Having the right restaurant concept can make a difference in gaining and retaining customers. The wrong menu or theme can leave customers dissatisfied.
Defining the right concept is easier said than done, and even the most experienced restaurant owners can go wrong with new images and openings. Listed here are some of the most successful restaurant concepts, which have been tried and tested across various markets:
1. Fast food chains: these are quick-service restaurants, which rely on mass-produced and, in most cases, fried or ready grilled takeout food. Such chains usually follow a takeaway, franchise, and cheap to mid-priced menu model.
Most chains are based in remote locations, have limited seating, and are self-service; hence they can be set up and executed on a low-cost budget.
- Coffee shops and cafes: A more recent concept which has grown in popularity rapidly, these cafes can range from worldwide chains such as Starbucks to more local neighborhood coffee shops.
This has been a prevalent concept recently, given costs can be low, and it can be easy for new cafes to test unique flavors, concepts, and ideas to stand out from the competition.
- Fast-casual restaurants: A relatively new concept which aims to bring together the best of both worlds by merging fast food and casual dining.
While the food and packaging can be very similar to a typical fast-food restaurant, the dining atmosphere and ambiance can be more upscale and inviting, especially for large and family groups.
- Food trucks: While this is an old concept, it has seen a resurgence in popularity more recently, given they can be low cost and attract a lot of young diners.
Food trucks are usually seen around schools, parks, and malls, grouped to offer a unique and enjoyable environment. The food can range from fast food to homemade delicacies, and most food truck owners usually play with recipes and update their menus frequently.
- Ghost kitchens: A very recent concept that has grown in popularity during Covid-19 lockdowns, enabled by rapid online food delivery market growth.
Such restaurants are based on shared/virtual kitchens and only offer takeout and delivery services for their customers. A vital benefit of this concept is meager real estate, labor, inventory costs, and the option to scale and grow at a flexible rate.