Monthly Archives: August 2011

Does your restaurant have a unique personality

I have been thinking a lot about my blog post from Sunday regarding the fact that great restaurants, like people you want to spend time with, have great personalities and I was thinking it would be really great to get you to tell us about your restaurants personality.

So I am challenging you to send me a description of your restaurants personality and why people keep coming back.

I am not looking for, “we have great food and a good atmosphere”, I want more and I want to see that you fully understand how to market the uniqueness of your venue. Be creative be descriptive but mostly be honest with us and yourself.

I will keep posting the best responses on a blog post and maybe even come up with a super prize for the best description received by the end of September.

A Restaurant with soul

An important part of the restaurant offering I have been focusing on is identifying what makes the restaurant unique in the marketplace. This has most probably been the single hardest component of the package because most restaurateurs don’t have the answer to this themselves.

Add to this the fact that some restaurants are just busy while others that should be aren’t and it’s quite a challenge to figure out.

About an hour ago, 4:15pm, I was sitting in Davinci’s on Kloof waiting for my pizza trying to figure out what makes this restaurant unique for the shoot we are doing there soon. It was cold, wet and pretty miserable outside and not surprisingly there were only 2 other tables in the restaurant

Another table walked in and sat in front of me and then someone in green wellington boots walked in and was shown to a table in the corner. They were so bundled up it was hard to tell if it was a woman or a boy but after shedding her jacket, cap and gloves it was a pretty brunette. She sat down, read the menu, placed her order, put in her earphones and took out a book to read, all pretty normal stuff but what came next wasn’t.

In case you have never been to Davinci’s, they have paper table cloths and little buckets with crayons on each table and patrons are encouraged to use these to express their creativity.

The girl in the green boots read a few pages of her book and then seemed to notice the crayons. The next thing she was writing down or drawing something from her book and I must say it was quite fascinating to watch her.

Then the woman at the table in front of me started to doodle and then out of nowhere people just started to flow into the restaurant and the whole atmosphere just seems to change. By the time I left there were people at tables all over the restaurant scribbling away while they waited for their food and it was almost like they had been affected by the restaurants personality which had raised its head.

And that was it, restaurants have unique personalities or rather some of them do…

Why this is, I am not sure, maybe it’s because people like the girl in the green wellington boots at Davinci’s just feel a need to be creative when they are there, maybe it’s because of Arnold and his team at Arnold’s on Kloof who are always at the front of the shop interacting with their customers, maybe its Massimo from Massimo’s manning his flaming Pizza oven like the captain at the helm of his ship and maybe its Mari and Henry’s personality and passion for what they do, coming through in their food and service at La Mouette, maybe its the girl behind the counter who serves you coffee every morning and makes you feel like she is smiling just at you.

It’s probably a combination of all of these and more but it’s suddenly hit me that every great restaurant that I enjoy going back to has a unique personality and its this personality as much as the food or the ambience that makes me want to keep going back.

For me this has filled in a vital piece of the puzzle and the same way that I strive to capture a person’s personality when I shoot them the challenge now is to do the same for the restaurants I shoot.