A cohort of regulars is what creates a “Third Space.”

Many gathering places – bars, libraries, salons, cafes – have their life and being as a community’s social core… places of connection, discussion, socialization. Fundamentally, they are purpose-built spaces at the heart of a democratic society. In an age of digital living (no less forced seclusion) people seek human interaction more than ever before.

Notably, religious and recreational spaces, libraries, civic centers and service clubs have been in decline for several years. Restaurants, spaces that provide semi-public and semi-private connection, satisfy human beings’ need to connect as social creatures. Socialization, but not intimacy, is a key component of a successful Third Space (or third place).

Restaurants merge the two most important aspects of human beings’ need for socialization and connection: welcoming, comfort-filled spaces free of the pressures of work and home; and the opportunity to commune over food. Restaurants that will thrive in the wake of the past year are those that elevate their most valued guest relationships.

What are the Qualities of a Restaurant as a Third Space?

The new Third Spaces will be built around the values your guests and their spheres live. Knowing who your best guests are and what they appreciate – what further enhances their experience – will cause your restaurant to flourish. Successful restaurants cause guests to experience a felt sense of being.

Restaurants have what is termed a “low-effort attracting quality” (Albert Nichols), one that creates ease in establishing a routine. Think of your best guests’ dining routines:

  • Is your restaurant geographically convenient for, and your menu aligned with, the needs of professionals?
  • Does your house offer a unique, felt benefit to a book club or social organization?
  • If your demographic is 25-35 year-olds, restaurant experience is much more about people and place. How is that preference fulfilled?
  • As a destination restaurant, can you identify what specific aspects of your service guests value?
  • Does your restaurant mirror the demographic qualities of the community, or is it an alternative for a different demographic?

Knowing why your best guests choose you is a first step to further elevating their experience – and the business’s success. Developing that bond between person and place happens one relationship at a time.

Do you know why your most valued guests choose your restaurant?

We’re here to help you.





Share This