A sure-fire technique for finding customers and attracting them to your restaurant is to keep your offering up to date according to the preferences of the diners. The trend that is spreading more and more in this direction is to share . It seems that customers find great social interest in being able to easily share aspects such as food and space in the restaurants they visit.
A preference that responds to the changes initiated by most industries which henceforth focus their products on people, on the “human” factor . We are witnessing the shift from classic and formal gastronomy to spontaneous gastronomy, entertainment and sharing, in which customers tend to book in restaurants that allow them to have this kind of experience.
What kind of customers are joining the sharing trend?
In general, all types of customers are concerned, but we observe a greater inclination with Generation Y, executives, women and men with purchasing power and middle age, young families … An essential market niche for most restaurants.
Here are 3 ideas so that your restaurant can also adapt to this trend:
A waiter brings several dishes to a group of 4 people and places them in the center of the table. One dish contains roast duck cut into a dozen irregular pieces, another contains sautéed mushrooms, another has vegetables au gratin and a very large bowl is overflowing with a colorful salad. Customers peck here and there in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Does this remind you of anything?
It is a new concept of gastronomic leisure, where customers have the opportunity to discover different recipes and live new experiences. A trend that also helps you reduce the stress that diners can undergo when choosing an option from the menu and the frustration of not knowing if the other dishes would have been better. Sharing allows them to test new tastes, to discover the restaurant’s offer and to be more satisfied. Benefits for the customer, but also for the company.
In restaurants that are adopting this trend, waiters suggest different dishes for customers to share, according to their tastes, and thus allow them to try out various recipes. Some companies go so far as to develop dishes in XL format, designed for a certain number of diners, with an attractive profit margin .
This is the case of the restaurant, L’Arpège , located in Paris, of chef Alain Passard , which serves a dish combining half a duck, half a chicken and chops, specially created to be shared by 4 guests . An option also adopted by other restaurants, in addition to the tapas and aperitif format.
3 groups of 4 people eat seated together at an extra long table distributed so that all the guests are comfortably seated, although they do not know each other. All of them quietly enjoy their meal while sharing the space.
This scene is found more and more. This means that restaurants that integrate into their spaces , extra long tables for several diners (in addition to the classic tables for two and four), will have a competitive advantage and will be able to attract customers who are looking for this new, more informal way of consuming.
In this regard, many restaurants also play with the concept of open kitchens, complementing this “casual” environment, allowing customers to see the dishes being prepared and to enjoy the spectacle of the stoves. An atmosphere reminiscent of great meals with family and friends, where the social aspect and relaxation are essential to the gastronomic experience.
An interesting case represented by Le Bar / M by chef Omar Malpartida in Madrid. A restaurant whose dining room features a long bar that can accommodate 30 guests , at the end of which the chef exercises his magic for all to see. An unusual concept, where customers and staff share very original gastronomic evenings.
Offer a split bill to attract customers
Usually, a group sharing a meal in a restaurant also shares the bill, as each guest will want to pay their share of the meal. A moment which is often tense, because it is necessary to calculate the share of each one, to ask the waiter to pay separately, to make the corresponding modifications before leaving satisfied with the restaurant.
How can we make this moment as relaxed and easy for the customers as it is for the restaurant? The waiter can ask customers if they want to pay separately and provide them with the bill in the form of a shared bill ticket showing the total of the bill divided by the number of diners. No need to take out the calculators. Everyone knows exactly how much to pay.
In the trend of sharing, it is important that the restaurant can offer these divided bill tickets to facilitate the loyalty of these guests. In addition, this method gives customers the feeling that their investment has benefited everyone.
If your restaurant is up to the sharing trend, remember that TheFork’s tools are there to help you effectively. If your restaurant is published on TheFork , you can promote your dishes to share and increase your group bookings . Thanks to the reservation management software, TheFork Manager, you can save the preferences of these customers and thus offer them increasingly personalized attention.
The important thing is that you manage to increase your customer acquisition rate and fill your tables.