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Neighborhood Research

Is your restaurant or retail shop among a slew of other choices? What makes a patron choose you instead of someone else? Sure, maybe you have the best tacos, sushi, spaghetti in town. Maybe you're catching the guests in the mood for exactly that. But what about someone who doesn't know what they want? How are you grabbing their attention, reeling them into your restaurant instead of driving them somewhere else?

One of our New York City consultants was out for a late business dinner in SoHo the other night. With no real place in mind, the group ventured to a restaurant with outdoor seating--the night was warm and there was a breeze. But when they approached the patio of a favorite go-to spot, the hostess said they stopped seating on the patio at 9 p.m. So the group moved on to the next place, to find an outdoor table. For them, the setting and enjoying the evening outside was more important than the type of food the restaurant was serving.

Just across the street? A restaurant with a patio open late. Clearly, this restaurant owner had done some ground work. Outdoor seating is a big deal, especially approaching the summer months. Patrons looking for a sidewalk table might be willing to try someplace new for that experience rather than squeezing inside on a warm evening just for food they already know. The neighboring restaurant was smart to keep their patio open later, and likely they benefit from much new patronage this way.

So what else can you learn to attract new guests just by offering a small nuance? Does your neighborhood bar's happy hour end at 7 p.m.? What if you extended yours into the dinner hour? Drink specials until 7:30 might send some new guests your way! Or late night dessert and wine pairings! Few restaurants stay open late specifically for the after-dinner dessert crowd. 

Poke around your neighborhood. Some reconnaissance might be the key to jump-starting new marketing ideas. Want some help? Contact our consultants to boost your business and marketing plans!