A good concept is vital for marketing a new restaurant. Given that there are over a million restaurants in the United States alone, it may seem impossible to find a unique, appealing new niche. The fact is, with enough creativity and passion, you can come up with a restaurant concept that is fresh and exciting. Whether you are in the brainstorming stage of your new business, or you are in the process of re-branding your current restaurant, follow these tips to create a winning restaurant concept.
Be a visionary
The first step in creating a unique concept is thorough brainstorming. Use open-ended questions that allow you to ponder ideas without restrictions. Take note of all the crazy and random thoughts that come to mind. Let yourself have fun with it. Once you have a long list of ideas, you are ready to mix and match them.
Create a scrapbook of notes and images. When you see an appealing design or art concept, take a picture and save it on your phone. As you go through the day, ideas will pop into your head. Whenever this happens, jot it down on paper or in a note app on your phone. At the end of the day, gather everything together into a folder and use it to fuel your next brainstorming session.
When you see an appealing design or art concept, take a picture and save it on your phone.
As you consider ideas, they will spawn other, even more interesting ones. After enough brainstorming, you will be able to pick out some shining nuggets and discard most of the lackluster ideas. Once you have a few great ideas, you are ready to put more practical thinking to work in order to narrow them down based on how unique and inspiring they are, along with their viability from a business and marketing perspective.
Also, be patient. Great ideas don’t happen overnight. Do research. Study the market and examine the trends. Take long walks and let your imagination wander. If that eureka moment doesn’t happen, take a night or two to sleep on it and you will have a fresh perspective and new ideas the next day.
Draw inspiration from others
Isaac Newton, the inventor of calculus and physics, famously said: “If I’ve seen further (than others) it was only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This idea holds true for great restaurateurs as much as for scientists.
If I’ve seen further, it was only by standing on the shoulders of giants – Isaac Newton
The greatest ideas have been inspired by the genius of others. If your solitary brainstorming session doesn’t yield a true gem, why not look toward some of the most intriguing concepts that are out there and put your own personal twist on it? Also, a lot of the most successful restaurants took old ideas and just improved upon them.
Mix and match ideas
Think about all the most memorable experiences you’ve had in restaurants you’ve visited. One may have had delightfully eccentric menu items, and another may have had a fun and unique design concept. Maybe you had great service that felt genuine and down-to-earth while still exuding professionalism. Take all the best experiences you’ve had and combine them into one “dream team” concept for a winning restaurant.
Take all the best experiences you’ve had and combine them into one “dream team” concept for a winning restaurant.
On the other hand, you may have been to a place that was excellent, except for one blaring flaw. This means the market is in need of someone (you) to come along and do it right.kkl
Create a fantasy league of extraordinary chefs
When developing a great unique menu, imagine you could gather together all the world-renowned chefs you’ve admired over the years. Research and learn more about these icons.
You may be surprised at the ingenious ideas you come up with.
Think about what menu they might devise if they collaborated with each other, or what new fusion of world cuisines they might invent. You may be surprised at the ingenious ideas you come up with by doing an exercise like this, and it is bound to be fun as well.
Some important things to consider when making a final choice are: Would you be thrilled to dine at this restaurant? Is there a restaurant that you wish there were more of? Also, even if your concept is not completely new, if you are inspired by the idea it will have your individual flair that can’t be reproduced anywhere else. If you are passionate about your idea, the energy will be passed on to your staff and the customers will know they are in an exceptional restaurant.
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