Why Independent Restaurants Have a Better Story to Tell Than Chains

local food on menuEarlier this week, we came across a hilarious parody from CollegeHumor.com on “honest chain restaurant menus.”  The infographic described the real story behind restaurants such as Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse and IHOP.

We see this parody as an advantage in marketing campaigns for independent restaurants. These establishments have an authentic story to tell.

Independent restaurants have a character, a history. They’re part of the community. The people that own them live in the community. Their kids go to school with your kids. They go to church with you. They give the best service and food possible. You feel a sense of community when you walk in. Customers can feel a difference in the local establishment that’s nearly impossible for the chains to replicate. There’s no corporate agenda in place with small business owners.

Here are a few examples of how the independents beat the chains every day of the week:

  1. Real family atmosphere. Family is in the kitchen and the dining room. Really. Uncle Vinny is in the kitchen cooking your favorite pasta from scratch and his wife is taking orders, talking to your kids, and actually making you feel like family!
  2. Indies are in the neighborhood. Where you live. Down the street. The chains are, too but not really. I’m pretty sure you know the guy who’s just opened a sports bar so he can serve drinks and watch sports with customers. Throw in some real wings not the frozen ones and you really are eatin’ good in the neighborhood.
  3. Authentic. You’re not going to get real pancakes like Grandma used to make at that international place; you’re going to get them at the greasy spoon everyone frequents on Sundays. You know the place. Because you know the place. It’s part of your community.
  4. Local foods served here. Independents have the flexibility to serve foods from local suppliers. They should shout this from the rooftops because people want to know where their food comes from.

This parody shows that the Indies have the real story to tell. Are you telling yours?