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Set the Scene--and the Table

The dining is in the details.

You might have a tasty concept, a great location and terrific food, but it's the details that help you create an extraordinary dining experience. That's the word from John Casale, founder and president of Anthem Restaurants of America in Scottsdale, Arizona. He offers these stage-setting suggestions:

Make sure everything related to the restaurant reflects its overall concept and vibe. Says Casale,"The architecture of the building, the design of the property, the menu, the drink names and even the staff uniforms must support your concept."

Have amazing service, whether you're serving tacos or filet mignon. A rock-solid, ongoing employee training program can help you achieve that.

Focus on atmospheric details. "Help customers absorb the culture and feeling of the restaurant by paying attention to every detail--even little things like how the napkins are folded, what music is playing or what type of silverware you use,"Casale says. "That builds the experience and helps customers feel like they're on a minivacation when they come through the door."

This story appears in the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »