As you will probably know, there are tons of great restaurants in Canarsie, which means there is a whole lot of competition for any of you out there who run your own eaterie or are thinking of doing so.
So, it goes without saying, that anything you can do to give your restaurant the edge is a must in the current climate, and that means making your deli, diner, or fine dining establishment as inviting as possible, because the more welcoming it is, the more people it is going to attract, right?
Okay, but how exactly do you do that? Here are a few things that will help:
1. The Sweet Sound of Music
Music in a restaurant is like the seasoning on your fries – it needs to be just right. Too loud, and you’re practically shouting the specials over a rock concert. Too soft, and you might as well be whispering sweet nothings to your brussels sprouts. It’s your job to find the music that set just the right one for your business. Classical,
Latin music for your customers, or acoustic covers can create a warm, inviting atmosphere – just steer clear of anything that could double as a lullaby or a mosh pit anthem.
2. Lighting: Set the Mood
Lighting in your restaurant should be like a good Instagram filter: flattering but not fake. You want your guests to feel cozy, not like they’ve wandered onto the set of a horror movie. Soft, warm lighting makes food look appetizing and people look like they’ve had a full eight hours of sleep – a win-win!
3. The Art of the Menu
A menu isn’t just a list of dishes; it’s the opening chapter of your culinary story. Keep it clear, descriptive, and enticing – nobody should need a magnifying glass or a dictionary to figure out what they’re ordering. Consider including some local favorites or signature dishes that make guests feel like they’re in for a treat unique to your establishment.
4. Engaging Service with a Smile
Your staff are the heart and soul of the dining experience. Friendly, attentive (but not overly clingy) service can make even a mediocre meal feel special. Train your team to read the room – know when to offer suggestions, when to refill glasses, and when to give guests space. And smiles, lots of smiles – they should be as plentiful as Parmesan on pasta.
5. Comfort is King
Comfortable seating is a must – nobody wants to spend their meal shifting in a chair that feels like a medieval torture device. And please, for the love of comfort, ensure there’s enough space between tables. Your guests shouldn’t have to perform gymnastics just to get to their seats.
6. A Welcoming Decor
Your decor should whisper, not scream. It should reflect your restaurant’s personality, whether it’s quirky, elegant, or rustic. Artwork, plants, or even a well-placed bookshelf can
add character. Just remember: less is often more. You’re going for ‘chic bistro’, not ‘yard sale chic’.
7. The Little Touches
It’s the little things that count, like clean restrooms stocked with essentials, or offering to hang guests’ coats. These small gestures show you care about their entire experience, not just what’s on the plate.
8. Cater to the Kids
If you’re family-friendly, make sure it shows. Have some coloring sheets, a kid’s menu (bonus points for creative, non-greasy options), and maybe a small play area if space allows. Happy kids equal happy parents, which equals return visits.
9. Specials That Sparkle
Daily or weekly specials can add an extra element of excitement and encourage people to come in to see what’s new. Use these to showcase seasonal ingredients or experimental dishes. It keeps the menu fresh and gives regulars something new to try.
10. Embrace Feedback
It’s always good to encourage and actually listen to customer feedback. Whether it’s a comment card, a friendly chat, or an online review, customer opinions are like gold dust. Well, gold dust mixed with a bit of constructive criticism.
11. Community Connection
If you want your place to feel as welcoming as possible, then you need to be more than a business – you need to be part of the neighborhood fabric, and that means getting involved in the stuff your neighbors do, whether it’s sponsoring a local kids football team or donating money to help repair the church roof. You’ll be part of the community and as such, people will always feel welcome with you.Here’s to a more welcoming restaurant, and a much more profitable one, as a result, too, of course.