Find a Niche to Make Your Own

Demand for food service has always and will always exist; people enjoy getting food on the go, treating themselves to a good meal without the effort of cooking and choosing either pick up or delivery so they can eat their favorite dish at leisure. The industry already has demand; the trick lies in distinguishing yourself from other restaurants nearby by providing food, services or something else that nobody else does. Maybe you’re the only 50s-themed diner in the area; maybe your waiters also sing or you have a special dessert that no one else knows how to make. Whatever it is, find your niche and build from there.

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A good way to ensure you’re really standing out in your community: Talk to your community.

Though it seems obvious, many business owners overlook this easy, straightforward approach to discovering exactly what your future customers want. Reaching out directly to community members also increases the chance they’ll visit your restaurant once it opens and possibly even become loyal guests, since they know you’re opening with their interests in mind.

Once you’ve spoken to the community, identify which demographics will best suit your menu, atmosphere, pricing and overall restaurant. Since communities are typically extremely diverse, you need to isolate who exactly you intend to target with your advertising and messages. A group of young teens probably don’t have the same favorite restaurant as their parents; for real success and to have customers leave as happy as possible, identify the age range, price range, lifestyle and other such factors of the people you want to attract. Begin building your messaging and branding from there.

Establishing your niche will help you make other business decisions, for example how to decorate, what to charge and even what to serve. This all depends on the finances and lifestyles of the customers you hope to attract.

Don’t be afraid to evolve, either. If your target audience doesn’t like your restaurant, but an entirely unexpected group does, shift focus to appeal to them instead. Show your customers that you appreciate their business.

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People like to have a say in what goes on in their community. Taking their suggestions into consideration will not only help you develop a unique business model that really stands out, but it will also foster support for your endeavor, generate word of mouth and overall make a positive foundation for a successful restaurant.

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