How to Define Your Restaurant’s Target Customer

Restaurant Customers

When it comes to successfully running a restaurant, one of the most important things to consider isn’t the food, the drinks, the décor, the local or the service…

It’s the customers.

If you want to run a successful restaurant, the customers are, without a doubt, one of the most important elements to take into consideration. After all, you rely on the customers for business, and their business brings in revenue; and it is the amount of revenue that you bring in that determines your success.

Who is Your Target Customer?

Since the customer is such a vital element, one of the most important questions you can ask is this:

“Who am I trying to target?”

Unfortunately, many restaurants try to appeal to everyone, which is a huge mistake. Why? People have all different tastes and interests and the bottom line is that there is simply no way that you are going to be able to appeal to all of them. Trying to appeal to everyone is a plan that won’t bring you success, but rather failure. (tweet this)

If you want to be successful in the restaurant industry, you have to define what demographic you are targeting. How do you define who you target market is? Here are some pointers that will help you define the people you are aiming to target.

Who is most likely to enjoy your establishment?

What type of menu are you serving? What is the atmosphere of your restaurant like? This will help you determine who your target market is. For example, if you are operating a high-end restaurant that features a gourmet menu and a formal atmosphere, your target market is going to generally be a more affluent demographic. If you serve pub-style fare in a casual atmosphere, a middle-class demographic is the market you are going to want to reach.

You also want to be happy working in your type of establishment. So try to marry your style with that of your target customer.

Assess your location

The location of your restaurant is an important factor in determining what type of customer you will draw in. For instance, if your restaurant is located in a shopping mall, you are likely to attract teenagers, families and the elderly. If your restaurant is located on a main street in your town and is surrounded by businesses, you are more likely to draw in professionals and an adult crowd. A restaurant that serves high-end fare in a formal atmosphere likely won’t be very successful if it is located in a shopping mall.

Consider your prices

The prices you charge will also greatly influence the demographic you attract. Middle-class suburban families likely aren’t going to dine at a restaurant that charges high prices. You are going to want to charge prices that the people in your surrounding area will be willing to pay.

Assessing your target customer can help determine where your prices should be. You always want to provide value to your target customer, but value is different to different people. Assess your target customer and create your menu accordingly.

What’s your concept?

The concept of your restaurant is also going to be a big factor in determining your target customer. (tweet this)

The concept should meet the interests of the clientele you want to attract. For instance, if you want to draw in a crowd of 20- through 40-somethings who are looking to relax and have a good time, a sports bar, complete with televisions, a casual menu and a pub-like atmosphere will likely appeal to this demographic. If this is the concept and style that you want then you’ll have to be comfortable not attracting people looking for quieter, more formal settings. This gets back to the idea of focusing on one target customer instead of trying to please everybody. A sports bar with luxury decorations just wouldn’t work. You’d be confusing both sets of target customers.

Your target customer base is, without a doubt, one of the most important elements for your restaurant. Your customers determine your success and when you appeal to the right demographic, you are sure to enjoy success.

Do you need help trying to determine the customers you are trying to target? We can help you determine the right clientele to target for your restaurant and we can help you create an effective marketing strategy to draw those customers in. 

Image: SpokaneFocus

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  • writeahead

    Whenever we start working with a new restaurant client one of the first exercises we do is determine the ideal customer – that is, if you could only have one customer and just clone them over and over, who would they be? Male or female? Income level? Food preference? What about their buying decisions – what do they value, what influences them, what do they care about. It really helps clarify the business approach and get entrepreneurs out of the “catering to everyone” trap.

    • http://casjam.com/ Brian

      Great tips.

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  • Saniya Arain

    Customers are, without a doubt, one of the most important elements to take into consideration.In my opinion everyone is different. Similarly, food tastes differently to different people.We don’t all like the same flavors,some don’t like vegetables and some people doesn’t eat meat. Therefore before I go out to dine,I do online searching of restaurants for my favorite food.In this aspect,I found Bistro Services very useful.Feel free to visit http://bistroservices.com/