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What do you want to eat? The importance of being on your customer's short-list

Every family debates over where to eat out. Should we order pizza? How about that new place in Wilmington? Or what if we just eat frozen tortellini? Obviously, you donít want the last one to happen. The decision to dine out is a want - you donít need to dine out. Once the want is established in your customerís mind, they research to see what satisfies their want (ie. make a short-list of restaurants).

This is the short list you want your restaurant to be on.

This is the list your customers are going to choose from to make their ultimate purchase decision. Unfortunately, you donít magically appear on the list. You have to work at it.

Here are a couple ways you to make the cut:

Deliver an exceptional all-around experience: If your food and service are top-notch, youíll have a much better chance of landing on the list. Iíve avoided restaurants that may have fantastic food, but service is slower than molasses. Advertise in the Local Paper: New restaurants often land on my short-list because they engage in heavy print-advertising when their doors first open. Been around for a couple years? Continue to advertise. Itíll get your name out to locals and tourists looking for a delectable place to dine. Hold Events: Who doesnít love events: wine and cheese pairings, live music, and all-you-can-eat feasts. They create memories that stay in your customerís mind. Remember that awesome band that played at that place? Yeah - you want to be that place. Hold awesome events. Itís challenging to land on a customerís short-list, but next to impossible to stay there. Give these tactics a shot to see if you get more repeat business!