In a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and sponsored by Michelin, Americans said they are willing to splurge an average of $203 for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a restaurant.
As the fine food industry has grown, and chefs have become celebrities, Americans have become more willing to add dining experiences to their lifetime bucket list.
While some bucket-list-worthy dining experiences involve the outrageous, such as eating in a yurt high up a Utah mountain or with your feet in the sand on a secluded Hawaiian beach, others can happen close to home in your favorite restaurant.
In order to create a truly unique experience, always think about your brand and your customer first and try to present something they’ll be excited to experience. Also, consider an experience that would make your restaurant a destination to bring in new diners.
Need a few ideas?
Here are 3 unusual suggestions that have proven to be wildly successful.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in Brooklyn, NY
At Brooklyn Fare, Brooklyn’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef Cesar Ramirez offers a Chef’s Table that is so popular it requires reservations to be made 6 weeks in advance. Each evening 18 diners sit at a counter in the kitchen. From here, Chef Ramirez prepares before diners’ eyes a 15-course tasting menu, that changes daily to reflect seasonal products. The intimate meal lasts about 2 hours, and is offered for $306 per person, which includes a service fee.
Dinner in the Dark at Camaje Bistro in New York City
Balancing out the trend of diners barely paying attention to the flavors of their food and instead Instagramming every dish to their followers, at Dinner in the Dark in New York City, guests are blindfolded for their entire meal. Upon arrival at the restaurant, guests are given comfortable blindfolds, and escorted to their table. Without sight, all the other senses are heightened. As a result, the smells, tastes and texture of the meal become more intense. Menus for meals are kept secret until the end of the meal, which focuses attention on what’s being eaten, and guests enjoy guessing.
Star Chef Series at Gracie’s in Providence, Rhode Island
Periodically throughout the year, Providence restaurant Gracie’s invites chefs from around the country into their kitchen to collaborate with Executive Chef Matthew Varga. The chefs work together with local ingredients to design a unique tasting menu unlike anything else found in the city. Now in its seventh year, each event brings in new diners looking to have a meal by a chef they may otherwise not have access to, as well as a loyal following who join them for each event.
If you would like to learn more about different ways to create a unique experience for your customers from their smartphones try Split, an innovative solution that helps restaurants enrich and enhance the customer experience by connecting them to their guests phone.
Writer Bio: Kristin Crane is a writer and designer living in Providence, Rhode Island. She works with small businesses to help them promote themselves in various industries including food, wine, and the arts. She also contributes as Travel Editor to The Lady Project blog.