Creating a Unique Selling Proposition For Your Restaurant
Resonate with diners and differentiate yourself from the competition by honing in on what makes your restaurant unique.
The following strategies will help you discover and pitch your unique characteristics to capture your ideal customer.
Find Your Niche
Start by crafting your restaurant’s unique selling proposition. If you can’t immediately pinpoint or differentiate what you do best and how that differs from others, sit down and think it through.
Here are some characteristics that may apply to you:
Qualities Your gourmet cuisine has been recognized with awards and reviews.
Sustainability You only use organic, locally-sourced ingredients and grow your own herbs.
Value You offer the best prices in your area.
Service From wait staff to online ordering, you’ve perfected the art of great customer service.
Signature Dish There are one or two dishes you have created that are completely original.
Traditional Fare Your food is made from family recipes, or you use ethnically-specific techniques or spices.
Ambiance Your dining room’s décor and atmosphere is distinctive (i.e., intimate, hip, family-friendly)
Convenience You’ve streamlined operations to offer easy online ordering and fast delivery times.
Who Is Your Customer?
The next step is to determine who your unique offerings will resonate with. Don’t try to be all things to all people. This dilutes your strengths and prevents you from targeting your ideal customers.
For instance, a family-friendly atmosphere and menu, and discounted prices may not appeal to affluent empty-nesters looking for a refined dining experience. Nor will these characteristics attract millennials craving health-conscious, ethnically diverse cuisine.
Conversely, busy families will be attracted to dining rooms where they’ll feel comfortable bringing their fussy youngsters. They will also need to satisfy their need for kid-friendly menu items and value.
Whatever your assets may be, diners are out there tailor made for you.
Messages That Stand Out
People make decisions about where to eat every day, with increasingly more options to choose from. Here are some ideas to help you craft your unique selling proposition to tell your story effectively and make your restaurant irresistible:
Sum it up. Create a one or two-sentence phrase that communicates your uniqueness. Make your value proposition clear to the customer (unlike a slogan, which is typically just catchy, without necessarily expressing value). In other words, state what’s in it for the customer. Use this phrase in your marketing messages.
Create Concise Messages. When communicating your unique selling point, get to the point quickly! For instance, 40-character Facebook, and 100-character Twitter posts have shown to have higher engagement rates.
Be creative. Find a way to express your unique selling point in a memorable way, using your own distinct brand personality. Perhaps a series of YouTube videos will help you set the tone for your brand. Or, check out Grubhub’s guide to starting an email marketing program.
Here are several things you can do to make sure every aspect of your restaurant lives up to your promise:
Menu. Make any necessary tweaks so your menu reflects your brand personality in content and style. For instance, delete items that don’t align with your brand. Also, use colors, fonts, images and descriptive copy that appeals to your target customer. Check out Grubhub’s some simple tips on menu engineering.
Innovation. Adjust operations to deliver on the expectations you’ve set. For instance, if your value proposition is to make customers’ lives easier, have systems in place to back that up: online ordering and tracking, alternative payments, etc.
Training. Make sure your unique selling proposition resonates internally with your staff. Set clear objectives and guidelines to help them represent your brand successfully.
These techniques will help you fully utilize your inherent strengths to attract and retain a customer base that values and rewards your uniqueness.