The high-end restaurant business can be quite difficult to get into and even more difficult to succeed in. Simply creating an incredible meal isn’t enough for those who can afford to eat at fine dining establishments on a consistent basis.

Everything from the atmosphere of the restaurant to its service is taken into account. Diners can buy the ingredients for the food but would rather have the experience that the restaurant offers them. Even if the food is mediocre on a given night, the dinner can be salvaged by offering a unique and memorable experience. This dining experience has quite a few factors, not all of which involve creativity or even showmanship.

Make Sure a Restaurant’s Kitchen Equipment Is Best of the Best

Setting a fine dining experience means the cream of the crop should be used when it comes to the kitchen equipment. Using old or low quality equipment in your commercial kitchen is asking for trouble since customers expect their food to be of the highest quality and cooked in such a precise way it releases the exact flavors the chef intended! Contrary to what you might think, ovens and grills are not the only kitchen equipment that are important in creating the highest quality dining experience. You must also take a restaurant’s ventilation demands into account.

Proper ventilation will help maintain the temperature in the kitchen. This makes for happier cooks and waiters, thus delivering a better overall experience for your patrons. Proper ventilation is just as important to the dining floor as it is the kitchen. If commercial kitchen equipment such as upblast fans and make up air units are not in use, smoke can easily make its way into the dining room—not to mention the smell of raw food—which can both quickly ruin anyone’s meal.

Safety is the most important reason to ensure your restaurant ventilation upblast exhaust fans are top notch as they help prevent any possibility of a kitchen fire. To be exact, exhaust hoods, ductwork and upblast fans do the hard work, essentially moving smoke and grease-laden air outside.

As long as the upblast fans, ductwork and exhaust hoods are maintained and cleaned correctly, the chances of a restaurant fire drop immensely.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Standing out from the crowd in the high-end restaurant market can be difficult. Most of these restaurants have a very extensive wine menu and some of the highest quality food in town, not to mention outstanding service. Standing out from the crowd doesn’t always have to do with the food, but rather the atmosphere.

Something like having a separate room for dessert with live music can help set a restaurant apart. Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida has one of the largest collections of fine wines available in their cellar. Many restaurants might have these cellars, but they do not give customers the chance to see their great collection. This is where Bern’s delivers a one of a kind experience instead of just a delicious meal.

Create a Training Program for Servers

The servers are the face of your restaurant, so preparing them to be the best server possible is essential in creating a high-end experience. Many high-end restaurants have an apprentice program for 6 months to a year in order to become a server. This consists of being an assistant to a server and doing whatever is needed to deliver the best experience possible.

When hiring for these positions, it is important to pick people who have had experience tending to high-end customers. Executive assistants do very well in this as well as former country club caddies and bartenders. While education isn’t the first requirement when looking for servers, having servers that are well-spoken is certainly a big advantage. Those servers can quickly and calmly take care of potentially upset customers instead of adding fuel to the fire.  

Offer a Free Meal to a Local Celebrity

Offering a free meal to a local celebrity might seem counterintuitive, but it can be a great marketing tool. The anticipation of not knowing who you will see when you attend a restaurant can be quite the thrill. If the celebrity enjoys the meal, they may become a regular which can be extremely beneficial, especially if they are a professional athlete. NFL players often go out in groups for team dinners according to positions.

This can be a great draw for customers as everyone wants to eat sitting near their favorite player. Ask the celeb to post about their meal on social media as this can be a great marketing tactic. They could very well have millions of followers. This might also entice other so-called A-listers to dine at your restaurant.

Creating a worry-free and fun experience for customers at a high end restaurant is extremely important, whether it be their comfort levels or the entertainment. Just like in any other type of high-end business, the customers look for this experience because the price is not important to them. Take the above tips and turn your restaurant into a destination of elegance and class in a matter of months!Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.