Running a waterfront seafood restaurant is a unique experience. Your customers are eating the food of the sea, all the while looking out over the waves in the water where that food came from. Succeeding in running a waterfront seafood restaurant is a bit different from succeeding in running other types of restaurants. Here are some tips for success as you run your waterfront seafood restaurant.
Offer quick, walk-up service during lunchtime.
Even if your main focus is nice seafood dinners, you really do need to offer lunch service, too. In the middle of the day, there will be plenty of people out on the beach who are hungry and looking for things to eat. You'll therefore have no problem drawing in a lunch crowd, and doing so will help keep your restaurant profitable. Make sure your lunch menu is light and simple. Dishes like fish tacos, shrimp salads, and ceviche are good options. Most people won't want a really heavy meal while they're swimming and playing on the beach, and these options are nice and light.
Keep it casual.
Inland seafood restaurants often have an upscale vibe. But with your restaurant on the waterfront, you'll have an easier time finding customers if you keep things casual. Customers who have spent all day on the beach, and who have sand in their hair and flip flops on their feet, need to feel comfortable in their space. Some ways you can make sure your restaurant gives off a casual vibe include:
- Have your staff dress casually.
- Decorate with beachy items, such as seashells and beach wood.
- Play low-key, mellow, beachy music from artists like Jimmy Buffet.
Serve some items other than seafood.
While your focus can and should be on the seafood, it's still wise to offer a few non-seafood dishes. A lot of your guests will likely be vacationers traveling with friends and family members, and they may have a person or two in their party who does not like seafood. You want to make sure those guests feel included. A simple burger or veggie burger is a good addition to the menu, as is a simple chicken dish.
With the tips above, you should have better success running a waterfront seafood restaurant. Above all else, remember to relax and have fun — and encourage your staff to have a good time. Mellow vibes are where it's at when you're on the beach.