For business owners or anyone deciding to open a restaurant, it’s important to keep your concept, furniture, and business in general as simple as possible. Opening a new restaurant is hard enough without making the process more complex than necessary. Creating a menu with too many items, designing your space with too many colors, or buying too much or too varied restaurant furniture products will make opening a restaurant much harder.
During very prosperous times in history, there may have been opportunities for restaurants to design and implement almost any type of restaurant concept and be successful. Customers had a lot more money to spend on dining out, and would wait in line for extended periods to dine at trendy restaurants. In many locales, those days are over. Unless you are a large corporation, or a potential business owner with a lot of cash you are willing to risk, sticking with a more simple concept overall will give your new business a much greater chance of succeeding.
1. Simple concepts
Begin by performing a ton of research on the type of restaurant concept you are considering and the locale you are interested in. Be sure to match the style of restaurant with the right location. For example, a concept such as a bar and grill with 100 styles of beer on tap may work well in an entertainment district or large downtown area with a vibrant nightlife, but it may not work in a suburban bedroom community. Opening a pizzeria in an area that already has three or four other pizza restaurants may be oversaturation, and may not have enough pizza customers willing to try your new business.
2. Simple Menus
Keeping your menu simple, at least initially, will be of great benefit to a restaurant that is just starting out. You can simplify your menu in a couple of ways. The first way is to really pare down the amount of choices you offer on your menu. Be creative and instead of offering ten different chicken dishes, find two great chicken recipes that you can prepare easily and very well. Try to create a menu with a variety of options that will please many diners’ palates without making the overall menu too large. Many very good restaurants feature menus that are one or two pages.
The second way to simplify your menu is to feature dishes made from just a few high quality ingredients. For example, freshly made burgers with a small selection of high quality toppings can go a long way towards a great restaurant menu and have almost universal appeal. Outsourcing much of your menu ingredients from local market suppliers goes a long way to preparing simple, delicious restaurant dishes. Advertising your local suppliers on your restaurant menu is a great idea, as this is a huge restaurant trend right now, and so that your diners will be informed of the source of their food.
3. Simple Décor
Creating a simple décor for your new restaurant will save you time and money. Choose just one or two colors for your interior, and carry those colors through to your restaurant’s exterior and outdoor dining spaces. Brand your company’s website, menu, advertisements and other printed materials with those same colors. Consider restaurant’s furnishings and furniture in complementary or contrasting colors. Look at some basic restaurant seating charts to ensure you’re not crowding your dining spaces which will make customers uncomfortable.
4. Simple Restaurant Furniture
Just as with the other aspects of your new restaurant, be sure to keep the restaurant furniture simple. It may seem counterintuitive to select the more simple options in restaurant chairs, tables and barstools, but doing so will save you money and be a better option in the long run. You may want to buy a trendy, ultra modern poly chair which would of course look great in your restaurant, but is this chair comfortable? If you want customers to return, comfort and durability will be important factors. Customers may hear about your new restaurant décor and furniture’s wow factor, but will they return once they’ve seen it the first time? They may prefer something more cozy and comfortable, just like they may prefer their broken in leather recliner when at home. Usually, basic or simple restaurant furniture is less expensive to purchase initially. Using lower backed or more simply designed chairs or barstools can open up a small dining space.
Starting your new restaurant simply is a concept you can always build upon later. Your successful new restaurant can expand its menu, or purchase new restaurant furniture when the time is right.