Steakhouse restaurants are not quite as common as they once were in the United States. The focus is shifting to more unique, adventurous cuisines. So, if you own a steakhouse and are having trouble filling your tables, it will pay off to find ways to make your steakhouse stand out. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Offer a variety of steak toppings or seasonings.
Although a good steak seasoned with just salt and pepper certainly has its own appeal, guests also like to customize their orders. Many people do enjoy sauces and toppings on steak, even if it's not strictly traditional. So, offering a variety of sauces or toppings for guests to choose from will help your steakhouse stand out—in a good way.
Some restaurants find that including one sauce of the customer's choice, free of charge is a good approach. Or, you could send your steaks out plain by default, and allow guests to add a topping or sauce for a small extra charge.
It's up to you how many different sauces or toppings you offer, but three is the bare minimum to consider.
2. Serve less-common cuts.
Almost every steakhouse offers the classic cuts: strip steaks, rib eyes, filets, and porterhouses. You should certainly leave these cuts on the menu, as many guests will come in expecting them. However, it can be helpful to also feature a few more unique cuts. You could serve picanha, a cut from the top sirloin cap that is common in Brazil. Or, you could add a bavette to the menu. The tri-tip is another good option.
By offering cuts that few other steakhouses offer, you'll draw a customer base of people who are adventurous and knowledgeable about meat. Those are customers you want to have when you run a steakhouse!
3. Use a unique preparation method.
Most restaurants cook their steak on grills, in cast iron pans, or sous vide. These are all great methods, but if you can come up with another unique method that works for you, then you can draw more people into your restaurant. For instance, you might try smoking the steak in a barbecue smoker before finishing it on the grill. Or, you might make steak grilled on cedar planks like salmon. Whatever preparation method you settle on, include a few blurbs about it on your menu and website to draw customers in.
Classic steakhouses are not as popular as they once were, but if you can find a way to make yours stand out, customers will love it.
For more ideas, reach out to a local restaurant like Lawry's The Prime Rib Dallas.