Hacks For Beating The Restaurant Competition In UAE

Hacks For Beating The Restaurant Competition In UAE

UAE has seen tremendous growth in the restaurant industry in the past few years, but with new restaurant cropping up now and then; there is a problem of plenty. Currently, there are 9,189 restaurants in Dubai alone! Restaurant owners are struggling to make their restaurant competition known and to beat the stiff competition.

The restaurant industry is one of the most highly competitive businesses out there and has some of the worst mortality rates. Restaurants are no longer only competing with other restaurants. Now they have supermarkets and convenience stores selling meals, cloud kitchens, food trucks, etc. to deal with.

If you want to stay open and conquer the competitive battlefield of the restaurant business, you need to know how to stand out and surpass the competition.

Emerging victorious in UAE’s tough restaurant industry may seem like a daunting task but with adequate planning, it isn’t and this article will tell you how!

Simple Steps To Effectively Beat The Restaurant Competition In UAE

Beating the restaurant competition is not just about marketing on a large scale. Proactive measures such as some background research, customer interaction, and social media usage can serve as powerful tools. It will help you build your customer base and keep your business going strong.

Don’t let other restaurants steal your spotlight, abide by these steps and take the light back!

1. Competitive Pricing

Correct and competitive pricing of the menu items is pivotal for beating the restaurant competition. Periodic analysis of the menu pricing is a must to meet the market price fluctuations.
It is crucial to have accurate prices, anything more and you might lose your guests to your competitors, anything less and you might end up facing losses.

Most of the food is imported in UAE which can lead to higher food pricing if the raw materials are not managed well. Therefore it is essential to carry out some reconnaissance work to see what your competition is charging for similar menu items.

There are several factors you can take into consideration when deciding the correct price point –

  • Food cost: This is the most essential and the foremost thing to consider when pricing the menu items. Food cost is the cost to procure the ingredients used in a dish, this is the reason why the non-vegetarian food items cost higher as compared to green leafy food items. Break down the costs of the ingredients that go into each dish and use this as a base for setting your menu pricing.
  • Market price fluctuations: This is also a crucial deciding factor for pricing the menu accurately. Poor growing seasons can hike up the prices of fruits and vegetables. You can consider leaving room for some such abrupt price fluctuations when pricing the menu.
  • Other costs: Other costs like the delivery charges of the raw materials, labor cost, rent, etc. also contributes towards determining the pricing of the menu items. If your dishes require skilled chefs they would ask for a generous salary which will contribute to menu pricing.

2. Do More Than What Your Competitors Are Doing

Everyone is out there attracting customers and catering to their needs, then what is it that you are doing differently?  It is essential to understand the importance of exclusivity and why it is required to beat the restaurant competition.

It is not always about the food that you serve but also the experience. If the service is top-notch you can get away with serving food at a slightly higher price, as people would still come for the wholesome experience.

Exclusivity gives you an edge over others, and the best way to draw attention to your restaurant. You need to get people talking and this is the best way of doing so!

You can give your customers reward points or discount coupons to use when dining at your restaurant the next time, or offer a complimentary starter or dessert to the loyal customers.

Little things like these bring business to your restaurant and make it famous amongst the local crowd.

3. Participate In Local Events

Participating in or sponsoring a local event is a good way of gathering your customers’ attention. This gives your restaurant business the exposure it will require to survive longer. Community partnerships stimulate business, provides free publicity and promotes restaurants.

You can offer your restaurant space for community meetings, events or business associations. This will enable you to expand your network.

You can also collaborate with a local culinary school and arrange workshops for the students and show them how the restaurant operates.

For example, Mcdonald’s UAE signed an agreement with Emirates Red Crescent’s charitable and humanitarian organization. As part of the programme, four Ramadan books were produced and sold at the McDonald’s. All proceeds generated from the book sales were given to Emirates Red Crescent’s programmes specific to local communities in the UAE. Mcdonald’s UAE is also known for its active participation in community events especially one involving children.

The Ronald McDonald educational themes provide children with a fun, safe environment for active play.

All these things add to the goodwill of your restaurant and will definitely give you an upper hand over your competitors.

4. Have A Unique Selling Point

It is essential to determine your unique selling point, something that sets you apart from all your competitors. Ask yourself, why would anyone visit your restaurant when there are several hundred more?

Do you sell black colored hamburgers or do you have an exquisitely themed restaurant? Whatever your unique selling point is, make sure you highlight it.

Some of the unique selling points for your restaurant can be:

  • Novel offers for your customers
  • Distinctive restaurant theme
  • Special menu  
  • Great prices
  • Extraordinary customer service
  • Exclusivity

Your USP would persuade people to choose your restaurant over your competitors. Once you have it figured out go ahead and advertise it through various online and offline mediums. It can be a challenging process but will be worth the effort and time.

5. Connect With Your Customers

Thanks to the technology it is easier for you to reach out to your customers via online mediums.  Send out newsletters, update your social media profiles, etc. and let people know about any special offers that you are running at your restaurant.

Interactions are critical for maintaining a long-term relationship with your guests and keeping your food in their mind.

A well run and updated social media account and timely emails regarding the special offers will give you an upper hand as compared to your competitors as you are constantly reminding people to dine at your restaurant.

The reach of online marketing is vast and it is a great platform to entice new customers and possibly drive them to your restaurant. There are dozens of strategies that can be used to beat the restaurant competition in UAE. You need to identify what best suits your restaurant business.

The points mentioned in the article will give you an upper hand and help you beat the tough restaurant competition in UAE.

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Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


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