Skip to content
The Dining Experience

Blog post -

The Dining Experience

Great food isn’t cutting it anymore. The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive markets in the UK, with 207,000 eating establishments in England alone. And if the competition itself wasn’t enough, add into the equation the substantial consumer shift towards takeaway in recent years, and it’s clear to see the challenges restaurants now face enticing customers back to in-person dining.

The issue doesn’t lie with takeaway itself, this channel has largely been embraced by the hospitality sector, as a vital sales channel and opportunity, that has enabled restaurants to stay afloat during a difficult pandemic. Rather, the problem lies with combating the reluctant consumer mindset as a direct result of it, by offering them something new, in addition to great food to encourage them to spend their disposable income outside the home.

This is where the dining experience comes in.

A study found that 75% of people would pay more for a unique dining experience -something which a business could offer that they wouldn’t be able to experience in their own homes. Many restaurants are now offering additional services such as cooking lessons, wreath making and community events to create buzz and attract potential customers. Once you have a consumer’s interest and they’ve had a good experience at your restaurant, it is much easier to convert them into a return customer and their positive experience will travel through word-of-mouth.

The facts:

  • 50% of people would pay more for the same menu if there was chef interaction
  • 59% of people say cost wouldn’t impact their attendance. Menu, uniqueness, and location are bigger factors.
  • 80% of people would buy tickets to special events in advance.

Offer something unique:

The Medieval Banquet at St Katherine’s Dock in London offers a traditional four-course menu but, in an immersive environment with entertainment from knights, magicians and the king himself. At the same time, Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden boasts an over-the-top Italian circus featuring acrobats, opera singers and burlesque acts. Both of these venues have long waiting lists and have become extremely popular with the social media generation.

You don’t have to go to the extremes listed above. Instead, find something unique about your restaurant venue and build on it.

  • Offer cooking lessons or tasting menus.
  • Showcase your chef’s skills with live cooking presentations
  • Partner with breweries and farms to promote local food
  • Offer an immersive experience, for example, a murder mystery
  • Add a limited-time-only novelty food or drink item to your menu

Always be conscious of your target consumer to ensure you don’t alienate the people you’re looking to attract – karaoke for example won’t work in a formal setting but, perhaps live jazz music might.


Related content

Welcome to Duni!

#1 Global Restaurant & Hotel Tabletop Supplier
#1 Table-Setting App For Professionals - Duni Visualiser.
Premium & Sustainable Napkins & Tablecloths

WA7 3FR Runcorn
United Kingdom
Visit our other newsrooms