Have your very Own Signature Dish and Blast it out- Restaurant Promotion Ideas #17

Feature a Dish to Promote Your Restaurant

Duck BreastMost successtful restaurant have your very own signature dish and they blast it out. They use every social media avenue as possible.

In my previous guest post by Amanda Cusack 8 Tips for Successful Restaurant Marketing, one of the things she mentioned was that most successful restaurants have at least one signature dish. Take Madam Kwan’s for instance. When you mention Nasi Bojari, the first thing thats comes to most  people’s mind is Madam Kwan Restaurant. In the 90’s in Singapore when you mention Chicken Rice, most  people will say Chatterz at the Singapore Mandarin Hotel.  Their Chicken Rice was the talk of Singapore at that time, so much so it was a signature dish in every Singapore Mandarin Hotel..

If you don’t have a family recipe handed down from your ancestors,why don’t create a dish that people can associate with your restaurant. You also don’t need a Michelin Chef to create that signature dish, just search recipe books or the net for recipes that will suit your concept. Pass it to your kitchen staff to experiment. I have seen some Commis Cooks creating beautifully eye catching dishes.

A word of advice, take into consideration whether the dish can prepared and served when your restaurant is busy. Its no point highlighting a dish but when the restaurant is full, the food comes out not as what it is supposed to be. Also the food should not inconvience your wait staff when they serve it. One example is when I was working in Thailand, I had a Chef who came out with masterpieces. He created a dessert using pancake and bananas which he put them one on top of each other. There were about 4 layers of banana and pancakes and lastly he topped it with a scoop of ice cream. The wait staff had a hard time serving as the pancakes, bananas and ice cream kept slipping down. Also don’t create dishes that is difficut for the guest to eat. Dishes that is thightly wrapped. After you have chosen the dish that will represent your outlet, you may want to test it out on a few friends. Look for the ones that will tell you the truth even if its bad. Once you have chosen your Signature dish, then you need to plate it in a unique and eye catching presentation. Reason being nowadays people eat with their eyes first before the food enters the mouth. This is the reason you need to constantly keep yourself inform of the market trends and what’s new.

After you have put your signature dish in the menu, you need to watch your guest and talk to them to get feedback. Don’t assume that your food is good, you might need to modify it. At the same hotel in Thailand, we served the Spaghetti Carbonara with lots of cream assuming people will like the traditional way. What we noticed that the food came  back half eaten. When we enquired we found out that  is was too creamyfor their taste. So we added some chicken stock to make it wet and it was a hit.

One of the way I keep my self in the know is by visiting food and beverage related tradeshow. Here there’s always new products showcased and also some food related competition. The recent FHM 2013 in the Kuala Lumpur Convention centre is one such example. There were lots of new and unique ways of plating food. So visit your local trade show to learn more.

the know is by visiting food and beverage related tradeshow. Here there%u2019s always new products showcased and also some food related competition. The recent FHM 2013 in the Kuala Lumpur Convention centre is one such example. There were lots of new and unique ways of plating food. So visit your local trade show to learn more. Below are some pictures from the Tradeshow to give you an ideas of what I mean.

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Nowadays Children decide if they want to Eat in your Restaurant -Restaurant Promotion Idea #13

Kids Rule when Choosing Restaurants

Nowadays children decide if they want to eat in your restaurant. Below are some restaurant promotions ideas to draw them in.

Did you know that kids choose 50% of restaurant visits and according to a recent study 75% of parents consider their kids preference when choosing a restaurant. This is the main reason why most fast food restaurants target their advertising at children and students. One excelent example is the McDonald’s “Happy Meals”. Their gifts are much sought after by the young and the young at heart. Promotions targeted at kids don’t have to be expensive, there are a lot of cheaper ways to promote through the kids and you don’t need to give them a toy too. Below are some of my suggestions and a few that I have tried.

Kids Eat Free

Healthy Eating for KidsThis is the most common promotion used in most family oriented restaurants. Well these days the word “Free” is what attracts people. Especially with the current economic situation, parents are looking for an affordable and fun place to dine with the family. You can do a promotion for every 2 paying adult a kid eats free. For a buffet it’s simple to do. If you are only offering the menu, then create a smaller menu for the kids. With items that kids love like burgers, hot dogs, spaghetti but make it nutritious for the parents to choose. Even fast food these days are moving away from junk food and serving more nutritious food.
There numerous books and e book in the market on healthy food and recipes for kids. One such E Book is Healthy Eating for Kids. In it there are 60 child tested, healthy recipes that is quick and easy to prepare. To go to their website, just click healthy-eating-for-kids.com

A Gift for the Kids

This takes after the Happy Meal. But instead of giving a toy, perhaps you can give something educational. A book or an educational game. But make sure its fun for the kid.

Kids Activities
For our restaurant, I searched the web for some free coloring pages. I collected a few and send to our printers to make into our very own coloring book. So when there a kid dining with their parents, My staff give out this coloring book together with a small box of crayons. Another version is to buy those large white flipchart papers and spread it on the table with a small box of coloring pencils or crayons. The kid will sure be happy and occupied; he has a large drawing paper. Another activity that will sure to make the kid remember your place is to send a few of your staff for balloon crafting. After the customer orders, he can go to the table and craft a balloon animal for the kid. This will sure to make the kid happy. You can also on a weekly basis organize face painting activities. Parents can take out photos of their kids painted face and they will surely show everyone. This is free advertisement for your establishment.

Create a Kid Friendly Atmosphere
A bright and cheerful restaurant will give parents the right impression for a place to bring their kids. Also include a special kids menu with things that kids love to eat but also make it healthy for the parents to choose from. Don’t forget the seating like high chairs and booster chair for the toddlers. In my previous post Promoting your Restaurant through Great Customer Service, I have mentioned that in one of my restaurant, I purchased a baby basket for parents to put their toddlers in while they eat. It really was a plus point with many parents. If you have a hand in designing your restaurant, why don’t add a diaper changing room. After bringing up a kid for the past three years I dine mainly in shopping complex cause they have diaper changing room nearby.

Some people may say promoting to kids is unethical but if the items you offer are has value to the parents then why not. These days kids have more say in what they want. I hope this Restaurant Promo Idea has been informative and useful for you. Remember kids have a very short attention span, so your promotion need to simple and attractive to them.