The Unique Selling Point: How to Stand Out from the Crowd

How to stand out from the rest of the hospitality crowd 

Your unique selling point or USP is your selling proposition. It is what defines your centre or development’s unique position in the market and contributes to achieving the desired ‘destination’ status that asset holders should be striving for today. At the end of the day, every centre or precinct wants to be known and wants to be famous. This is why your USP is so important to the success of centres today. 

Your USP gives you the ability to stand apart from competitors. It also lets you actively focus your centre’s energy on creating things for your ideal group of customers. Take the Emporium, Melbourne whose food became famous before it even opened. It provided a new, innovative and carefully curated mix of options from high-end sushi joints to paleo and vegan cafes which were specific to the target market of shoppers and CBD dwellers. You won’t find a single fast-food major at The Emporium because it’s simply not what the customer nor the centre reflects. This USP is effective as even though it might ostracise a certain group of customers (the fast-food customer), it successfully captures a crowd who now perceive the food options at the centre as worth going for. There is no energy wasted on trying to please everyone. 

 The Emporium, Melbourne - The food court, re-imagined (image via Broadsheet)

The Emporium, Melbourne - The food court, re-imagined (image via Broadsheet)

Today, there is so much on offer in the hospitality marketplace that competition for the food dollar is strong. We have national supermarkets introducing cafe concepts, markets creating dining streets and foodie nights and not to mention the growing amount of delivery services which have removed the barrier of transforming smart casual dining into a take-away offer. There’s a continual need to keep up and stand out from the crowd which is why having a defined USP is important. It means your centre can focus and achieve it without doing more of the same. We know people don’t engage with more of the same anymore. They want to be shown what’s new and have their eyes opened to what is on offer. 

The USP also helps the customer. With so much on offer, it’s likely that customers from residents, shoppers and visitors get overwhelmed and slightly confused by choices. Customers like to invest in something they see value in which a USP allows them to do. Using the example of the Emporium again, whilst the food might be a dollar or two higher than other city food options, it’s USP is that it is a high-end food court with high quality products in it that the customers trust therefore they are happy to give their extra dollar to these outlets knowing they are getting the best on offer. From here, exceptional hospitality and the positive food experience ensures the customers return again and again.   

 New Shanghai at Emporium - a sit and stay concept that has allowed people to seek the space of Emporium for smart-casual dining in the Melbourne CBD (image via Herald Sun)

New Shanghai at Emporium - a sit and stay concept that has allowed people to seek the space of Emporium for smart-casual dining in the Melbourne CBD (image via Herald Sun)

Establishing your USP can be the difficult part. What is there already? Where are the gaps in the market? Who are your customers and what do they want and need? How do you want your precinct to be perceived? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when you are creating a food precinct worth visiting. By clearly defining your answers to these questions, you can begin to pull together the foundations of your USP and start establishing a food precinct that stands out from the crowd. Whether it’s providing pop-up spaces, hosting celebrity chefs or engaging with some of the most popular concepts on the high street and transforming them into a food precinct offer – you need have your USP defined to ensure you create a space that is impactful, appreciated and re-visited by your customers time and time again.


Do you need help defining your USP within your centre or precinct? Contact one of our professional food consultants to see how we can help