What do you do exceptionally well, and how can you carve it out as your special niche? It’s a simple question that can have a profound impact.
Take an example from Bleecker Street Deli, a newly opened, “small but mighty” curbside/outdoor establishment in St. Joseph, Mo.
Chef Andrew Clark, founder of Bleecker Street Deli, definitely knows what he’s good at. He also knows how to share it. The 350-square foot restaurant is room enough for him to prepare fresh sandwiches and sides from scratch, including house-made potato chips and his own pickles. He’s known to roast his own turkey for carved sandwiches, and is changing up the menu daily with fresh specials.
When pondering the opening of Bleecker Street, Clark saw a need for a quick sandwich that wasn’t fast food, and an open door in the little corner shop to provide products with his own unique touch. While revving up the menu and promoting discounts to local servicemen and women, it doesn’t hurt that he’s getting the word out about his experience. He is a native of the St. Joseph area, and a graduate of the French Culinary Institute located in Manhattan, New York City, where he earned a degree in Classic Culinary Arts. Clark is also a veteran of several NYC casual and fine dining restaurants, such “Public” in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and Monument Lane located in the Chelsea neighborhood of the lower West Side. Chef Andrew has also had a short stint at the James Bear award winning Michael Smith’s in Kansas City Missouri and as the Executive Chef of the Bad Art Bistro in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Chef Andrew and his staff are committed to bringing fresh, consistent food to the greater St. Joseph area. The catchy name comes from a popular street in New York. As he applies his culinary creativity each week, Chef Clark calls it a “chef driven deli.” It’s another way to share with customers that this is something much more than the typical carryout sandwich. Through social media, he’s promoting some special deals and fun concepts to keep customers coming back. Mondays, for example, are “Manic Monday,” featuring a discount on a signature meal. His social media is packed with photos, and following local current events gives him a larger reach and a sense of close community ties. For example, he is piggybacking on buzz around downtown concerts, the Ride for Ryan motorcycle event, and a recent Pride festival downtown to encourage crowds to stop by for lunch.
Giving the details, like specials, hours and outdoor seating is valuable information for his social media audience to comment on or reTweet. He’s also sharing info on social media about events happening with local arts groups and listing by name other unique eating establishments – two steps that help build his audience and communicate a strong positive message others will want to share.
Today SJC encourages you to take a stroll to NYC today, Midwestern style, and see at Bleecker Street Deli how the concept of knowing (and promoting) what you’re good at really works … while you’re eating, ponder the things that make your services or product truly special.