Are you planning to open a restaurant? If yes, then your first step should be in deciding a concept. While doing so, you need to be very careful, since your concept will be the primary factor in your choice of location and the cuisine you will be planning to offer. Often restaurateurs choose their restaurant concept and open the business without figuring out if it is right according to the location, target customers, and even their budget.
For instance, planning to open a bakery in a small town which already has multiple highly successful bakeries running might not be the best business idea. Just like writing a business plan you need to do a bit of homework, it is the same when it comes to deciding on your restaurant concept.
What is a Restaurant Concept?
Before you decide your restaurant concept, let us look at what it is actually. A restaurant concept is the theme and the overall idea of your business. It includes the restaurant format, type of service that you are going to offer, and the cuisine. The top restaurant types and formats are –
- Quick Service Restaurants
- Casual Dining Restaurants
- Fine Dining Restaurants
- Restro-bars and lounges
- Food Trucks and Food Carts
Things To Consider While Deciding Your Restaurant Concept
There are various things that you must keep in mind while choosing a restaurant concept. A great restaurant concept that suits you has the potential to pave the way for your business towards a ravishing success. In this article, we will discuss the points that you should keep in mind, and that will help you decide the best restaurant concept for your venture.
1. Do Your Market Research
First, you must do a proper industrial market research about what works the best in your area. If your restaurant is based in a small town, it is preferable you don’t select a restaurant concept or theme which already exists in the vicinity. For example, if there are three to four coffee shops in the area then it is preferable if you don’t venture into the format. While high competition is a good thing in a high-end food street, it is not the same in a small town. Try and comprehend what type of cuisine works the best in the market. If you see there are too many Chinese and Continental restaurants, in an area, try and find out which one has a better footfall. In doing so, you will get a chance to peek into the minds and tastes of the customers you are planning to target.
2. Decide As Per Your Budget
Since different restaurant concepts require different capital investment, the budget is the main thing you should keep in mind while choosing your restaurant concept. You must have a budget in mind which you need to adhere to. For example, if you have a budget of a food truck or a takeaway and you dream of having a fine dine or casual dining, it will be your biggest blunder. Once you choose the restaurant format, you also need to decide the menu and the style of your concept.
Does your restaurant menu require expensive ingredients like seafood or steak? If yes, then reconsider your decision, taking into consideration whether you have the budget enough to buy and serve the menu item.
If you are considering to take a loan to open your new restaurant, you will without a doubt burden yourself with a huge payment each month for the maintenance of your restaurant even before you know how profitable it will ultimately be. Moreover, restaurant owners mostly allocate all their budget on the setting up of the restaurant. This is one of the fatal mistakes, because, they must keep some working capital which will help them to run the restaurant until it starts making the profit.
3. Think About the Cuisine You Want To Offer
What have you decided to offer to your customers? Will it be classic southern cooking with a modern twist, traditional sushi, or low-key Mexican comfort food? Whatever it might be, you must understand that all will not work together in the same restaurant. Choose what you want to go with, and keep it simple. While selecting your cuisine, remember the insights you had garnered from the market research. Think about a concept so simple that people can describe your restaurant in one sentence. This will help in creating a USP of your restaurant and also aid marketing via word of mouth.
4. How Will You Price Your Dishes?
This is a significant deciding factor in choosing the right restaurant concept for your restaurant. If you want to charge fine dine price in a casual dining restaurant will probably not be a very reasonable idea. On the other hand, you may not be able to support the costs for gourmet ingredients if you want to keep entrees under INR 200.
5. Consider Your Targeted Clientele
Know who you want to target. For example, if you are planning to target the college or the student crowd, they would prefer a quirky establishment, with funky interiors and prices which is more comfortable on the pockets. On the contrary, if you are planning to target families or upper-class crowd, then you must go for a fine dining establishment, with prices relatively higher which the targeted crowd won’t mind to pitch in. According to the clientele you are planning to attract you can mold your restaurant’s concept to suit their type.
6. Choose a Concept that Goes with Your Location
Your location will have a massive effect on choosing the most effective restaurant concept. If you decide to open a restaurant in a hipster and a student-centric neighborhood, you may open a more quirky and youth-oriented establishment, whereas if you are in a corporate office area where people dine out to have business meetings, you can go for a posh establishment with basic colors and classy interiors.
7. Consider the Size of Your Restaurant
If it is a small space with only one or two table area, a more casual takeaway concept might be the best option. If it is a large space with two bars and 75 or more covers, you can go for a more crowd-pleasing concept with trend-proof dining options where people can bring large groups. You must consider the size of the kitchen area as well.
8. Look for A Unique Concept
Here’s a big question, and one that requires that you take a step back and answer honestly. Is your restaurant concept genuinely unique, taking into consideration your competitors in the market? Here market research will come in handy yet again. If you are planning to have a cafe in a student locality with too many other cafes you’ve got to do something that will help you to stand out amongst the others in the vicinity.
In such a situation, choose a concept to which the customers will relate. The F.R.I.E.N.D.S cafe in Hudson Lane, New Delhi has a unique concept that is also appealing to the target audience. This shows, either you choose a location where you will be the first of your type or select a concept that will propel customers to choose you over your competitors in the vicinity.
Diligently keep in mind all the factors mentioned above which will help you to have a thorough understanding about which concept will suit the best for you and how you can further bolster your restaurant operations which will pave the way for a successful business.