Large chain restaurants are easy to find in most places. But just because they’re plentiful, doesn’t mean they’re the best option. Small business restaurants have lots to offer, and consumers have noticed this. In fact, people who eat out are showing a growing preference for independent restaurants over the larger food chains. What’s the appeal of these smaller and less well-known dining establishments? There are a number of factors that give small businesses the edge over bigger competitors.
What Do Small Business Restaurants Offer Consumers?
- Connection to the Community
By a wide margin, consumers believe independent restaurants are more community oriented than the larger food chains. Whether you’re in Denver, Pittsburgh, or New York City, you can find a McDonald’s or Burger King. But smaller restaurants establish themselves in one specific town or city, and so they have more time and energy to devote to getting to know the community’s vibe and tastes. These small restaurants might even cheer on the hometown sports teams or participate in local events. To consumers, these restaurants are more than just businesses looking for a profit; they’re part of the community.
- Friendly Atmosphere and Personalized Service
Sometimes larger restaurants can have impersonal service, due to the sheer volume of customers. It’s not easy to meet everyone’s needs in a rushed fast food establishment. The staff members at smaller restaurants get to know their regular diners, so they can offer more personalized service. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to walk in a diner and ask for “the usual” rather than “the number two value meal.”
When people are looking for the top burgers in Denver, they’re prioritizing the food’s quality over its expediency. The food at small restaurants tends to align with those demands. The meal might not be ready as quickly as dishes at chain eateries, but the taste will be superior.
Part of this increase in quality might be due to a restaurant’s use of fresh, local ingredients. The cooks might even be working with ingredients that are overall healthier than those used at bigger chains. Local eateries that specialize in vegan and gluten-free options also have an advantage in terms of quality. They meet a demand that larger competitors might overlook.
- Unique Cuisine
Small restaurants tend to offer unique dishes made from family recipes and plenty of experimentation. Even when the menu is small, consumers can expect something new and tasty. Weekly specials expose customers to dishes they might not find elsewhere. In addition, most peopleare curious to try different types of ethnic cuisine. Small restaurants can offer authentic dishes, so keep that in mind when you’re looking for the best Mexican food in Aurora.
Skip on Delivery
When it comes to delivery services, consumers don’t find much difference between small businesses and chain restaurants. Both types of businesses tend to offer this convenience. But, since customers tend to appreciate the decor at independent restaurants more than the cookie-cutter look of more well-known establishments, eating out rather than ordering in is probably the best way to experience a local eatery. Whether it’s a weekend brunch or dinner after a long day at work, eating at the restaurant can be a relaxing experience.
Spreading the Word
Some areas in which small businesses tend to fall behind larger chains are social media messaging and online presentation. In some cases, small restaurants simply don’t have the resources to dedicate to creating an online presence aside from a simplistic website with a menu. In a world where people increasingly rely on the Internet for finding what they need and want, this can limit exposure. However, word of mouth is still a great way to reach new customers – online or offline.
If there’s a small restaurant in your local area that you really appreciate, be sure to share your opinion with others. Recommend the business to friends and family, and when you’re online remember to write a short review for others to see. The review doesn’t have to be longer than a paragraph. Simply mention your favorite dishes or others reason why you love the restaurant. You might just help the business to grow.