How to Open a Restaurant 02: Restaurants Unique Selling Point

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How to Open a Restaurant 02: Restaurants Unique Selling Point

Last week we discussed how to choose a location when you are opening a restaurant. This week we are going to look at your unique selling point or how to be different than the competition.

Just because you have the best food in town and the best customer service in town doesn’t mean you are going to be busy. Opening a restaurant means you need to find your unique selling point USP.

History of the Unique Selling Point

How many of you have heard of a unique selling point? Opening up a restaurant your going to have to learn what yours is. So pay attention. Unique selling point isn’t anything new it was actually introduced back in the 40’s by Rosser Reeves. A unique selling point is a way to be different than the competition it sets you apart from them. “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.” Rosser Reeves

Here are a few examples of other restaurant’s Unique Selling Points:

Papa John’s “Better Ingredients Better Pizza”

Burger King “Made to order”

Mongolian BBQ “The original create your own stir fry”

Domino’s in the 80’s was “30 minutes or less”

If you enjoy this post you may also enjoy this one : Being Different Than The Competition

Every business should have a unique selling point – it is what sets apart your business from other businesses offering similar services or products. Most restaurant owners have a slogan for instance “Authentic gourmet Chinese Cuisine” or “Simply Authentic Italian”. But these catchphrases or slogans by themselves are not enough to attract and retain a loyal customer base. These statements alone are tough to market to your customers because they may be construed to mean other things. For instance, your prices are higher than a average restaurant, if you offer the best meals then you are mostly likely to be booked up all the time. A powerful selling point will not only help you to avert this dilemma but it will also help you to tap into the most effective type of advertising there is – word of mouth from your satisfied customers.

Years Before My First Restaurant

Looking back at my research before I opened my first pizzeria I found a book where I had written down I wanted to have a pizza for everyone. As an example I wrote down BBQ shrimp pizza. Within the first year of being open I had just that. I had grown my menu to over 45 different pizzas that not everyone had. In fact I was the only one in  my demographic area that had pizzas like the ones I had.

Here are five things you need to do to uncover your restaurants unique selling point to help you increase your sales and keep you at the top of. 

How to Open a Restaurant and Create Your Unique Selling Point

1. Make a list of reasons why your customers prefer to buy your product instead of your competitors. 

As a restaurateur you should think of any special benefits you currently offer your customers. Some of them include a diverse menu, a wine variety, remarkable customer service, a strategic location, an open kitchen or good music. Your customers, employees and other service providers are in a position to offer the most valuable information to help you in identifying these features.

Ask your customers casually why they prefer your restaurant over another restaurant or eatery they are familiar with. By asking them to rate the unique features offered by the other business you can ask how you can improve your services to meet their expectations. 

Some aspects that can help you to identify your restaurants unique selling point include 

Customer Service: Are your customers treated with an attitude like a Dicks restaurant.

Variety of Menu Items like at Dukes Pizza Plus

Original and quality dishes : What sets your dishes apart from the restaurants next door? 

Presentation of your meals : presentation of your dish even if it’s a pizza can go a long ways.

Your restaurant space – whether it is ideal for a whole family, couples, students and people with disabilities, are you more of a wi –fi gaming place

Furniture and decoration – beautiful decorations, candles, table cloths, artwork on the walls bean bag chairs and the appropriate lighting 

Excellent customer service – courteous and helpful attendants or are they served with attitude like mentioned above.

Attendants dress code – restaurant’s brand clothes is there a dress code or are people encourage to dress in 60’s clothing what makes you different?

2. Make a list of special services and dining experiences your competitors offer but you don’t.

If you are a new restaurateur, you won’t have many customers at first thus you should learn the landscape of the business from your competitors. When developing your business’ unique selling point , you can have your chefs and other crucial employees routinely drop by a competitor’s joint and pick up some of their best practices which you can improve on. You can have one of them ask several customers after they leave the premise what they like or dislike about their services.

For instance, do they have a bigger dining area than your restaurants? Do they have a highly reputable chef who you cannot match? Do they play live music from a favorite music band? With such ideas in mind you will be able to come up with a selling point that does not leave you at a disadvantage in terms of having to compromise on profits and other business aspects such as remuneration and general expenditures

3. List the ways which you can improve on special services and dining experience.

Once you have a list of the things that make your competitors unique, you can proceed to make your unique selling point while taking advantage of this information to benefit your restaurant.

For instance, if your competitor has a more expansive dining area, you can decide to make your dining area more colorful by strategically placing artwork and paintings on the walls. You can also set up your restaurant in such a way that the limited area works to your advantage by offering close proximity to couples or family members when dinning. 

You should also remember that price is not the only factor that your customers will consider. If your competitors have a competitive edge on pricing because of their size and market dominance, you can find another feature that addresses your customers’ desire then build your sales, services and other promotional offers around that feature

4. Decide what emotional need you want to satisfy with your products and services 

Frequently, most entrepreneurs tend focus too much on their business needs therefore they end up ignoring the needs of their customers which are very crucial. When developing a unique selling point, you should stop thinking about operations and carefully examine what your customers really want. Be it a quality meal, friendly attendants, reliable and convenient service or a serene environment for a family evening meal or even a first date. Then proceed to come up with a service that caters for the experience of your target customers. 

You can also apply some human touch to your services with the help of your employees. For instance, if you have a recipe that people appreciate and enjoy you can have one of the chef who prepared the meals talk to your customers. You can also use multilingual waiters and waitresses who can communicate with customers in their first languages.

5. Create a concise unique selling phrase about a product or a service that you offer that your competitors do not have. 

Most customers respond to concise and outstanding messages. If you can articulate the uniqueness of your restaurant in precise words or a phrase and constantly use it to promote your restaurant, you will definitely stand out. Make a summary of your exceptional products or services that you offer in your restaurant that are at the center of the experience offered by you business. 

After coming up with a summary of the unique selling points for your restaurant, review and edit it several times to make sure that it is clear and comprehensive. Finally write it in one paragraph statement then edit it while focusing on the core message until you get a clear and unique selling point that can be immediately recognized and associated with your restaurant. Make it as memorable as possible.

Finally, remember to share the short message or the phrase with your employees and customers. Most importantly, you should include it in your sales and marketing materials. Make it short and to the point.

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