Thanks to developments in science and technology, businesses are becoming more and more efficient and producing much greater profit than decades before. However, that also leads to far more vigorous competition for market shares among countless players in the market. The F&B industry is no exception. In order to survive and prosper, a restaurant must create a competitive edge over its competitors. In other words, a unique selling proposition (USP) is imperative to success.
So what does USP really mean?
A unique selling proposition is the feature(s) of a business that differentiates a product/service from others. Simply put, a USP is something your business has that your competitors don’t. USP can be lower cost, unique product features, availability and flexibility of shipping options or…anything! There is no limit to uniqueness. Restaurants can be creative on building their own USPs, based on their internal strengths and resources.
For illustration, let’s take a look at a special restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City called Cục Gạch Quán (In English, its name means “Brick”)
Here in Cục Gạch Quán, which is themed “a countryside restaurant”, the restauranteurs are very passionate about traditional Vietnamese meals. Guests coming to Cục Gạch Quán are served with traditional Vietnamese family-style meals including carefully selected home-made dishes. The restaurant, with authentic Vietnamese rural architecture and décor, retains an aura of warmth and familiarity which makes its customers feel at and remember home.
The restaurant’s cozy home atmosphere is not the only special thing about Cục Gạch Quán. Its uniqueness also lies in the food offered. One can call everything seen on the menu “Mom’s food”. There is no single exotic dish that can be found here. Coming to Cục Gạch Quán feels like coming back home to enjoy your favorite childhood meals which are filled with the love and dedication of a Mother.
In contrast with Cục Gạch Quán’s tranquil impression, Passio Coffee Vietnam, a Vietnamese fresh coffee brand which runs a number of coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, represents a new generation of youthful, dynamic coffee stores in Vietnam. Passio Coffee specializes in coffee and the iconic Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi). However, unlike many other fellow coffee and banh mi stores, Passio has developed a convenient take-away combo with an innovative design.
Busy guests would love to grab this nutritious combo to quickly satiate their appetites during a hectic workday. This cheap, all-in-one quick meal makes an ideal daily breakfast or lunch for those who do not have time to prepare their meals, or even go to a restaurant. Furthermore, the wrapping design is unbelievably elegant and handy, yet still gives a sense of vibrant energy (thanks to the beautiful green color).
Why Does Your Restaurant Need A Unique Selling Proposition?
Doing business is not only about offering quality products or services. It is also about creating a unique image that will be imprinted in customers’ minds. Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business stand out in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully. A USP will become the reason why one should choose to go to your restaurant. As we all know, foodies make that decision everyday. They have a list of where they should go for lunch or dinner or a quick treat on their mind. The more your restaurant stands out (with an irresitible USP), the more likely they will visit.
What Are The Ways To Develop A Unique Selling Proposition?
When building a unique selling proposition for your restaurant, many different factors should be weighed carefully. The most important ones, however, are your business’s internal strengths and your targeted customers.
With regards to your restaurant’s internal capabilities, it is advised that you assess your resources and ask these pivotal questions: “What can we do best?”, “What is our signature service?”, “What is easy to offer, given our available equipment and labour?” and “Where do our talents lie?”. However, bear in mind that your USP is not necessarily something luxurious or immensely impressive. It can be simple and substantial, yet live up to expectations. If your pizza restaurant guarantees convenient delivery to customers’, the delivery service has to always be quick and reliable. Once you fail to fulfill customers’ expectations, those USPs will actually backfire on your business.
Oftentimes, restauranteurs fall in love with their service so much that they forget it is the customers who are to be served, not themselves. Therefore, in order to build a USP that really fits customers’ needs, managers should step back from daily operations and scrutinize what makes their guests happy. Remember, price and quality are never the only reasons people come to buy your service. If you offer world-class food but your staff’s attitude towards the guests is subpar, no one will want to visit your restaurant twice, even to enjoy an excellent meal. The answer to customers’ satisfaction can be convenience, friendliness, usefulness, and coziness, all combined with service quality and reasonable prices.
Therefore, one of the missions on building a sustainable USP for your restaurant is to uncover the real reasons why customers prefer your restaurant over competitors’. As your business expands, you should be able to directly ask your customers what they like best about your service. Once you pinpoint that strength of your restaurant, a USP is ready to be developed.