How Independent Restaurants Can Beat the Larger Chains
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How Independent Restaurants Can Beat the Larger Chains

The big restaurant chains can be found in nearly every town and city in Britain, but many have suffered some heavy losses in recent years.

Pizza Express’ sales dropped by 0.9% between 2015 and 2016, so their marketing efforts now include jazz nights, salsa dancing, and even stand up comedy sets alongside their menu. 12 Jamie’s Italian restaurants have closed, Byron Burger is closing nearly a third of its sites, and 1000 jobs are at risk at Prezzo restaurants throughout the country.

These losses aren’t affecting all restaurants though, there’s still plenty of room for independent restaurants to grow and thrive in ways the chains can’t compete with.

Fill Your Instagram with High-Quality Images

18-35 year olds “spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram” and 30% won’t book if a restaurant doesn’t have an existing Instagram presence. This is a huge section of society, many of them avid restaurant-goers and appreciators of a nicely arranged plate. To excite their imagination and make booking even easier, your restaurant needs a highly visual and compelling Instagram presence. You don’t need to hire marketing assistants to make it happen either, it’s something you the owner, and your staff, can all contribute to.

Find Your Niche and Stick With It

Some diners avoid chain restaurants because they don’t want a generic experience, they want something unique. If you’re offering modern Italian cuisine, make sure your surroundings are clean, fresh and match up to the mood. If your restaurant is more of a traditional gastro pub, a rural setting and cosy atmosphere is exactly what your diners are looking for. All renovations and upgrades should complement your theme and presence in your local area, because it’s what you’ll become known for.

Upgrade Your Digital Systems

Ambience and menu choice is one thing, but ultimately people are looking for a seamless, enjoyable experience too. An up-to-date POS and booking system will make it easy for diners to book online, your team to manage numbers, and your kitchen to deliver what’s expected. Independent restaurants can be just as efficient as a major national chain with the right tools and softwares.

Tell Your Diners a Story

Your menu is unique to your restaurant and every dish has a story to tell. Where did your ingredients come from, who created the original recipe, how do your chefs create the dish? All of these things will be interesting to the diner and make the experience more personal.

Use your menu, chalkboards, website, and social media presence to show your regulars and new diners just how special your restaurant is.

If you’d like to develop your restaurant business, contact Capify for a quick quote. You could raise between £3,500 and £500,000 to pay for refurbishment, marketing campaigns, or new stock – whatever your business needs to grow.

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