Food. It brings people together, it tears them apart and occasionally it forces people to take sides. People have really strong opinions about their choice of food and restaurants which they visit. So whether you are running a restaurant or planning to do so, its important for you to understand these 3 elements which in my humble opinion as a retail interior designer, I feel is crucial to building a profitable food and beverage (F&B) business. So lets jump right in to part 1 of this 2 part article.
No. 1 – Build an Experience around your Food & Beverage (F&B) Business
Far too many times, restaurateurs feel that their customers only come because of the food. Though that is very important, it is also paramount for you to understand that you need to create an experience when people come into your restaurant. It is ultimately about building WOW moments into your restaurant, be it from a service standpoint or from the type of restaurant you want to be. A good example of this would be “The Sugar Factory” in New York which is a unique blend of restaurant, retail outlet and so much more. When you are able to combine a solid experience coupled with design and great food, you are sure to have a profitable F&B business. But how do you start to build and experience into your F&B outlet you may ask? Well, it starts first with 2 very important things. No. 1, you need to understand the kind of food / drink you want to serve and take the time to study the competition you have in that chosen segment. No. 2, focus on identifying who the customer is in that segment and what are their pain points which your competitors are not addressing. Armed with the knowledge of these 2 items, you will be well on your way to building an experience around your F&B business.
No. 2 – Don’t forget about your promotions & other marketing activities
So you have succeeded in building a unique experience for your restaurant, should you sit back, relax and wait for the customers to roll in? In my experience most F&B owners usually do this as they have put 100% of their effort into getting the restaurant up and running that they now feel that they are entitled to take a break. I honestly feel sorry for these people as they forget that getting your restaurant up and running is only the tip of the iceberg.
I cannot tell you how many times I have walked pass new restaurants which don’t bother with any sort of marketing activities or promotions. Even a simple idea of having a weekly special is more than enough to entice potential walk-ins. Another idea you could try is to do an exclusive preview of a new item / menu you have coming up and don’t forget to open it up exclusively to your best customers if you are already running a restaurant or if you are new to the business, do it exclusively to the first 50 who respond to any medium which you will use to advertise or promote your F&B business. A key thing to remember here is that you need to create a sense of urgency to your promotions by getting your customers to take action on your promotion as quickly as possible and not just to take notice of it.
No. 3 – Look for opportunities to cross promote your F&B business
Remember, the idea of this is to create a win-win situation between both collaborators as such you should be looking for potential partners who you can refer business to them and they the same to you. For example, if you were running a smoothie and juice beverage business, a great potential cross promotion partner for you would be a gym. Look into giving their members an exclusive promotion for example, a free size up for every juice or smoothie they buy just by showing you their gym membership card. The purpose of this move is for both businesses to increase the opportunity for brand awareness for their respective businesses whilst also increasing exposure to each others customers. One thing that most cross promotion partners forget is to put these new customers through their own sales funnel to ensure that these new customers will come back again to patronize the business and not treat this cross promotion as a one off promotion. As such, if you are the running the smoothie joint and you are tying up with a gym to cross promote, think about how you can get the customers to first try your smoothies and then keep them coming back again and again.
Staying with the example of the smoothie joint and the gym doing a cross promotion, a great idea would be to give them (i.e gym members) a free drink of your best selling smoothie when they visit your store and then follow up with another promotion maybe a $2 off their next purchase. The idea is to keep them interested in coming back and for you to start the relationship process of turning them into long term customers.
So this represents part 1 of the 2 part series on how to build a profitable Food and Beverage business. The 3 things which were covered were:
1) Building an experience around your F&B business
2) Creating Promotions and Marketing activities to actively from your sales
3) Look for opportunities to Cross Promote your F&B business with another complementary business.
By following these 3 steps you will be well on your way to building a profitable Food & Beverage Business. Come back next week for Part 2 where I cover another 3 methods you can use to grow a profitable Food and Beverage business. #VisCreative #DesignProfitableSpaces #Retail
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