By Ryan Loose
Creating new business is one of the most important things a restaurant or bar owner has to do. New business means more repeat customers which means more money. However, after you’ve been open for awhile and the charm of "that new place down the road" wears off, you’re going to need to think of new ways to make customers walk through your door. The secret? It’s all about being innovative and interesting. Here are a few ways to be creative with your menu and generate new business for your business.
I took my friends out to a local brew pub for dinner the other night. My buddy and I are self proclaimed beer snobs, and enjoy brew pubs because we get to sample a lot of different types of beer. This particular brew pub always has new and exciting seasonal selections, and often times they’ll try a new take on a classic taste. I scanned the list, and my "beer senses" (like Spidey-senses, but better) zeroed in on a nice Belgian ale. But this was no ordinary Belgian ale. Apparently they were adding your choice of two syrups to the beer when ordered. Woodruff or blackberry. This was new to me. I’ve heard of adding a squeeze of orange or lemon, but not syrup. So, of course I had to try it. The thought of blackberry made me gag, physically. At the table. So I went with the woodruff. Wow. The combination was shocking and refreshing, alarming and pleasant all at the same time. The slight hint of sweetness made it a perfect summer beer, one I would definitely go back to order again. This type of innovation, putting a spin on an existing product, is one of the best ways to intrigue would be customers and create new business.
Did you know that there’s only one bar that sells Flaming Dr. Peppers where I live? I’m serious here people! Another way to be innovative and draw in new customers is to introduce something brand spanking new to your area. Either an existing product, like a Flaming Dr. Pepper, that no one else serves, or something that you or your staff created on your own. Something that makes your restaurant or bar stand out amongst the throngs of other eateries, or ’drinkeries’. Be sure to make a big deal out of it too. If I owned the only bar in the area that sold Flaming Dr. Peppers, I would hang a big sign off the deck - "Home of the Flaming Dr. Pepper!" with a colorful design. Something like a person taking a drink from a pint glass with their hair on fire, I don’t know. Just brainstorming here. Whether you’ve invented something the world has never seen, or are just introducing an existing dish or drink that isn’t common in your area, curiosity is one of the most powerful tools that a restaurant or bar owner can use to attract new customers, and boost your profits. Be creative. Be crazy. Be innovative. Be daring. And be profitable my friends.