What makes your restaurant memorable? It's all about your Core Talkable Difference.

Have you ever listened to someone else describe your business or refer it to someone else?  What do they say?  A better question... is it easy for them to explain?  It might be because you're not providing them a "core talkable difference."  A core talkable difference is something that someone can latch onto that sums up your business in one phrase.   It's usually just a sentence that helps describe why the business is different and why it's worthwhile to visit.  It tends to become the un-official purpose of the business, and you need to have one if you want to be memorable to one of your guests.  Sometimes the core talkable difference is the marketing tag line for your business, but often it's not.

Here's some of our favorite real-life examples:

1) La Bamba's - Their burritos are the size of your head
2) Buffalo Wild Wings - They have almost 20 different sauces to put on your wings
3) Benihana  - They cook the food right in front of you
4) Algonquin Sub Shop - Their subs are huge, I can't fit my mouth around them

Some might mistakenly call this a gimmick or a novelty, but it's much more than that.  It's how your guests remember what you do and how they are going to convey your business to others when they make recommendations.  If you don't have a core talkable difference, you will be forgotten by your guests, and any chance of a referral or recommendation will go to zero percent.

Another benefit in identifying your core talk able difference is that it will help you define yourself.   When you understand what triggers people to think of your business and patron your store, your marketing strategy will be much more clear.  For example, if you're Benihana, you know that people are coming to your establishment for the "show" as well as the food.  Now, this self discovery helps them to understand where and how they should be marketing their restaurant.

If you're struggling to determine what your core talkable difference is, the best place to start is to ask your guests.  Ask questions about why they're there.  Ask how they would describe your business to their friends and family.  (In doing so, ask them to refer you too).  This will give you an idea of why you are memorable to them and provide key insights to the value and entertainment value you're providing to them.  If you're not seeing any patterns after the 4th of 5th interview, then you have a problem and should focus on creating a solid core talkable difference for your business.  Do this by going back to your business plan and identifying why you started the business in the first place and what you believe would bring in your guests.  After a little digging, it will become very apparent to you.  Now focus on those concepts by providing value with that focus.  If you are hearing patterns from your guests, they might not be what you expect.  Be prepared to embrace what they're saying and roll with it!  This is an opportunity to adjust to your guest's expectations.

Once you have your core talkable difference, think about incorporating it into your marketing if it's not already there.  Maybe even use it as a tag line for your business.  If you plant the idea, you can ensure that your core talkable difference is positive and memorable to the customer.  By taking control of embracing it, you'll see your referrals climb significantly.

What's your core talkable difference?  We want to know!