We love to eat out and as soon as life starts to return to normal and we are all able to eat out again, I think we will love eating out even more than before! This time at home has shown us all how much we crave social activities, how important having a meal out with family and friends is and how we will never take for granted the importance of the human touch.
We have never lived in a time when we have access to so many different types of dining experiences, from gastropubs and fine dining to street food and cafes to unique and different experiences that not only tantalise our tastebuds but immerse us in a full sensory dining experience!
It’s no surprise that people are creatures of habit with 98% returning to the same restaurant time and time again – when it’s good, why go anywhere else?! Although this is great for these establishments, it means from the very start you need to hook your customers in and keep them coming back for more. Today, customers want more, they want to socialise in a venue that delivers a uniqueness and gorgeous meals, they want to have the ‘at home kitchen’ feel and they demand engagement as not to get bored.
Considering an open kitchen in your restaurant could be the win you need to tick all the boxes of your customer demands. Here’s why.
People love to cook and it is cool!
Just turn the TV on and we can guarantee you’ll find at least 3-4 cooking shows on and one channel dedicated to cooking programmes. Watching people cook has become more popular than ever, for example, The Great British Bake-off attracts millions of viewers every year and has become a social phenomenon – no matter who is hosting the show! So take the opportunity to create an open kitchen and let it become your show and make your chefs the lead roles. It has been noted that an open kitchen encourages customers to stay for longer, spending more, meaning there is a direct link to open kitchens and increased profitability.
To see is to trust
Transparency is key, not just in the catering space but for all businesses in all industries, do you eat somewhere you don’t trust? Do you buy a product from a business you don’t trust? Do you shop at a supermarket you don’t trust? If you have, have you been disappointed because the business wasn’t transparent enough?
Lesson learned, transparency = trust.
Creating an open kitchen in your restaurant gives your customers full transparency and reassures the diner that their food is fresh, the kitchen is hygienic and the expertise of staff in a restaurant which has nothing to hide and there is no stigma of anything occurring ‘behind closed doors’ – what you see is what you get – and customers go crazy for this.
A sensory experience.
Having an open kitchen hits all the senses, the sounds, the smells and the sight of cooking helps to build up an appetite! Smelling food cooking increases the sense of hunger and having an open kitchen will result in intangibly larger orders.
You may have noticed, in fact, you will have noticed that supermarkets have adapted to moving their bakeries and hot plates in-store, the smells and sight of delicious baked goods and sizzling meat cooking encourages customers to purchase more.
As well as the benefits an open kitchen brings to your diners it is also worth considering the amount of space an open kitchen can bring. With property prices increasing to purchase, rent, power and maintenance the average size of an eatery is shrinking rapidly and there is increasing pressure to make the best use of the floor space. An open kitchen eliminates the need for any wasted space between the kitchen and dining areas and reduces your lighting costs (no need for separate lighting between spaces) and compliments the open-plan living that has come to define modern living.
Of course, when you are designing your dining area it may be that an open kitchen doesn’t fit with the design or isn’t necessarily for you and your style of restaurant, there are additional considerations around your staff being happy to be ‘on show’ and you need to sure that witnessing your ingredients and processes, as well as meeting your staff, will inspire diners and not deter them.
Ultimately, diners want to see an organised, calm and professional kitchen.
If you have a project in mind for your hospitality business and think an open kitchen is an option, then we are here to help! Just drop us an email.