Tips to Discover Your Niche

Posted by Melanie Trainor

In a society with a growing number of foodservice establishments, identifying a specific niche that sets you apart is essential.

For many entrepreneurs, finding a specialty means coming up with a twist – a unique selling proposition (or USP) that can propel your brand image to the next level. Eateries struggling to stand out from the huge range of offerings often find themselves falling by the wayside.

Sallee Poinsette-Nash on states that, “People only join a community if they feel that they will get something out of it, so delivering value must be your number one objective, otherwise, they just won’t stay with you.”

Here are insightful tips on distinguishing your business from the competition.

  • Learn from or shadow innovators in your industry to observe how they conceive new ideas, bring them to life, and use them to their advantage.
  • Detect where there may be gaps in the market and note what people are seeking that can’t be found.
  • Research your target audience and their shopping habits. Take note of what they are most influenced by to make a purchase.
  • Collect feedback from customers, employees, family and friends whenever possible.
  • Note your best-selling items and how you might tweak them to offer delicious deviations.
  • Consider how current trends in flavor preferences and consumer behavior might be incorporated.
  • Explore what menu selections are craved by clientele; one study found craveability is the top reason 83 percent of individuals buy food away from home.
  • Foresee how your staff can ensure that guests have a memorable experience.
  • Optimize use of seasonal and local food and drink ingredients when possible.
  • Determine how you might make your restaurant part of a lifestyle by hosting events, creating social media campaigns, or selling your own merchandise.

Remember that your innovative concept must go beyond simply being distinct. In the long run, it must offer a clear value, represent something your competition doesn’t offer, and be strong enough to bring patrons back even after the novelty wears off.

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