Since 2010, the restaurant industry in India has grown at a steady rate of 15–20%, annually. Lucrative as it may be, owning a restaurant requires a significant amount of investment and a lot of hard work. To sustain yourself in this highly competitive market, your eatery needs to distinguish itself from the competition. You can do this through many ways, right from buying out your competition to hiring acclaimed chefs.
To finance your activities, you can consider taking an easy, unsecured business loan from Bajaj Finserv, which offers you funds up to Rs. 80 lakh at a nominal interest rate, within 48 hours. To thrive in the fast-paced F&B market, you can avail instant financing by checking your pre-approved loan offer from Bajaj Finserv without the hassles of long queues, forms or processes.
However, here we look at cost-effective steps that you can take to stand out amongst your competition.
1. Analyse your target audience and your competition
A good market analysis will tell you what people prefer to eat in the area where you have set shop. You may want to add a list of continental food to your menu for instance, but people in that area may prefer traditional Indian cuisine. So, base your menu on good research and spend time on knowledge gathering. Simultaneously, study your competitors. What are they offering and what can you learn from them? Mimicking a good idea is a smart move and eliminating something that doesn’t work helps you avoid the same mistakes at your restaurant. For example, if you see that having just one card machine is creating havoc at your competitor’s restaurant, you can make sure you have several machines for customer convenience. If you see that having a free cake for customer birthdays is creating loyalty, start that practice at your business and see how you can make it even better.
2. Leverage your location
If you, for various reasons, are not located at a prime location, then ensure you advertise at a prime location closest to you. This way you can attract customers via minimal marketing efforts. Visibility at a busy locale will tempt people to try out your food, so you can have people handing out flyers or put up a standee at a busy junction, for example. Another way to attract customers by location is to offer a parking space and advertise this if you are located in a busy marketplace.
3. Create a brand
It is important that people recognise and appreciate the service, food and experience that you provide. Whether you serve fast food, gourmet cuisine or traditional dishes, put in some effort to educate your audience. You can do this by creating a story and printing it in your menu card, via a coffee table book at your restaurant and via your social media activities. Understand who your customers are and direct your efforts towards them. If you, for example, get office goers in for lunch, create a marketing campaign around fast lunches as your USP.
4. Pay attention to customer service
Going out for a meal is a personal experience and customer satisfaction is paramount. Good food with poor service, impolite staff or bad ambience will not improve your market position. Tailor your efforts to ensure that the customer is looked after and attended to. Ask for feedback and make adjustments based on recommendations. Hire well-trained, efficient staff and you will win half the battle.
5. Provide top-notch quality consistently
Hire the right people to ensure that a thorough quality check is performed from sourcing raw ingredients to serving the final dish at a table. This is the only way you will be able to distinguish yourself from hundreds of other restaurants.
Deteriorating food and presentation will adversely affect your ratings, as most people post reviews immediately online. By emphasising quality alongside quantity (or portion size), you can maintain your brand and are likely to attract new customers.
By paying attention to these simple points, you can save time, money and resources, which you can then invest into further growing your business.
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