How to Develop a Restaurant Concept


restaurant concept

restaurant concept

Restaurant concept development is the single most important activity that a new restaurant start up can take. This mental jugular will develop your brand, your future marketing programs, your restaurant design.

The Restaurant Concept

Restaurant Concept is the mental clarity of why your restaurant exists.

A famous phrase coined by a restaurant consultant why does the world deserve another restaurant. To my mind thought provoking

Demand versus Supply

Is your restaurant concept supply side driven or demand side driven? You opened a Mexican restaurant because there is none in the market is an example of supply side. A demand side perspective would be a need for fiery food and that need may well be presented by a Mexican restaurant.

Your customer need or fears

Does the restaurant fulfill customer need or fears. As a restaurant consultant I prefer the focus on fears. The fear that a date goes well , will force the customer to choose the ambience that his date likes. Anthony Robbins spoke of concept of pleasure and pain principle. Most people focus on how to avoid pain. Leading literature on pricing has indicated that people are risk averse. More of that later. The question is, what is my customer afraid off and how do I fulfill.

The analogy of a car

On Facebook, you have these games like which star do I resemble or which animal I am. In a similar manner, which car do you resemble, or which animal. This simple mind game will allow you to identify attributes that you must build in your design or operation.

Restaurant competition

Who do you compare your restaurant with? Later you may find that your customer compares you to another set off restaurant. The paradigm of restaurant competition shows that either you can be like them or you can offer a contrarian option. As a restaurant consultant, I advise that you need to look within and then compare. The reason is that you may suffer the same mediocrity as your competition.

Your product and service and mood

After all this mental jugulars, you need to identify what will you serve and in what decor. Hope you are not disappointed that as I as a restaurant consultant take you serving good food for granted.

The grand promise

Its important that you are able to articulate your promise. Its a theme that will be built in all your marketing programs. Four Season says “we are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen” . Please note that it does not take a comfortable room into account. What is your promise? Its not supposed to be your tag line but an attempt to crystallize what you will do and what you wont. It will dictate how you will respond to customer fears in the form of product offering nd marketing programs. Your promise can be transactional or intangible. Dominoes offers speed.


Restaurants are not about food alone. Good food is table stakes. We do not fulfill hunger. We are about experiences and memories and places where people renew themselves, their relationships. A place which offers them a change of pace. A place which reflect their image of themselves.

These are some of the things that you need to do. It can be actually hard. Thinking generally is. But brainstorm with me as your restaurant consultant or with your friends. But a clarity on why you are doing this great restaurant will help you in the long run.

Concept development although is looking outside is a soul searching process and make you link what in and out.

Please give your feedback.

To your success.

About the author 

Sartaj S Bedi

With 20-year restaurant industry expertise, offering insights and expertise in strategy, operations, and quality. He employs a holistic approach to guide clients towards strategic success.

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