How to Build Back Guest Count in 2022 by Focusing on Uniqueness

For the best operators and smartest people, 2022 looks like a back-to-operating like a normal person year.

Sure, the noise of the next variant, inflation, labor, and supply chain issues – still audible.

But we have evolved in handling once-unusual and once-unthinkable scenarios.

I tell my clients “Prepare to have a planful and successful year

“Be ready to compete and gain guest count.”

Pro Tip:  One leads to the other.

Only Focus on Restaurants You Truly Compete With

Most people don’t understand that restaurants compete with a small group of concepts in their segment closest in offerings, locations, history, branding, messaging, and culture.

I have a process I use to isolate true competition within a segment.

It eliminates a focus on the restaurants that people think they compete with but really don’t.

The result it creates feels like wearing your first set of prescription glasses, the ones you thought you didn’t need, and seeing what you could not before.

It brings extreme clarity to my client’s decision-making.

If you want to grow revenue, focus on uniqueness relative to those few concepts close to yours – and forget everyone else.

The others don’t matter.

Focus on where 80% of your guests come from, not where 20% come from. 

Unique Restaurants Will Gain Guest Count Next Year

Uniqueness motivates diners.

Uniqueness makes people exuberantly post on social media and influence their friends to enjoy what they identify as superior for them and for their friends.

Uniqueness creates trust, confidence, and loyalty to your brand, and allows you to stretch your offerings, and innovate without taking guests too far out of their sacred comfort zone.

Matthew’s 3 Signs You Own a Unique Restaurant

  1. Unique definition – You, your guests, managers, and team can explain clearly what makes your restaurant unique. 
  2. Constant innovation – You, your managers, and team can point to new and different things you’ll do next year that will set you apart. 
  3. Focused attention to the competition – Your organization has an encyclopedic knowledge of the competition, one which you constantly update.

When you do all three, you understand what your guest already knows.

When you handle definition, innovation, and knowledge of your competition, you can craft menu items, marketing, and service that will motivate your guest to come back.

This will increase your guest count and revenue in 2022.

Over to you – what makes your concept unique, and what current internal work increases characteristics that give you an unfair competitive advantage?