Updated: Aug 7, 2021
In hospitality, where consumers are king, keeping up with style trends to attract repeat business time and time again, is challenging.
For restaurant owners and franchisees, standing out is crucial. Prospective guests have plenty of venues to choose from - venues that offer very similar food and drinks menus.
Consumers are always looking for that memorable experience and one that they can tell their friends and family all about. That all important customer experience is about innovation. It’s creatively making use of the space you have, listening to local customers views and its prioritising comfort.
From a business growth point of view, your restaurant’s experience also needs to factor in marketing: how are you going to encourage visitors to purchase more?
Hostelry proprietors – your top 5 considerations:
1. Interior design
Your restaurant’s interior design underpins the whole customer experience.
Think about the colours – what emotions or feelings do they bring about, how do they tie into your brand image? Also consider the lighting – are you looking to create an intimate low-lit experience, or a bright social occasion?
It’s about every detail – and that includes the restrooms. Part of the public experience, customers want cleanliness and consistent style, so that means your WCs should do their bit to amplify the whole pub, café or restaurant experience. Many consumers will choose not to visit a restaurant again based on the state of the restrooms.
2. Customer service
Think about the actual service. How are you delivering the food or drink to your customers? For example, are they queuing at a check-out desk, driving through a drive thru, or ordering online and picking up their order through click and collect?
How is your restaurant space designed to accommodate queues? How will takeaway order wait points impact on sit-in experiences?
Consumer experience is about every sense.
Taste: you’re running a successful restaurant – this one is second nature and will often speak for itself in your food or drink. There’s also the metaphorical ‘taste’ as in ‘style’. Does your décor accentuate or detract from what’s on offer on your menu?
Smell: this is about more than the food itself. Think about where tables are located – proximity to restrooms or kitchen, for example. Designing with kitchen aromas in mind can mean situating it so passers-by are enticed to come in.
Touch: physical comfort is a crucial part of the overall consumer experience. Ensure you factor in adequate heating and ventilation to ensure an ambient and comfortable temperature. This will keep customers staying longer and spending more with your business.
Sight: what is in the eyeline of each customer when sat at a table? What are their eyes drawn towards? Consider creating a spotlight walkway for food to pass through, encouraging more orders from your customers.
Hear: music is important – it needs to match the overall ‘feel’ of your restaurant. Too loud or too quiet, customers will likely move on more quickly to continue their conversations anywhere.
What social occasion are you looking to create? Is it about an intimate venue for couples and close friends or family? Or a party-atmosphere for celebrations and large friendship groups to come together?
The whole space should pivot around the social purpose in mind.
5. How will the space be unique?
Perhaps most importantly, how will the space be different or unique? How will you stand out and create an experience for your customers to remember?
Consider the core focus – think about offering windows of insights into kitchens or brew rooms to fuel consumer curiosity, for example. Or it could even be about the seats and tables themselves – pod designs are becoming much more popular with consumers as a more private way to enjoy public dining.
Every restaurant and space is unique – the experience you offer to your customers should be too.
Creativity and innovation are key.
Do you have a retail space you’d love to bring to life?: Get in touch.
Alternatively, take a look at some of recent projects here.