The current climate in the restaurant industry can be summed up like so: it’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. On the one hand, the restaurant scene is thriving like never before. With an increased interest that sometimes borders on obsession with all things foodie, it seems like new restaurants and cocktail concepts are cropping up daily. While this makes for very exciting times in terms of cuisine and culinary creativity, from the restaurant’s point of view, it also makes it an exceedingly hard time to stand out in what is becoming an extremely saturated market.
At Clique Hospitality, we have successfully created a group of restaurants and clubs that manage to stand out and not only survive, but thrive in this competitive market. So what are the secrets to our success? Here are some of the key components that help us stand out:
(Source: Clique Bar & Lounge Facebook Page)
1. A commitment to offering an experience. At Clique Hospitality, we started with a simple vision. We wanted to create spaces that transformed a night out to an experience. As such, we’ve dedicated ourselves to crafting quality experiences at each and every one of our venues. Not merely limited to the food, we also promote decor, culture, and artistic offerings (music, events, etc) that truly make each venue special.
Ultimately, we’ve a unique yet accessible style of establishment that is upscale-casual, so that clients get the feeling of a special outing, but with friendly service and food that is creative yet not intimidating. Attention to details like these truly makes every outing a special event.
(Source: Salute Trattoria Italiana Facebook Page)
2. Diversify. The Clique Hospitality group is composed of a number of different venues. Our suite of establishments includes but is not limited to hotspot cocktail clubs, trattoria-style Italian eateries, and modernized Mexican cantinas. While at first glance this might seem like an unusual patchwork of different venues, it actually makes a lot of sense from a marketing standpoint.
The fact is, no matter how great your food or service is, nobody is going to want to eat one type of cuisine over and over. However, if a customer enjoys the overall style and service, they can enjoy those benefits while trying different cuisine at our different venues. This allows customers to enjoy a diverse experience of dining and nightlife within the world of our venues. In this way, each venue offers support to the others.
3. Streamline systems. When running a restaurant or club, it’s important to streamline your systems and to create efficiency. Not only does this increase profits, but it also reduces waste. And by “waste” we don’t just mean food, but also resources and time as well.
With a group of restaurants working together, there is an opportunity to pool resources and vendors in a way that allows for maximum efficiency while not sacrificing quality. It allows us to run in a streamlined way but also build the product and experience that our client base expects.
4. Invest in quality products. It’s important to discern that while efficiency is good, being cheap is not. It’s important to run establishments efficiently, but if you truly want to create a one of a kind experience, and we do, you must invest in the best qulity products.
At Clique Hospitality, running a tight ship doesn’t mean cutting corners. We are dedicated to sourcing the best ingredients and offering the best finished cuisine and drinks that we can, even if it costs a little bit more sometimes. Running a successful restaurant or club should never be at the cost of quality. What you gain in client retention and loyalty and the pride you can take in your offerings when you do things the right way makes it worthwhile.
5. Hire great talent. With America’s increasing interest in food preparation and cooking techniques, it’s important that you have great culinary talent to make yourself stand out in the restaurant market. The owner-operators of Clique Hospitality are Andy Masi, the former Light Group founder and CEO, along with his partners Brian Massie and Shane Monaco. All coming from culinary backgrounds, they recognize the importance of hiring the best talent. As such, all of the venues in the Clique Hospitality group boast incredible chefs of the highest caliber. This helps contribute to the creativity and quality of the cuisine, which means that each venue can truly offer something spectacular.
(Source: Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca Facebook Page)
6. Offer great service. Naturally, it’s important to have a great chef at the helm of any restaurant. But nobody is ever going to come back if the food is great and the service is shoddy. So we make a commitment to hiring not only award winning chefs, but also hiring skilled, efficient front and back of the house staff. When crafting an experience for customers, customer service is a big part of it, so hiring great staff is of the utmost importance.
7. Be consistent. Offering high quality and unique experiences are some of our highest values. But to truly stand out in the restaurant industry, innovation isn’t the only thing that is necessary. You also need a healthy sense of consistency.
It’s great to be creative, but customers also need to trust your offerings and service. They don’t necessarily want the same menu item or drink on every visit, but certain things, like the style of service and consistency in offerings, is important. This makes a sense of familiarity to the experience. Customers like to shake things up, but you also want to create a sense of comfort. Consistency can do this, and it can also help you remain consistent in your service and management.
8. Be trend aware, but not driven. Trends are fun. They’re flashy and eye catching and can help you make a lot of money in a short amount of time. Sure, everyone wants to create a trend, but even more tend to follow them.
At Clique Hospitality, we always like to be trend-aware, because sometimes certain trends can offer us the chance to offer creative new cuisine. However, there is a balance to this, because we never want to become slaves to trends. We prefer to stick to consistency and high quality first, with a nod to trends second.
9. Be real. One of the true so-called “secrets” to our success is really not so secret at all. It’s that when it comes down to it, we are authentic. We are dedicated to creating a great experience for our customers, and we strive to do that in ways that please the masses but never at the cost of being authentic.
Our service and offerings are sincere, and this shines through in everything we do. People appreciate authenticity and gravitate toward it. This doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun and flashiness every now and again (after all, many of our establishments are in Las Vegas!), but never at the cost of losing your soul or values.
Ultimately, it’s fairly simple to stand out in the restaurant market. All it takes is a commitment to creating a memorable experience for clients by offering the best possible service, innovative yet accessible cuisine, and the highest quality possible. Simple, yes, but it definitely requires a strong sense of commitment and plenty of hard work. Our commitment to offering the best possible experience to our customers is ultimately what helps us stand out.
What do you think makes a restaurant memorable?