new restaurant constructionDino’s, a restaurant in Western Pennsylvania known locally for its chicken wings, looks like a boxing ring. Patrons walk in to the sports bar to get seated at simple table, never out of view from one of the 30+ TVs in the main guest area.

The restaurant was one of the first nationwide to pick up on a trend that is becoming increasingly popular in the industry: creating not just great food, but a unique experience in which to eat it. If you are thinking of building a new restaurant, considering this trend of experiential dining is crucial for your new restaurant commercial construction project.

Do You Want Some Experience With That Food?

When visitors first walk into your establishment, what do you want them to feel? They’re likely hungry for your food, whether they’re first time or repeat visitors. But ideally, their desires to have a good time with their friends and/or family should go beyond that basic feeling.

Restaurants around the nation, and locally in Minnesota, are beginning to realize the importance of a good experience. Websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp can be both a blessing and a curse: if you don’t offer what your customers are looking for, bad reviews can significantly impact your business in a negative way.

At the same time, good reviews can have the exact opposite effect. Provide a great dining experience, and your guests will not only come back but actively tell their friends about it. That word of mouth is the ultimate goal, and a major reason why so many restaurants are placing an increased emphasis on experience in the course of their construction project.

Finding an Experience that Matches Your Audience

That process, of course, is easier said than done. Providing a great experience means planning your entire construction project in a way that conforms with that experience. At the same time, it also means making sure that the perks you’re about to provide actually match audience preferences.

Dino’s has accomplished that, by taking the term ‘sports bar’ to the next level. Other examples, like the world-famous Hard Rock Cafe, reach similar heights. Around the United States, restaurants increasingly use their building layout and interior design to not just provide a utilitarian dining space, but an opportunity to connect with their audience and actually market the restaurant.

At its most extreme, patrons will begin to frequent your restaurant not for the food, but for the experience. Build a restaurant in the style of an 80’s arcade (with the game consoles to match), and you’ll begin to attract visitors regardless of the food you offer.

Working With Professionals to Maximize Success

Of course, accomplishing this goal requires significant steps – and they have to start at the very beginning of the construction project. From the first day of planning, you should have a desired experience in mind that can reasonably attract members of your target audience. Then, every step of the way in both planning and construction phases should be geared toward accomplishing that experience.

Succeeding in that endeavor is more difficult than it might seem. You will never lose the temptation to go conservative and utilitarian. That’s what makes working with a professional construction company who knows what they’re doing and have experience in the field is such an important part of success.

Ideally, your design-build contractor can help you both design and outline the experience you want to accomplish, and follow through in actually building a space that accomplishes your goals. The result will be a restaurant like Dino’s, attracting guests not just for its food but also for a dining experience that is unmatched in your area. To learn more about the increasing importance of experiential dining, and the steps needed to build a space that accomplishes this feat, contact us.

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