The modern Singaporean diner is very willing to spend on our nation’s favourite pastime – food. That doesn’t mean that your restaurant will always be filled with hungry diners though. With lots of healthy competition around, they’re spoilt for choice. If you want them to choose your restaurant over others, you’ll need to serve up an experience that diners absolutely love and can’t wait to come back to. To do so, here are a few key factors to focus on.
1. Variety of food
You may serve excellent food, but are you serving dishes that your potential diner wants to eat right now? People often choose what to eat based on their current mood. So, providing a varied menu will improve the chances of a diner considering your restaurant.
Match this with consistent quality, and you’ll soon earn a reputation that diners will be happy to share with their friends.
“Diners are looking for extraordinary food all the time.”
Chef Cyrille Soenen, Philippines
2. Quality of service
Diners can easily grab a filling meal at a coffee shop or takeaway place, but have chosen to spend their time and money at your restaurant. Show your appreciation by giving them a dining experience they’ll remember. Be sure that your service staff are well-trained, knowledgeable and know how to make every diner feel welcome. You may be surprised at how service can make or break the overall dining experience.
“Good service means knowing everything in a dining room.”
Chef Widhi Joestiarto, Indonesia
Good hygiene is the hallmark of any respectable dining establishment. Besides impressing diners with a pleasant, clean environment to enjoy their meal in, there’s also a very practical reason for keeping your establishment clean – preventing food contamination. After all, between storage, preparation, cooking and serving, there are many ways food can get dirty/contaminated in a restaurant. Ensure that all staff members abide by industry-standard hygiene practices, even if they’re not always easy to enforce. Keep in mind that a single hygiene-related mishap can adversely affect the reputation of even the most beloved restaurants.
“The biggest phobia of chefs is food poisoning. One food poisoning can break a business.”
Location matters. While regulars may be happy to travel a little out of their way to get to your restaurant, first-time customers may skip the trip if you’re located in an area that’s difficult to find or get to – or if there are no complementary entertainment options nearby.
If your restaurant is located in an inconvenient spot, you’ll need to offset your bad location with a little creativity – such as putting up clever signs to help customers find you, or possibly even turning your restaurant’s inaccessibility into a mark of exclusivity!
“If they have good location, service and food, they will have success.”
Chef Tatang, Indonesia
5. Dining experience
The overall dining experience begins from the moment your guests step through your door, to the time they leave. Serving up an extraordinary dining experience takes a combination of great food, warm service, a relaxing atmosphere as well as excellent hygiene.
Build your reputation by providing a unique and satisfying experience your guests will want to talk about with friends and family.
“Because it is not just the food, but the whole gastronomy experience they come for.”
Chef Haikal Johari, Thailand