What do your
guests want? If you think they want local produce, environmentally friendly
practices or “green” dining,
you are right; but, only in part. One of the strongest driving forces behind
dining trends is customization. The ability to tailor make your meal is gaining
footing all over and continuing that trend into your dining room will help you
establish your eatery as the place to go.
Carefully to Fill Restaurant Dining Chairs
The more you
look around, the more you see that the newest, hottest restaurants in the fast
casual industry design their menus around customization. Places like Subways
have long done so, and have thrived as a result. Looking for specifics?
Consider Chipotle, Pei Wei and Buffalo Wild Wings. All these restaurants allow
the diner to pick just about every aspect of their meal, and their market share
is expanding daily.
So, how do
you make this work for you? You have two choices; go with a custom ordering line,
like the first two, or provide a menu designed for individualization, like the
Once you have
tackled the initial issue, creating a menu that is designed for individual
creativity, you have to figure out how to seat people. It really depends upon
the crowd you draw. Fast casual establishments are designed to move people
through rather rapidly, while still providing a sense of quality. A mix of
smaller group tables, four-tops, and tables for single diners is best. This
lets people customize their eating experience too; alone or with a group.
furniture that can take a lot of wear and tear, since you will probably have
rapid turn-over at mealtimes. Also look for surfaces that are easy to clean.
The more intricate the furniture, the more difficult it is to get food and
other materials out of the nooks and crannies.
selections. The best way to give people what they want, and still remain
manageable is to offer a limited selection that is designed to work together.
Your menu doesn’t have to be
enormous, that only makes things harder on the kitchen. Target a niche and
stick to it.
to maximize the customized experience is to take it to the people, even before
they enter your doors. Online ordering and smart-phone apps can let your guests
save time by preplanning their requests or even order as they set out. They can
walk in, give their order number and grab their personalized meal at once,
giving them the maximum amount of time at a restaurant table.
Does all this
seem like too much effort? Don’t
be fooled by your first impression. Once you make the change to a more
customizable menu you will quickly see the benefits; improved customer
satisfaction and increased loyalty.