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When building  your restaurant, a ton of thought goes into what type of customers you want visiting your business, what kind of food you want to serve for them, what type of atmosphere you want to create for their experience, and more. Additionally, you also need to take the time to determine how your restaurant will be successful through the customers who  will be ordering online and in-house. Here are a few things to consider when trying to understand the needs and wants of your target customers.

It starts with location

One of the most important things you can do to set your restaurant up for success is find the proper location. A late night pizza joint two blocks from a college campus will most likely draw in students for a midnight snack or quick in-between class lunch. An affordable sushi bar located downtown in a city will draw working professionals in for lunch and business meetings. By understanding your location, you can truly dive into what kind of food to provide to your customers. Research the population groups within a few miles of your restaurant to better understand who will be showing up at your restaurant.

Are you choosing a location that is highly-visible and easy to walk to? Is your restaurant kid-friendly? If your restaurant is located in a family-oriented neighborhood but is not kid-friendly, families most likely will not be dining at your restaurant. The time of day can also affect who might be a potential customer to your restaurant. You might be in a location where diners demand breakfast/brunch/lunch instead of dinner. Paying attention to your customers’ buying patterns can help you determine when you should be open, what you should serve, and who you need to target. Age, marital and/or family status are also important to understand to determine how to price your menu, if customers are looking for a “deal,” and how to market locally in a way that is relevant to your audience.  

Demographics and Marketing

The way you market your restaurant will set customers expectations. If you are looking to attract young professionals who are on all social media channels, try teaming up with a local music venue the distribute flyers or coupons after a popular band performs. One of the top things Millennials look for in a fast food restaurant is creativity and innovation. New items, new events, and different marketing campaigns and promotions also assist in this segment’s needs  for a fresh experience. You will need to invest in the proper tools such as an online ordering component to reach this demographic.  In this case, investment in marketing ideas such as Facebook and Instagram advertising (on a local level) can be leveraged to  raise awareness about your restaurant customers can quickly and simply order food online.

Prices, Menu Items, and Brand

The overall brand of your restaurant should be consistent with the type of customers you want coming to your restaurant. If you are looking to have a restaurant that is California modern, serving healthy salads and smoothies, your restaurant should reflect that with clean decor, minimalist design and branding. Your menu should include local and simple organic ingredients and middle-of-the-road pricing. When investing in tools to use for your restaurant, use something that is customizable and easy-to-use so your customers get a consistent experience when buying from you.

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