What Rock Festivals Taught Us About Running a Restaurant

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When
fans get hungry at rock music festivals such as Carolina Rebellion,
restaurant dining tables are the last thing they’re looking for. In
fact, a turkey leg or corn dog is usually sufficient. With this
being said, it wouldn’t seem like there’s much a restaurateur could
learn from one of these festivals. As it turns out, however, there
are quite a few culinary entrepreneurial lessons one could walk away
with.

Have
a Little Something for Everyone
Rock
festivals wouldn’t garner quite as much attention if they catered to
only one group of fans. If the event only had bands similar to
Thousand Foot Krutch, for instance, it’s highly unlikely Megadeath
fans would show up. This is why most rock festivals host a variety
of different bands with different sounds.

Those
looking to fill up restaurant dining tables should heed this lesson.
Sure a steakhouse will be best known for its steaks, but by failing
to offer lighter fare, such as chicken, fish and salads, they’re
excluding a wide range of guests. This can be especially damaging if
someone who loves the restaurant is eating out with an individual who
eats nothing on the menu.

Don’t
Be Afraid of Free Samples
Walking
around Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion or Rockfest makes one
thing obvious: vendors aren’t afraid to hand out free items.
Everyone from Monster Energy Drink to Matador beef jerky shows up at
these events and hands out small item samples of their products.

While
it’s not smart to comp the meal of every patron at a restaurant
booth, a few free items can go a long way. If a manager sees a new
guest come in, a quick introduction accompanied with a dessert sample
can go a long way. Did a server enter the wrong drink order? Why
not surprise a bar table patron with a quick freebie?

This
is a great way to create happy customers who keep coming back.

Utilize
the Latest Apps
Rock
on the Range, Carolina Rebellion and a host of other rock festivals
have integrated the newest technologies into the fan experience. The
aforementioned two events, for instance, have both created their own
apps to enhance attendees’ enjoyment of the festivals.

While
it’s not necessary for a restaurant to create its own app, it
wouldn’t hurt to utilize a few of them to makes guests’ lives easier.
OpenTable, for instance, allows patrons to create online
reservations. Setting up with Apple Pay or Google Wallet will also
make many customers happy. Whenever a restaurateur can utilize
technology correctly, they’re in for a great experience.

The
month of May is lovingly referred to as the "World’s Loudest
Month" thanks to the number of rock festivals that take place.
The lessons learned at these events, however, can prove beneficial to
restaurants throughout the year. Paying attention to loud musical
events may seem like the last way to fill up restaurant dining
tables, but when a restaurateur notices the underlying lessons, they
can utilize them for success.