Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.
Too many restaurants still believe in the myth that a student has no money. Unfortunately, that makes them turn their back on a very profitable market. A lot of people with money don’t go to the restaurant because they lack time. It may actually be easier and more profitable to attract students than working people. They may not have unlimited resources, but what they do have is time.
What matters to students
Contrary to popular belief, a student’s life doesn’t revolve around studying. Most students being in their twenties, they go through a lot of soul-searching and need social interaction. They don’t all go pub crawling every weekend, but they need to share moments with a group.
Going out to eat is actually more frequent for students than for young parents. As a restaurant owner, you should bear in mind that students are actually a great market to pursue. Their only problem is their tight budget, but most students have more to spend than people expect.
Let’s face it, the average student comes from a middle-class or upper-middle-class background. Students are supported one way or another. Some even work to finance their studies. Since most of them share flats, their housing expenditure is quite low. That leaves enough room for a few treats they will simply be delighted to give themselves.
How to attract students to your restaurant
Naturally, targeting student is an art in itself. If your place is fancy and serves fine cuisine, to attract students should be the least of your concerns. If, however, you tend to be flexible about your menu, students have their preferences.
Most students have a preference for Asian or exotic food, provided it is reasonably priced. Today’s trend is to travel the world and open oneself up to different cultures. By including exotic items in your menu, you are bound to match their desires.
Pricing is obviously a major concern for students. For you as a restaurant owner, it is also essential that you keep healthy profit margins. One way of doing that is to offer student combos. You can go for a meal with a beer that makes the beer much cheaper than on your card. Alternatively, you can package up a nice dish, dessert and coffee for a lunch combo. They key is to make sure the combo is for students only.
Students love an offer just for them, especially if it feels like a bargain. That doesn’t mean you should slice away at your profits. It’s more about finding what’s mutually beneficial to you and them. Their enthusiasm will do the rest. Another reason to attract students is that they network a lot and make your name spread fast.
Tabled: a new app for students to get together
If you want to go the extra mile and be the go-to place for students, the new app Tabled may be of interest. The app helps students find a table to eat and meet new people. It is as much about socialising as it is about eating. Students invite each other via the app, even they are complete strangers.
The app is free for students to use. They log in and see tables that are inviting other people to join them. That means more customers for the restaurant registered. Naturally, the app has to make money somehow so they take a share of the restaurant’s bill. If it allows you to significantly grow your customer base, the expense may be worth it.
At the moment, the app has a five-star rating, which means it is popular among students. Whether restaurants are getting a fair deal remains to be seen. It can be a great way to fill your place at off-peak hours. Students tend to have more flexible timetables than people who work or have children.
Students are a fantastic market. They don’t need to be your only market, but having something for them can make the difference. They generally have money to spend and nowadays, they tend to prefer experiences over physical products. Tabled is one of the many ways to attract them. Feel free to write your own suggestions in the comment section below.