What more could any business owner want as a gift for the holiday season?

Improve Your Reputation: Take Pride in Your Restaurant’s Menu Offerings

August 28, 2013

It might seem obvious that having pride in your establishment is important for good business, but if you’re not providing education to your staff and customers about what makes your restaurant offerings special, you’re missing an important reputation building opportunity.

Educating your employees and customers about what you’re offering, why you’ve chosen it, and what makes it special is often all it takes to turn an average dining experience into something that feels more special, unique, and memorable.

Educate Your Restaurant Staff about the Food

Being knowledgeable about the food that is offered is critical to the reputation building process. When your employees are intimately familiar with the ingredients on the list, how the food is prepared, and why you have chosen it, they are better able to translate this knowledge to the customers.

For example, let’s take a basic salad that may be on your menu. There’s nothing too exciting about that, right? But what happens when your waitress is able to say, “Oh, the house salad? That’s a great choice. It’s made from organic local greens and produce picked fresh from the garden. We have a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing that pairs perfectly with that, would you like to try it?” Suddenly the boring old house salad seems a lot more interesting, doesn’t it?

Schooling your employees to take pride in your menu offerings and talk about them knowledgeably and with enthusiasm goes a long way toward setting your restaurant above the crowd.

Integrate Pride in Your Restaurant with Your Marketing Strategies

Along with educating your employees to speak about what you offer in your restaurant with knowledge and enthusiasm, you’ll also want to integrate those same sentiments into your marketing messages. Let your customers know how proud you are of what you offer and why it’s so special. If you pride yourself on offering a truly exceptional dining experience, say so. If you use only family recipes on your menu, tell the crowd. If you donate x percentage of your profits to local charities, let your consumer base know how their contributions are helping the community.

The more that you can make eating at your restaurant something special and unique that your customers can take pride in, the greater your reputation will become.

Show Off Your Restaurateur Skills and Taste-Pairing Expertise

A final way that you can demonstrate your knowledge, pride, and expertise in your niche lies in your ability to suggest additional food and drink pairings that compliment the menu items your customers have ordered. A lot of that comes down to employee training. You want your serving staff to be able to suggest the right side dish, wine, or beer to perfectly compliment the main entree.

Alcoholic drinks are a particularly easy way to demonstrate the pride and enthusiasm you have for what you’re offering. Again, rather than the waiter simply taking an order for the shiraz on the menu and walking away, they can say something like, “Great choice! That shiraz was bottled in 1996 in Australia. It’s got a slightly fruity, blackberry flavor and pairs perfectly with the olive-crusted lamb you chose.” Providing this kind of additional information reinforces the specialness of the customer’s choice and builds your establishment’s reputation as a unique and knowledgeable dining experience.