Sophisticated Expectations In Small MarketsApril 30, 2013 By: Steve Lewis
There is much focus on the larger cities when it comes to a stellar nightlife experience however the small markets are increasingly catering to more sophisticated crowds. With the public becoming more and more erudite of their tastes and expectations in nightlife, quaint little towns like Huntington Long Island are stepping up their game to meet these expectations.
Huntington Village over the past 10 years has turned into a foodie town states Michael Cassano, owner of Acasia. “The reason we decided on this location is its vast similarities to the crowds of New York City. The people expect more, and we’re prepared to give it to them.” Crowds expect the same service and sensibility they have experienced elsewhere. “Every town is fickle, you have to be on point, you need to make it perfect, if you don't - just like in the city they'll spit you out and move on.”
Acasia is a fine dining restaurant but are pre-engineering a nightlife component and anticipating a big bar scene. The place is designed for the mature, more sophisticated crowd. “The same people licking their fingers from the food will have no problem hanging out after and dancing the night away,” states Cassano.
However, there’s always a fine line between balancing the nightlife detracting from dinner when in a rural setting. Cassano and his team work to make the transition as seamless as possible. The last dinner seating is always early enough that when the nightlife crowd comes through the mood has already shifted.
As restaurants with late night nightlife components are common due to somewhat relaxed regulations in the suburbs, it’s important to elevate your standards in every aspect of the venue including entertainment, service and hospitality needs for an unparalleled guest experience. You need to understand your audience when opening in a smaller market. Cassano states that “bottle service is a worldwide phenomenon but have Huntington folks adopted or embraced it?” Understanding these details is key. “We will be offering bottle service but in no way is it mandatory. Waitress service will go on all through the night; however if the customer wants a bottle we will be more than happy to oblige, states Cassano.
Many operators believe that there is money to be made in the hills and valleys far away from the grit, grime, regulations and overhead of the big city. But remember, higher expectations are abundantly clear when it comes to guest satisfaction.