Food may be a need that will never go out of style, but the same can’t be said of restaurants. Just because people need food doesn’t mean you can expect your food service to be failure-proof.
Many restaurants just open their doors and expect people to flood in. Do that, and you’ll fail. Figure out your target market and your ideal customer, and you’ll edge the odds of success in your favor.
Where Are You Located?
Location is important. It’ll not only determine how much traffic you get but the kind of traffic you get. Put it up near a lot of outsourcing agencies, you’ll attract business-minded people and professionals. Malls tend to attract families and teenagers.
Depending on how you approach the restaurant business, you’ll either let location decide your theme and menu or vice-versa. It’s important to figure this out ahead of time so you don’t end up having to adjust a fast-food menu for a business meeting crowd.
What’s the Theme or Concept of the Restaurant?
The kind of theme the restaurant has must reflect the tastes of the audience you want or can attract. People who want to relax or have a good time may opt to go for a sports-bar kind of affair, one with drinks, bar food, and widescreen televisions. Family-style restaurants prefer a cozier scene, with warmer colors and menus appropriate for all ages.
Figuring out your theme focuses your menu and your efforts and makes sure you never forget your ideal customer or your target market. This can also help when it comes time to figure out the menu. Many meals can be adjusted to fit your theme or concept.
Who Will Enjoy What You Have?
The kind of food you serve will also have a strong impact on who will actually enjoy it. High-end dishes will serve a richer clientele, while buffet-style establishments will likely attract middle-class customers or people looking to get the most out of your money. Your menu is tied to your concept – what your concept attracts and traps should match with what you’re serving. Bar food doesn’t fit well with a family restaurant.
How Expensive is Your Menu?
Pricing matters in a restaurant business. It must match your target market’s wallets, as well as the expected price range for a restaurant with your theme and menu. It must also match the kind of clientele in your area. Figuring out who you’re selling to will help determine how expensive your menu should be, and not just because it fits their expected price range.
Some people are willing to pay more for ambiance or because it is viewed as the right price range for your food. You should also take into mind what an average meal in your restaurant would be, not just individual items.
No restaurant business has ever succeeded without figuring out who will be eating their food. It’s a difficult task, and you’ll often have to jump back and forth between your price, theme, menu, and location, as you figure out your target market.
It can get frustrating, but it is worth the effort. Wrongly identify your market or price things wrong and your business will fail before it ever really gets off the ground.