The concept of a restaurant is the lifeline of its brand and industry survival. It makes your venue stand out from the competition, and it is essentially the unique selling point of your restaurant. A concept plan is something that any aspiring restaurateur should be looking to complete. When developing a concept plan, here are a few things to consider.

An idea isn't the same as a concept

Through the completion of a feasibility study, the 'idea' you have needs to be articulated and deeply researched. Once that concept has been studied and a series of reviews have passed on the market, location, technical, business, and financial viability of the idea, a concept plan can then be started.

Keep in mind these characteristics

There are five key elements an aspiring restaurateur needs to keep in mind when first developing a winning concept. The concept must be designed to be scalable, profitable, memorable, consistent, and sustainable. You will be positioning yourself for success if you can apply these five characteristics to each stage of the decision-making process!

This is more than just cuisine.

At the food or cuisine level, most conceptual ideas start. New restaurateurs need to remember that restaurants don't just sell food and drinks, they also sell experiences by enhancing guests' emotions. It is imperative to concentrate on the type of menu and niche of cuisine when designing a concept, but it needs to be taken a step further to ensure that it is a menu that the market not only wants and needs, but a menu that elevates the guests’ variety of senses.

Incorporate your choice of messaging

A brand's development is much more than color choices and logos. Completing a vision, value, mission, and culture statement is one of the best ways to begin laying out the vision of your brand. Walt Disney once said: "When your values are clear to you, it becomes simpler to make decisions!" When it comes to restaurants, this is also unbelievably true. When you know your principles and other statements and have perfected them to be short, unforgettable paragraphs, your idea can really be understood by you, your future staff and your community.

Create a budget

It is not a cheap endeavor to build, purchase, or renovate a restaurant. The building and refurbishment period will be the main cost factor. In terms of the ideal design features and vision, it is important to obtain as much knowledge as possible at the project creation level. In order to grow the restaurant to your desired vision, are you in a financial position? If not, in terms of size and decor, find ways to scale down while still meeting the idea you want to offer. If the restaurant is scaled down, will it still achieve the expected financial targets set out in the feasibility study? Can the kitchen still produce the menu that has been proposed?


Developing a restaurant concept can be a daunting task for many first-time restauranteurs. However, the key areas everyone should remember when creating a concept to match their own branding and niche is that focusing on consistency and experience will create a memorable environment. This applies to your brand colors, imagery, menu, when customers walk through your doors, and even how they engage with your brand online. Developing a restaurant concept is about finding the balance between "are we a brand" or "are we a business" Check out our other blogs below, we discuss more industry-related topics and events.