A well developed restaurant concept is a plus for any restaurant. Guests are not only interested in the food they eat, but also their surroundings. Restaurants gain recognition by the concepts they establish; for example, casual dining, fine dining or fast food concepts. To attract customers and maintain a competitive edge, start-up restaurants must develop suitable concept plans to satisfy potential guests.

Step 1.

Identify the ideal location where you will establish your restaurant. The location should be spacious, accessible and affordable. Analyze the restaurants in the area and identify the various restaurant concepts that are practiced by these restaurants. Results from the analysis will likely show the various restaurant concepts available in the area and will assist in identifying a restaurant concept that is absent or under represented in the locality.

Step 2.

Carry out research on the demographics of the population in the area where you will be establishing the restaurant. Demographics in this case refer to the age, ethnicity and income levels of the target population. Information from this research helps in identifying the most suitable part of the population to target with your restaurant concept.

Step 3.

Analyze the competition that your restaurant will face from other establishments in the area. A competitive analysis identifies the market targeted by the competition, their prices, strengths and weaknesses. Information from the analysis helps in developing a restaurant concept that will be successful in the target area. Competitive analysis helps in identifying a market niche for your restaurant.

Step 4.

Identify the most suitable concept from the information you have gathered in the previous steps. Consider the under-served customers, capital outlay required and the competition in the area when arriving at your choice of restaurant concept.

Step 5.

Prepare a concept checklist. The checklist should contain all important information of the restaurant concept that is to be developed. It includes the menu type: either a full menu or a limited menu. It should also include the ambiance and atmosphere of the restaurant: formal, casual or romantic. The checklist should also contain the types of drinks to be served: nonalcoholic only or alcoholic and nonalcoholic. It should also identify whether takeouts and home deliveries will be available.


Consult a person with knowledge and experience in the hotel/restaurant industry to assist in developing your restaurant's concept.