Good customer service is not the answer.
Good customer service, delicious food, and a clean atmosphere are no longer all the ingredients you need for success in the food industry. While all are still necessary, you also need to add experiences into the mix to survive. According to Eventbrite, 75% of people would pay more money for a unique dining experience. This shift is creating an exciting movement within the food industry!
The opportunities for creating experiences around the dinner table are limitless and creative. Just a simple touch can go a long way with customers, and today we want to break down a few ways you can incorporate experiences for your guests no matter the budget.
Speaking of budgets, we understand money can be tight when reviews are down and it can stand in the way of building an entirely new dining experience. However, it’s necessary to survive. Fortunately, there are several ways you can implement memorable dining experiences for guests using cost and time effective methods:
- Adjust the lighting and music to create a new ambiance
- Implement community dining if it fits your brand
- Create a share-worthy experience for guests to share on social
- Offer a food menu item that is unique and gathers the attention of everyone at the table to enjoy. It can be anything from beautiful graze boards to new food trends, like CBD.
- Live cooking demonstrations and mingling with the chef
- Feature a guest chef, entertainer or bartender
If you are looking to invest a bit more, pop-ups are now on the rise for caterers and restaurants. Pop-ups take it a step further than food trucks and create new dining experiences in temporary places. This experience creates a rush of excitement as the space is only around for a limited time and it’s been a growing method to interact with a new community and test the waters of a location.
To give you better insight into pop-ups, we interviewed Plant-Based Nutrition Chef, Liz Murphy on her experience with the new trend:
As a chef, what is your favorite aspect about pop-ups?
Food pop-ups allow me to interact and reach customers I wouldn't be able to in a private event environment. I also love it because it benefits the local businesses around the pop-up, which is really important.
What has been the overall response with your customers?
I've been blown away by the response to the pop-ups. I've been popping up outside of Sonora Refillery in Oceanside - we decided to try it out not knowing if anyone would even stop by, but we've sold out BOTH events so far which is really exciting.
Are you mostly bringing in new customers or attracting current when you set up in new locations?
So far it's been a combination of both. It's been amazing to have the support of my tribe and then to meet new people that see the event on social media or a local flyer.
How is this affecting your business overall?
I really feel that these pop-ups are expanding my reach in a new way that couldn't be done through conventional methods. It's face to face (or food to face) interaction which makes such a different and lasting impact.
How frequently do you host pop-ups?
I'm currently hosting pop-ups every other Tuesday at Sonora Refillery in Oceanside and hope to add a few locations throughout the summer.
Santosha Nutrition's Instagram page is the best way to keep up with all of the events and pop-ups.
Are you creating a unique dining experience for your guests? We would love to hear by sharing in the comments below.