Late night restaurant, Photo by freepik on Freepik
If you are a night owl, you most likely are suffering from a lack of meal choices during your active hours (which is the late nights) because most restaurants are closed by that time. So, you had to resort to ordering a delivery from the nearby junk food restaurant or eating whatever you had in your house or apartment at the time. Or you could be a restaurant owner or staff and are considering turning your restaurant into a 24-hour restaurant but need validation of some kind. By the end of this article, you will be convinced and potentially able to serve your night owl customers.
Understanding your potential customers is key to running a successful 24-hour restaurant. By knowing their preferences and expectations, you can provide exceptional food and services that cater to their needs. Let's dive in and discover all the amazing advantages of operating your restaurant around the clock.
Try thinking about hospitals or hotels and how they can operate 24/7. It’s all thanks to the night-shift workers. These unsung heroes may have rotating shifts, irregular hours, or long shifts. They may need a place to eat before or after their work, or during their breaks. Also due to the stressful nature of their work, they would definitely appreciate a place that offers them comfort and convenience. Besides the healthcare and hospitality industry, public transportation and security workers.
A traveller during the night, Photo by Prostooleh on Freepik
It is important to consider the diverse needs and schedules of individuals who visit your city for either business or leisure purposes. These individuals may come from different time zones, have varying flight schedules, and possess unique travel itineraries. Nonetheless, it is highly likely that they will require a suitable dining option upon arrival, departure, or during their exploration of the city.
Partygoers going wild, Photo by rawpixel.com on Freepik
From college students to millennials, and even some Gen X's, everyone has that party soul inside of them just waiting to be unleashed. It's so exciting to see people with such high energy levels, festive moods, and hunger for fun. And after all that dancing, partying, and recovering from hangovers, it's only natural that they'll want to find a great spot to grab some delicious food or even order in.
Insomniac during the night, Photo by DCStudio on Freepik
If partygoers carry the fun at night with their high energy, insomniacs are the opposite. These people usually have trouble sleeping at night due to stress, anxiety, medical conditions, or lifestyle habits. To face (or in most cases, run away from) their situation, they would seek a comfortable place or comfort food.
Now that you know your potential customers or you just skipped reading that part because you’re so curious to see the potential benefits, here they are:
Illustration of Chef's Cooking, Photo by Athena on Pexels
If you have been to a 24-hour restaurant before, you might notice that those restaurants have different menu selections for different times of the day. There could be breakfast specials, lunch specials, dinner specials, and late-night specials. Those restaurants understand that different times of the day suit different types of food and customers.
How do these restaurants achieve this? By experimenting with their menu, seeing what works and what doesn’t. If you run or work at a restaurant, this could be your chance to let out your ideas. In fact, here’s a clue: because insomniacs and night-shift workers - who will likely be your most frequent late-night customers - crave comfort, we suggest you start exploring food that many people would call “comfort food”.
We think it'd be a good idea to have some grab-and-go food options for delivery. And, of course, a 24-hour spot wouldn't be complete without some late-night munchies. A quick, tasty, and light snack would be perfect for this. Once you've got that covered, why not promote it a bit? Maybe offer a special deal during certain hours or free delivery for night owls. We're sure they'll love it!
Night owls also have their own needs, and your 24-hour restaurant may just accommodate them. They could be a busy family who only get together during the night time, they could be night workers with an irregular schedule, or they could be a group of friends who just came from a party.
See how there are many different types of night owls with different needs? Now, trying to accommodate everyone is fine, but it’s best to pick who the majority of your night customers will be, and start with them. For example, if your restaurant is located near a hospital, then it’s safe to say that you’ll see a lot of the night shift workers and some hospital visitors come to your restaurant.
And, when it comes to your place, think about those party animals. It'd be a sweet move to hook them up with a karaoke machine or toss in some board and card games. Not only will it keep them coming back for more, but they'll likely stick around longer, upping the odds of repeat orders. Just a little tip!
Illustration of Night World, Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels
Being open for 24 hours is not something every restaurant can achieve. So doing it will attract attention and publicity from social media, online reviews, or even word of mouth. Isn’t it nice seeing your restaurant’s profile on sites like Google Maps and seeing two thousand five-star reviews? That is massive for shaping your restaurant’s reputation.
Remember, any kind of social interaction that mentions your restaurant is free marketing that you can earn and even support with a few marketing strategies. For example, sharing your restaurant on social media could grant them a 10 percent discount on their next order. Another example would be giving a special deal to a group of more than 3 people.
A good reputation goes a long way toward the longevity of your restaurant. By having a positive online reputation, you can influence their decision and make them choose your restaurant over your competitors. Plus, you will be able to charge higher prices or surcharges after a long while, because your customers will be so loyal to your restaurant that they’d still come to your place. Of course, with price, comes quality. So, be a little careful with pricing.
Turning your restaurant into a 24-hour restaurant has the potential that you can fulfil, but only if you know your customers. In this article we’ve introduced you to your potential customers, what they do, their expectations from a restaurant, and how you can fulfil those expectations and gain additional income at night. We hope we are able to convince you to open your 24-hour restaurant and meet your night owls.