A Challenging Transition: Is Changing A Restaurant Concept Possible While In Operation?
November 28, 2020
Article Overview10min read
Taking a fresh start in any area of life can take a lot of effort and the restaurant business is no stranger to this concept. Whether it is the tough economy or that your concept is past its era, there are specific reasons why restaurants tend to no longer draw in the crowds as expected.
If you are in such a situation, switching up to a new concept is a great way to revitalize and kickstart your endeavor the right way. The common assumption is that you will need to close down your restaurant and launch under a new name but that’s hardly necessary. Here’s how you move to a new concept while keeping your restaurant open.
Define What Went Wrong
Define the issue. Look into what went wrong with your restaurant concept and what you did right. Everything that was done incorrectly will need to be immediately addressed. This can be a complete overhaul of your servers or a simple revision of your menu.
But, if the list keeps going, you must consider a complete revamp, from the top all the way to the bottom. A clean break will often make it easier to start afresh with your new concept, allowing for the restaurant to be more appealing to the customers.
Draw Up A New Plan
Create a revised plan that takes into account all the pitfalls of your previous concept. Note everything down to the last detail, from the new interior decor to the menu design and the pricing system.
Next, create a budget for every step and all the purchases that will need to be done. For example, if it is a pizzeria, you will also need some Italian artwork to go along with the brick oven.
Make Your Purchases
Gradually start purchasing everything you need for the change in concepts such as lighting fixtures, dishes, window fashions, and even silverware. Make these changes along an incremental timeline for better feasibility in terms of your finances as well as the overall outlook for your restaurant.
For example, you can begin by changing the fixtures at the seating end of your restaurant and then move to the inner kitchen. These little changes are unlikely to be noticed by many patrons but will equate to a bigger transformation in the future when all aspects come together to add more meaning to your restaurant.
Engage Your Customers
Prepare your customers for the new shift. Every restaurant has its loyal customers and they will not like walking into a restaurant that looks nothing like the establishment they cherish. There is a good chance they will assume the restaurant has closed and look elsewhere for options.
To avoid alienating your core audience, inform them early ahead of the impending change. Do stress that you are committed to providing them with the same quality of service and food that they like. Ideally, you would give them enticing opening offers so that they can give your new look a chance.
Lastly, while many are tempted to rebrand to a new branding that’s similar to the previous branding, it can cause a lot of confusion. Especially since it is the internet age, your branding should be simple and easy to understand at a glance. Customers don’t want to be guessing what the cuisine will be. Don’t skimp on hiring good graphics designers or hospitality consultants who can help you design a well-rounded concept and get your restaurant started in a new way.