Survey Finds Exactly What Restaurateurs Should Focus on for Success

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It takes a variety of things to make a restaurant successful. Marketing and an online presence are obviously essential, but everything from comfortable café chairs to an exclusive alcoholic beverage can keep people coming back. A recent survey from Daniels College of Business, though, discovered which attributes could convince patrons to spend more. It turns out that their results surprised just about every culinary entrepreneur.

Food Quality
Food quality is certainly an important aspect of running a successful restaurant. After all, it’s hard to imagine anyone occupying the restaurant booth of an eatery whose food they don’t enjoy. The surprising thing is that, of the attributes asked about in the Daniels College survey, food quality ranked dead last of the main surveyed attributes.

Of course, no goal-oriented restaurateur would view this finding as an excuse to ease up on food quality. While respondents to the survey may have ranked this last, it doesn’t mean they’ll stick around and spend more just because the other attributes are above par.

Customer Service
This may be no surprise, but consumers stated that great customer service does better than food quality at convincing them to spend more. Of course, when the two are combined, it’s a perfect combination that can gain people’s loyalty.

Restaurateurs should ensure that customer service is an integral part of their training regimen. Because, as it turns out, service is more important than food.

Maybe the most surprising finding was the fact that customers named ambiance as the main attribute that would decide whether they’d spend more money. More important than both service and food quality, a great atmosphere in a restaurant, whether it’s loaded with bar tables or café chairs, can make patrons comfortable with paying higher prices for their experience.

What does this mean? It means that, no matter what a restaurant specializes in, they should make the experience about more than food or service. The other two should never be overlooked, but eateries with a compelling ambiance typically do better when asking for higher prices.

Cuisine Type

Although it’s not more important than the aforementioned attributes, a restaurant’s cuisine type can also dictate how much a person is willing to spend. While everything from Mexican to German fare is typically cooked on the same commercial restaurant equipment, people still think that one is worth more than the other.

The strange thing is that this isn’t about food quality. It’s about how much work patrons believe has gone into preparing the food. People are willing to pay more in a French restaurant than a Chinese restaurant, for instance, because they believe French cuisine is inherently more laborious. For culinary geniuses who are considering expanding their menu, this is an important realization to keep in mind.

There are innumerable factors that dictate whether a restaurant is successful or not. When it comes to making money, though, everything depends on how much the eatery can charge. And while no aspect of customer satisfaction should ever be overlooked, focusing on the aforementioned attributes will get those café chair occupants to break out the big bucks.