Restaurant USPs: The Secret Sauce to Differentiation

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5 min read

Oct 19, 2022

Restaurant USPs: The Secret Sauce to Differentiation

With more than 15 million restaurants worldwide, it’s safe to say consumers have plenty of options for dinner tonight. To get to the top of their list, you need to find a way to differentiate your venue from the competition. 

Writing a USP (unique selling proposition) helps you, your team, and your diners understand what makes your restaurant different from the other 14,999,999 restaurants out there. A USP can guide you through business decisions and ensure your restaurant upholds its “secret sauce” in everything it does.

In this guide to restaurant USPs, you’ll learn:

What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?

A unique selling proposition is a statement that highlights what makes your business different. It’s difficult to be completely unique, so a USP is really about what makes your business stand out to your customers. You’ll find several examples of unique value propositions from restaurants as you keep reading. 

People often confuse a USP with a slogan. Although the two are similar, a USP can be several sentences long, while a slogan is usually a catchy, several-word phrase.

Why Is It Important for Restaurants to Have a USP?

In addition to differentiating your restaurant from the competition, a USP helps operators make business decisions, like menu items, decor, and marketing efforts. For staff, this statement helps them understand what makes where they work so special. A USP also informs staff training and the team’s culture and values.

Even if you don’t explicitly share your USP with customers, if everything you and your staff do exemplifies your USP, customers will know what makes your restaurant different. That’s what will keep them coming back.

How to Write a Unique Selling Proposition for a Restaurant

Here’s how to write a unique selling proposition for a restaurant in four steps.

1. Brainstorm What Makes Your Restaurant Different From the Competition

First you need to think about what makes your restaurant unique. These differentiators are the basis for your restaurant’s USP. Consider the following:

Your restaurant’s origin story
Your background
Secret family recipes
Innovative culinary ideas
Innovative business models
Menu sourcing
Dietary differentiators (e.g., a menu that is all organic, vegan, vegetarian, etc.)

2. Understand Your Customers

One of the main tenets of marketing is that it’s better to appeal to a niche than try to appeal to everyone. Instead of trying to appeal to the masses, double down on what your ideal customers crave. Developing a niche strategy will help you focus your value proposition and continue to attract loyal customers who can’t get enough of what you do.

To get a better idea of who your customers are and what they care about, conduct market research or send them surveys.

Another option is to leverage guest data. Collecting your guests’ reservation and online ordering data can help you better understand who is coming to your restaurants and what they love.

3. Put Your Restaurant’s USP Into Writing

Now it’s time to put your ideas and research together to write your restaurant’s USP. Follow this formula to write a unique selling proposition:

[Restaurant Name] serves/offers/provides [Key Differentiators] to [Audience]

For example, “Lunch Express delivers healthy, affordable meals in 15 minutes or less to busy professionals who typically work through lunch.”

4. Apply It to Your Business

While you don’t need to explicitly advertise your USP, you still need to apply it to the business. Consider how your restaurant’s value proposition affects the following:

Business decisions
Marketing (your restaurant’s USP should be the basis of your marketing strategy as it defines your ideal audience and your approach)
Hiring (turn your USP into values you want your staff to uphold)

Examples of Unique Value Propositions from Restaurants

Let’s review some real-world examples of restaurant USPs for inspiration.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck

With locations around the world, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s New York City outpost: “is where New Yorkers broker deals over power meals, and where Tribeca’s residents come to dine, wine and unwind, while world travelers immerse themselves in downtown NYC’s emerging culinary scene.”

This USP shows that CUT has a clear understanding of its multifaceted audience: executives, locals, and tourists. This statement positions CUT as the place where these people come together. 


According to its USP, UK-based restaurant chain Dishoom, “pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of all [of] Bombay.” These cafes were “the first places in Bombay where people… from all walks of life shared tables, rubbed shoulders and broke bread together.”

Dishoom exemplifies the spirit of these cafes through its food, decor, and even its menus, which resemble newspapers and explain the origin and legacy of Irani cafes.

Aussie Grill by Outback

Aussie Grill’s USP is: 

“Inspired by Outback Steakhouse®, Aussie Grill® features a chef-driven menu with big, adventurous flavors and innovative items prepared in under four minutes. With younger, family-focused, and convenience-seeking guests in mind, the unrivaled menu variety is unlike any other fast-casual restaurant.”

This statement describes what’s unique about the restaurant: that it has a chef-driven menu prepared in under four minutes, in a fast-casual format. It also describes the restaurant’s audience as younger, family-focused, convenience-seeking guests.


Chef Michael Mina’s restaurant group has a longform USP listed on its website. MINA demonstrates that a unique selling proposition doesn’t have to be a singular statement. It can consist of a mission statement, beliefs, and values. 

Take inspiration from MINA’s mission statement:

“Rooted deep in our foundation is selflessness and flexibility reflected in an experience obsessed with delivering the most craveable offerings – a true world of wow – for our guests. Our mission is to delight the senses, enhance the lives, deliver one-of-a-kind memories for our guests by understanding their desires, anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations. We are an orchestra dedicated to one singular purpose – giving our guests what they never knew they always wanted.”

The restaurant group’s beliefs are as follows:

“We believe in people.
We are always learning and creating.
We never settle.
We are obsessed with the art of hospitality.
We are authentic, soulful and delicious!”

MINA also shares the three principles that inform their spirit of hospitality:

Shoshin: a Zen Buddhist concept meaning having a “beginner’s mind.”
Omotenashi: selfless hospitality.
Kaizen: making lasting change through small steps.

If you struggle with distilling your restaurant’s USP into one sentence, consider working with a mission statement and values.

Wrapping Up: How to Write a Restaurant USP

Your restaurant’s USP should guide you in all of your business decisions. To write one, you need to brainstorm what makes your business unique and understand your audience. Then follow the “[Restaurant Name] serves/offers/provides [Key Differentiators] to [Audience]” formula to put your statement into writing. Finally, apply it to all aspects of your business.

SevenRooms’ guest experience and retention solution can help you execute your vision flawlessly. Request a demo or learn more about our restaurant CRM software today.

FAQs About Restaurant USPs

1. What Is a Unique Selling Proposition?

A unique selling proposition is a statement that highlights what makes your business different from others like it.

2. How Do You Write a Unique Selling Proposition?

Brainstorm what makes your restaurant different from the competition. Then take time to understand your customers and their needs and wants. Next, write your USP following this formula: [Restaurant Name] serves/offers/provides [Key Differentiators] to [Audience]. Finally, apply this statement to your business decisions.

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