Why Do People Love Seafood Restaurants? Ask the Shuckin’ Shack Experts
One of the hardest things to do in the restaurant business is finding out what your customers actually enjoy instead of constantly promoting the food they don’t buy. High-ticket menu items are great examples of something that you may think makes your concept fantastic and one-of-a-kind, but will restaurant patrons feel the same way?
Are you offering something different that they can’t find anywhere else in town? If not, this post is for you because we’ll explain why people love seafood restaurants so much.
Success isn’t guaranteed in every market because all communities have special quirks and biases that you have to identify and leverage to thrive in the industry, especially the seafood restaurant franchise business. While the general idea is to offer a new and refreshing concept, you’re already ahead of the game when you strike a balance between menu creativity and practicality. People genuinely love seafood, and here’s why.
Seafood is difficult to prepare at home
It’s certainly possible to cook your own seafood at home, but most of us don’t have the time, skill, or the kitchen space to do it right. Even if you have the culinary kung-fu, you need to sear scallops and shrimp perfectly, and it’s tedious to prepare seafood no matter how you look at it. Not everyone knows how to clean and descale fish quickly, and we’ll be honest with you when we say it doesn’t look pretty.
Seafood can also be a little nerve-racking for those who worry about the proper methods for preparing fresh-from-the-sea delicacies. (Take our signature raw oysters, for example- the guesswork involved with determining the right temperature to store and serve the little buggers is not for the faint of heart!)
But ordering seafood from a great restaurant takes the heavy lifting and prep work off your hands, so you can sit back and enjoy this type of cuisine. Seafood is one of the more versatile ingredients you can use, and it leaves plenty of room for creativity if you want to mix and match culinary styles. Think blackened Cajun catfish versus steamed mussels in garlic butter sauce.
Seafood restaurants are great for special occasions
In many parts of the country, the general perception is that seafood restaurants always offer a more sophisticated, upscale dining experience. There’s a grain of truth to that wisdom in major metropolitan areas. Yet, you have to look at it in the context of a particular market and the restaurant’s location because it’s about more than simple demographics. Your customer’s perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and expectations count too.
Most of us aren’t looking for a “classy” dining experience every time we go out, so we reserve certain places for special occasions, the elusive “nice restaurant” appeal. A go-to favorite is always a seafood restaurant because more prep work and skill are involved with seafood, as we just talked about. It may not be as fancy-pants as goose foie gras over broccoli risotto, but it requires mastery to cook well.
Either way, the trick is to find out what your target market believes a special occasion is from their perspective. If you open a Shuckin’ Shack seafood restaurant franchise near a college town, you can almost guarantee a packed house Saturday afternoon all the way to closing time during football season. Remember that a special occasion can mean the SEC championship game as much as it can mean a business-casual dinner with your company’s CEO, or a romantic night out for your anniversary.
An elevated dining experience
The culmination of everything we’ve discussed so far is creating a better dining experience because people can get takeout food anywhere these days. We no longer have to leave the house to order restaurant-quality food. We have several smartphone apps to choose from, so why should your patrons decide to go out and visit a new Shuckin’ Shack seafood restaurant franchise instead?
Ideally, you want the menu to be the star of the show, but the atmosphere counts too; some restaurant owners believe that generating a welcoming, fun environment is crucial to bonding with a community – and they’re correct! When you can offer a different dining experience, you’ll have a better chance at attracting regular clientele. That’s really what you want because regulars are basically brand ambassadors who always talk great about your restaurant and constantly bring new people with them.
You’re battling the stereotype that all seafood restaurants are expensive and only meant for fine dining and white table cloths, so building a regular clientele is a great strategy to throw cold water on that stereotype fast. The good news is that the perception fades the moment a guest walks into a Shuckin’ Shack and realizes that they’re about to enjoy a new type of atmosphere in town. We don’t sacrifice entertainment value to sell high-priced food because making a genuine connection with guests matters to our Franchise Owners.
Variety of menu items
Lastly, we come to the fact that the seafood restaurant business relies on offering a variety of menu items. You’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot if you only narrow down your concept to a handful of appetizers and fried entrees. You can get creative with seafood, especially when combined with a bar-like atmosphere.
No matter how hard you try, it’ll be challenging to break through the stereotype that all seafood restaurants only appeal to snooty people who can afford $50 steaks every night. That’s not the case with Shuckin’ Shack because we offer variety, including surf-n-turf, in a down-to-earth atmosphere without skimping on quality.
Whereas fancy seafood restaurants feature an extensive wine list, you can open up a Shuckin’ Shack and feature a different local microbrew every month – or until your regulars drink the whole pony keg dry. Fine dining seafood restaurants may offer rare items, but you can offer your guests a consistent experience without the fluff and formality.
Ultimately, people love seafood for many reasons, and your success depends on making genuine connections with people to find out exactly why they like it so much. Once you identify those beliefs and perceptions, you’ll have a much higher chance of success.
Interested in opening a Shuckin’ Shack in your port of call? Click to visit our franchise website for more information.