Seth Godin has a really good blog call Hungry. You can check it here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/11/hungry.html
If you don’t know Seth, he is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. (This bio is taken from his Squidoo page). I really recommend you to subscribe to his blog since he usually posts really insightful and interesting information.
The point that he makes in his blog Hungry, is that people are not really hungry most of the time. They just want to experience the satisfying feeling of fullness or the satisfaction that people associate with eating good food.
If we extrapolate this idea to the restaurant business, your restaurant provides (or should provide) your clients, not only with food to fuel their bodies, but with an emotional experience to satisfy all their senses (yes, with emphasis on the senses of taste and smell, but without forgetting the rest).
This is why it is so important to appeal to your clients’ five senses all at once:
- Sight: With beautiful and tasty decor and ambience. Put some art if you can afford it, and above all, have your place spotless clean.
- Hearing: Have some good background or live music to make their dinning experience even better.
- Taste: The key one for obvious reasons. If your food is not good, the rest doesn’t matter really.
- Smell: Closely related to taste and specially appealing if you are selling good wines or other aromatic foods and drinks.
- Touch: This one is interesting. The quality of your silverware, your plates, your glasses, your tablecloths (if you have them), napkins, etc. they all contribute to the overall experience.
Most of the restaurants provide satisfactory experiences to at least two or more of the senses, but not many restaurants are able to provide with the whole experience to all senses simultaneously. Some of the best restaurants in the world are considered best not only for their exquisite food or drinks but because they appeal and massage all senses at the same time.
Only when you can pamper all 5 senses at once, you will move from the category of good restaurant to the category of excellent restaurant. You will provide your clients with an “incredible dinning experience”, a experience that they will remember and tell all their friends and relatives giving you the best advertising that you can get anywhere.
Give it a try. Look at your place and make a list of things that you can improve to appeal all the senses. You don’t need to spend a fortune, just be thoughtful and think how can you improve the sensorial experience of your clients. You both will be happier. I guarantee you.