As a restaurateur, you already know that your restaurant is about more than just food on the table. It’s an expression of who you are, and what values you hold dear. You’ve put a lot of work into making your restaurant an extension of you and your beliefs, and those beliefs were the ingredients in your concept.
Now, it’s time to tell your guests about these values and stand apart from your competitors.
What differentiates you from your competitor could be the very thing that gets guests in the door. One way to effectively communicate this is by having a concise mission statement.
This may sound daunting, but mission statements don’t need to be long-winded, but they should be longer than your elevator pitch. To help you get started, ask yourself a few questions and you’ll be on your way to a clear mission statement.
What is your vision for your restaurant?
Imagine what the personality of your restaurant is, the concept you started with, and what your version of success looks like. Think about how you made decisions before you opened your doors, and how those decisions formed the culture of your restaurant.
What is your relationship to your employees?
Think about your entire staff and the role they play in your restaurant and ultimately, in your success. How do they impact how you run the daily operations of your restaurant? Think about what you want for them as employees, but also as individuals making a living in your city.
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What personal values are you prioritizing?
If you opened your restaurant with specific values in mind, what are they and how have they been prioritized in your operations? These values may not have been included in your original business plan, but have presented themselves as you’ve been working.
How do your beliefs impact your decision making?
The values that you strongly believe in are most likely having an impact on your decision making. Can you identify where you see this happening? Maybe your passion for the environment dictates who you buy your paper supplies from, or your interest in local producers is how you choose your vendors. These decisions are the backbone of your restaurant and can be communicated to your guests.
Once you’ve drafted a concise and clear mission statement, share it with your guests. Have a special tab for it on your website, or include it on your about page. Share it in a special blog post, or include it in your newsletter. There are even opportunities to include on the menu. Whatever works best for your restaurant, put it out there and make it easy for your guests to find it (which you can learn how to do in this guide to effective restaurant marketing strategies).