Playing on the ethnic, cultural and historical flavors of your restaurant or bakery’s locale can be an invaluable restaurant marketing technique. This holds especially true if your business exists in a touristy area or is situated near an interstate or other major highway. Deciding exactly how to market a restaurant based on these factors depends on whether you are opening a new establishment or continuing a long-time business, but either way you have many options at your disposal. Local produce, restaurant décor, and even the type of building you choose can all contribute to a larger yield by taking on local sensibilities.
Ambience plays a key role in your customers’ experience. Display paintings and other wall art by local artists depicting area history and culture. A family diner in a rustic setting would benefit from showcases of handmade candles and intricate artisan quilts used as wall hangings. You may wish to have your staff’s waist aprons personalized with a relevant slogan like, “The Genuine Georgian Experience.” Your business’s color scheme, decorations such as flowers and other plants, and signage should all fit your location’s unique character. The local culture should also factor into what kind of space you rent or buy if you plan to open a new establishment. A historic landmark residential house will do well in some areas, while a small but chic space with ultra-modern decoration better suits other locales.
How to Market a Restaurant Using Local Culture
Keep in mind that although the atmosphere has a great effect on your business, the food should be your main focus. You probably already use produce or other ingredients for which your state or area is known. Attract notice to this selling point by placing a sign near the register or mentioning “Washington apples from Smith’s Orchard,” for example, in the apple pie description on your menu. If you operate in an area with a significant tourist draw, offer one or more menu items with that theme. A restaurant owner in an Amish area could serve funnel cake, a versatile dessert rarely seen in dining establishments. Consider the local crowd as well. If your location is one that includes a large Italian population, go beyond simple pasta and pizza. Give your commercial stock pot a workout by serving a full-blown, authentic Italian wedding soup. Look into potential historical opportunities as well. If it turns out that your restaurant lies along an old explorer’s trail, name menu items appropriately, such as the “Lewis and Clark French Onion Soup.”
Patrons have chosen to visit your area for a reason, or they feel comfortable enough to actually live there, so emphasizing your connection to your location provides great marketing possibilities. The finest professional kitchen equipment, décor that your clients will find intriguing, and especially well-made, creative menu items will give your restaurant the boost it needs to rise above the rest.