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How to Combine a Restaurant and Retail Store

cracker barrel

Restaurants and retail. Two different ways to make sales - and when combined - two different revenue streams for you. But what should you consider if you want to adopt this model? First - think about the type of retail and restaurant you are looking to combine. Cracker Barrel's model works well because it's a tourist type attraction - often located off a highway - with simple, no fuss food and country style retail products and candy. If your concept is more fine dining based, chances are it won't work so well. Having a 'destination' restaurant also helps with this model, as it is more likely to combine people's desire to shop and eat. Doing kitschy country retail works well with country style 'down home' food, paired with a diner or casual type of atmosphere.

Another option is to place a coffee bar within a retail facility. This works particularly well with a hip, trendy customer base. Think Urban Outfitters meets independent coffee shop. This model will also work well with an art supply store, a bicycle repair shop, or any other type of retail that attracts a hip young consumer. Getting a latte or a cold brew while they browse is like to appeal to this type of audience - but in this model - you can't base your sales around your food and beverage sales. The coffee bar is most likely only going to contribute marginally to your bottom line, and it will be more or a reason to visit your retail establishment than anything else.

A third popular option exists heavily at amusement parks, themed restaurants, and casinos. Think Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. A heavily themed restaurant with bright, colorful alcoholic beverages pairs well with bright, colorful t shirts and other souvenir type wares. These restaurants typically have the store not he way out of the restaurant, so that diners can conclude their experience with a memento of the restaurant. It may be a magnet, it may be a cookbook, but either way, it contributes to your bottom line and also creates a sense of nostalgia that will likely put the entire experience in a positive light.

Have a different concept? Think carefully before you stray from the tried and true models listed above. The reason the above restaurant/retails concepts work is that they combine similar concepts in a casual atmosphere. If you create your own concept, be aware of how the two ideas work together as a whole - and stay away from fine dining,w which is more of an experience in and of itself without the need for a 'shopping' angle to it.

2016-09-07 00:00:00
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