Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become one

Are there small touches you can add, at little or no cost, that will separate your customers’ dining experience from your competitors? What tips can you offer to make a pizzeria a “destination restaurant?”

Re: Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become

Destination Restaurants? There is a great debate in the industry concerning whether being a destination restaurant is a good thing or a bad thing.

Some define a “place of destination” as a place that people visit only a few times a year because of some unusual or interesting thing or event. These people would say the customers that go to a “place of destination” are not interested in the menu, but in that special something that attracts them.

On the other hand, others define a “place of destination” a place in which people frequent for a variety of reasons: service, unusual event or thing, quality of product, etc… These folks believe that being a “place of destination” attracts new customers and builds loyalty in existing customers.

I stand firmly in the position that being a “place of destination” is both a positive and profitable thing. If I can create an attractive and unusual atmosphere for my customers, they will keep coming back. The great thing is that my customers will not only return, but bring others with them.

How do you turn your restaurant into a “place of destination”? This is a million dollar question that many have sought the answer to, but few have ever found. However, the answer is really not that difficult. Ray Croc made McDonalds a “place of destination” with a clown and a happy meal with a toy inside. Hard Rock Cafe did it with loud music and groupie stuff. Countless examples exist for us to examine.

But, what about you and your restaurant? What do you do or offer that is totally different from the competition? What do you do or offer that is even a nose better than your competition (remember, the difference between the million dollar purse in a horse race and second place is almost always just a “nose”)? Determine what makes you different or better and capitalize on it…push it…play it up…advertise it…repeat it over and over. Soon you will become a place of destination in the most wonderful way possible…the bottom line.

I am a General Manager for a franchise restaurant. Recently, I opposed the corporate idiots and turned my store into a place of destination. I did my own advertising (total cost $300), argued with the owners…that is…until my store realized a 103% increase in sales in only 13 weeks. If you would like to know more, I will be glad to help you. However, not in a public forum such as this.


Re: Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become

hi…that is exactly what i want to do. can you let me know how you did. our restaurant will be in vancouver, canada

Re: Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become

Nice article John. I have been thinking about the same thing since Reading Restaurant Edge’s article about destination restaurants. Cuttently I have a small shop off the beaten path that does about 65-70% delivery, 10% to, and the rest dine in. One of my long term goals is to increase the dine in side.

My restaurant is off the beaten path, and the center of the city is only 10 minutes away, but it could just as easily be 150 minutes away from the way my customers think. Should I bew looking at moving to the center of town and collecting the low hanging fruit? Just along the simple logic that more customers means more foot traffic? I can still service the same delivery area with no problems, so that would not change.

I am just wondering if the increase in sales would justify the price of a move and the increased rent I would need to pay for a better location. Can you give me an email off the list? I had a few more questions for you, and was interested in hearing more about what you did.


Re: Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become

A destination restaurant is where you want to be at. Always do creative marketing that sets you apart from everyone else. I took a store that 5,000 a week and turned it into 23,000 store. First you want to train all your employees before you spend money on advertising. Call me and I teach you how. My numebr is (301) 938-2762

Re: Destination Restaurant? What is it and how do you become

Hooter’s a destination restaurant? You need a hook and good food.

Most places now a days have something about them before they start franchising, so pat
attention to what’s going on at other places. Read forums and Yelp to see what people
are talking about.