The Fast Track to Upgrading Your Guests’ Dining Experience
In this article, we are going to look at how you can transform your diners’ experience in both the short and the long term. Whether you want to turn your café into a fine dining venue to celebrate a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day or you wish to make longer lasting changes that will ensure discerning customers continue to patronise your Michelin-starred eatery on a regular basis, you will be able to use some of the ideas below to achieve your aims.
Rapid and Affordable Solutions
While it is certainly not necessary to wait for a dramatic drop in custom before you decide to make big changes to your restaurant or café, human nature dictates that it is not until such an event occurs that most owners will be motivated to make the changes that are required to keep their business running profitably. All of the suggestions below can be implemented rapidly, making them suitable for emergency situations, but they can just as easily be slotted into a well thought out plan of attack to ward off a drop in custom before it actually happens
- Quality Linen Makes All the Difference – The quickest and easiest way to provide your customers with a superior dining experience is to upgrade your table settings: replace paper serviettes and plastic tablecloths with freshly laundered napkins and table coverings made from the best linen available. Even if you are serving no frills English breakfasts to passing travellers who are used to less salubrious surroundings, a simple change such as this will make a big difference to the way they think about your café and will certainly make it stand out from the competition.
Investing in a large quantity of high quality linen to upgrade your table settings would be an expensive undertaking and one that would be inadvisable if you are unsure of the effect that your actions are going to have on turnover. A much better idea would be to find a laundry services and linen hire company that caters to hotels, restaurants and cafés in South Wales, such as ourselves. That way, you can test your new ideas without having to use all your capital reserves in the process. In the event that your changes have the desired effect, you can then decide whether you wish to purchase your own table linen or continue to take advantage of the convenience that hiring it offers.
- Redecorating – While not a good choice for one-off special occasions, and an option that will certainly require a small investment on your part, repainting the walls and ceiling in the dining area of your establishment is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to effect a major change and one that is sure to be noticed by all of your customers. When carried out at the same time as an upgrade to your table settings, it will make a huge impact on your clientele.
Smaller establishments may find it tempting to handle the redecorating process without any outside help but for best results, it is worth spending a little more and hiring a team of professional painters to carry out the necessary work. If you are not sure who to trust with such a job, asking industry contacts in South Wales who they have used in the past is a good place to start. Painters and decorators with experience of working in the hospitality industry are more likely to understand the time constraints under which you will be working and just how important it is for them to finish the work on time and within budget.
- Live Entertainment – The vast majority of restaurants in Cardiff, Swansea and other cities in the area rarely take a chance on live entertainment in case it puts off more diners than it attracts. However, if you wish to stand out from the crowd and ensure that your establishment makes a big impression on new customers, booking a live band is a great idea that could lead to a big boost in future turnover.
You should of course make sure that any live music you provide is in keeping with the character of your restaurant so if you are catering to diners who appreciate fine wines and contemporary cuisine, a hard rock band may not be the best choice. A string quartet, on the other hand, could be the perfect complement to the type of dishes you are serving in such an establishment.
Putting It All Together
The best way to maximise the impact of changes such as those suggested above is to coordinate them carefully and introduce them all at the same time. This can be an excellent strategy if you are trying to rescue an ailing business as it is sure to attract the attention of local diners from across South Wales. On the other hand, if you already have a thriving business and you are looking for an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary way to attract new custom, introducing each idea individually is probably the best idea.
We highly recommend starting with quality table linen as it has been shown to be one of the first things that diners notice when visiting a new establishment and if you would like any help in this area, the team at Stalbridge Linen will of course be delighted to be of assistance.