Recently a restaurant owner told me that he thinks that the most important elements for food outlet success are: -
5. Escape plan
This is what most people think but we all know restaurants that have these things and fail; hence the need for an escape plan. We also all know restaurants that don’t have all or even most of these elements yet they somehow get away with it.
But I don’t know any restaurant that has succeeded well for long without sincerity. It’s the one vital ingredient.
Small independent restaurant owners can sincerely engage their customers with the simple power of their personalities; perhaps leveraged with interesting social media posts.
Big chains operators engage us with a well-trained team and a thoughtful design that runs right through all their customer touch points. These things can compensate for a failure of any of the other elements, so long as they are sincere.
Of course it’s best if you have a great location, menu, service and atmosphere too but unless you find a way to engage sincerely chances are they won’t be enough. They are just a way to start the conversation, they’re not enough to prolong it.
People like to talk about themselves. They like it when we listen to them. So, as I wrote before, your restaurant is not about you, it’s about your customers, and customers respond best when you listen, sincerely.