What Makes a Brand or Restaurant So Memorable?

When you travel around the nation and the world often, like I do, you’ll find restaurants that always show up on your itinerary after the first pleasant visit.

What is it about our favorite dining and brand choices that brings us back again and again? Several factors make those eateries and stores worth a second trip, even with the competition of literally hundreds of other options.

Offer Great Value and Savings

It’s hard to argue with the bottom line.  If you’re getting a fantastic meal at your favorite place for considerably less than comparable other places, you’re likely to drop back in again.

How is it you can get a great meal somewhere in New York for an average of $13? How do restaurants like that under-charge their competitors, and yet manage to outlast them in tooth-and-nail markets?

Most eateries save money by avoiding cute fads.

Restaurants that utilize economical guest checks – instead of following the trend of servers memorizing orders — save lots of money by wasting less food, less server time, and less kitchen staff time with incorrect orders.

What is saved by using inexpensive items like guest checks is reflected in the prices, and those savings get passed along to you.

Equipment can be another money hog. Many restaurants and retail stores utilize compact, reliable equipment designed for home use and are quite successful with it.

Just look at Ikea. They utilize everything they sell for their own stores, bathrooms and cafes. Another example is The Smokey Valley Restaurant in Kentucky that’s proven residential ranges can do just fine in a commercial application.

Unusual Take on the Same Old Stuff

You’ve had a cheeseburger or two, or hundred, in your lifetime. A long-standing restaurant is unlikely to turn out a bad one, but that makes the meal a perfunctory exercise, devoid of any real personality.

On today’s to-do list: Eat lunch. Burger eaten, item completed.

Most of us don’t mind eating the ordinary for a run-of-the mill meal around home, but when you’re traveling you like to get a slice of what makes the local culinary world great.

When you tear into a burger at Larkburger in Denver, you realize just what greatness a cheeseburger can achieve, and you just might experience a little regret at the meals you’ve wasted on run-of-the-mill offerings.


Servicing People Not Just Food

People make business. Whether it’s retail clothing, restaurants, or auto repair, the difference between your status as an occasional caller and a regular is often down to the men and women who interact with you.

Great restaurants and brands open with friendly service. They’re attentive to specific requests — the specifics above and beyond “Table or booth?”

Wisteria in Atlanta is known for veteran servers who will provide you with expert wine recommendations for pairing with your meal.  That kind of knowledge and attention to detail is what makes a restaurant worth your repeat patronage.

Legendary service will continue through your server, the kitchen staff, and even bus staff. The same strategy should be applied to any business — especially one in the service industry.

The management staff at Chik-fil-A focuses on taking care of their employees, and in turn their employees are happy and take care of their customers.

Your favorite places will always stand out for not only what’s on the plate, but because they find other ways to shine when you arrive.

When you know what makes them great, you’ll be more effective at choosing additional favorites in new places. And always be sure to let the staff know that your travels bring you back to them, and why you’re a commuting regular.

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About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and editor behind Careful Cents. She helps creative entrepreneurs make a living with their creations, and reach financial freedom through systems and financial organization. She’s been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce August 28, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Some people are real geniuses with this stuff. Just when you think you can’t reinvent the wheel, someone goes ahead and does it! Really inspirational…

    • Carrie Smith August 30, 2013, 6:03 pm

      Very good point Tony! Thanks.