Diners have a certain classic appeal that hearkens back to a time when life was simpler. If you own a diner, you may be worried about making so many updates that your restaurant loses this appeal. What people think of as a modern restaurant and a diner are two very different things. But that does not mean you have to remain stuck back in the 1960s. There are some ways to update your diner while still preserving that classic appeal.
1. Install a Jukebox That Streams Music
A diner would not be a diner without a jukebox! But of course, the old-fashioned jukebox that makes patrons pay to choose their music is pretty out of date. You can now find music players that are made to look like jukeboxes, but that stream music via a WiFi connection and a subscription to a music service like Spotify. Patrons can still step up to the jukebox and select the songs they want to hear next, but their choices are basically unlimited.
2. Offer Modern Twists on Old Menu Classics
Diner classics include pancakes, omelettes, and French toast. You can't take these off the menu without sacrificing the place's diner quality. But what you can do is offer unique, modern takes on those dishes. For instance, you could offer an omelette with avocado, which is a really popular modern ingredient. You could also offer pancakes with berries, which are popular lately due to their high antioxidant content and the increased focus on health.
3. Upgrade the Endless Coffee
Endless coffee is a hallmark of most diners. Customers love sitting down and knowing they can drink as much as they want. You don't want to get rid of the endless coffee, but something you can do is upgrade to a more modern coffee option. Single-origin beans or a blend made by a local coffee roaster will appeal to your visitors who like a higher-end brew. And when you buy in bulk, these better-quality coffees don't really cost much more than the cheaper, diner-style coffee you are likely offering currently. Including new, fancier coffee beverages on the menu is another fun way to modernize things a bit.
Modernizing your diner will make it a more appealing choice to customers, but you don't want to go so modern that you take away that diner appeal. The ideas above offer a good compromise. Visit diners throughout the country for more ideas for how to modernize.