There’s a popular phrase made famous by an old movie. Build it, and they will come.
While this may be true in many respects, restaurant owners and foodservice operators are getting smarter about how they drive up sales, and a new phrase has emerged.
Bring it, and they will buy.
What does this mean, specifically? Bringing menu selections directly to the customer is an easy way to help entice those customers to buy. Instead of selling at the point-of-purchase as they do so well in retail, restaurants have figured out they can actually bring the point-of-purchase to the table.
In reality, this is not a foreign concept. Well, in the case of Brazilian steakhouses, maybe it is. But think of how many times you’ve witnessed a roving cheese cart or the end-of-meal dessert cart as it made its way through a maze of diners until it reached your table.
Later, this idea grew to include other popular tableside items. The tableside Caeser salad. The tableside guacamole cart. Tableside preparations of desserts like Baked Alaska or Banana’s Foster. Now that we think about it, rolling food carts have been popular across a wide range of dining periods in our country.
But, it doesn’t have to stop with only what we’re used to. Tableside dining options and rolling food carts offer restaurateurs the ability to literally make the appetizers more appetizing. Think about it.
Imagine if you’re at a restaurant with your significant other, a place you’ve never tried before but heard was good. Before you even order your main dishes, a server comes by with a cart full of beautifully-made appetizers. At that moment, when you’re the most hungry, you are much more likely to not only order one, but several of the options presented.
For the diner, this type of service is more engaging and allows for greater participation. For the operator, it’s more profitable. Everyone wins, and anything you can say that, it’s an advantage for your restaurant.
Even more important, though, is the experience tableside service can provide to customers. From glamorous tableside in LA to old-school, traditional tableside dishes in NYC, this area is sure to see growth in the coming years. And in an era when diners are looking for experiences at the same time operators are looking for new ways to create profit potential, tableside service seems like a no-brainer.
For more information on carts for your restaurant, please contact us. We love to talk carts!