Review and Revise your Food Service Concept to suit the New normal- Post COVID-19.

The concept development phase is the first step to creating a successful restaurant business adopting a practical  and methodic approach. The COVID 19 Pandemic has completely changed our normal business environment for the Food Service Industry and forced business owners and managers to make major changes to their operating environment. Based on a recent survey conducted by REZKON  37.5% of respondents have closed down their business permanently and an additional 25% are considering taking this big decision if things do not improve. 28% of respondents mentioned that they are considering making subtle changes to their concept and  12% of respondents are considering a re-branding exercise. So, why the hesitation to go ahead and make the changes? 


We have put together a very systematic Ten Step approach to Reviewing and Re-Conceptualizing your Food & Beverage business.


  1. FIND THE NEW OPPORTUNITY

Conduct an extensive market survey to reveal a potential niche in the market for our restaurant business, so we can define our new USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Look across the various segments without any limiting beliefs. 


2. DEFINE: “HOW WE ARE GOING TO FILL THIS GAP IN MARKET?”

  • Spell out the new USP’s of the business. 
  • What will be the future focus of our investment?
  • Which category would we specialize in?
  • What’s our Approach?
  • What about the Dining Experience?

3. REVIEW THE BRAND

Here’s the right time to review your brand identity.

Incorporate the USP’s into the brand Identity by creating a Tone of Voice and Brand Values. Create the Logo,  assets, applications, signage, menu designs, uniforms, packaging, stationery, etc.


4. FOOD & DRINKS

It’s now time to start working on a detailed Food & Drinks menu and direction. Create your new Food & drinks philosophy statement

  • What will be the signature dishes on the food menu?
  • What will be the highlights on the drinks menu?

5. THE SPACE DESIGN & EXPERIENCE

Define the soul of the business by making the necessary changes to the  Interior Design keeping in mind a “Customers Dining Experience”. 

Give a new direction to the music of the restaurant?

Create an interior design mood board and define the Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing MEP pre-requisites


6. MARKET & COMPETITION

  • Conduct a  study that focusses on trying to find all competitors in the marketplace who have concepts closest to what we are trying to do.
  • Include examples of successful mainstream and non-mainstream concepts that can be used for benchmarking.
  • Define the barriers to entry from competitors.
  • What’s Happening? : Trends in the marketplace.

7. WHO IS OUR CUSTOMER?

Define your target audience

  • Their Age Profile
  • Monthly Income range
  • Ethnic Background
  • Taste Preferences
  • Family Status
  • Professional Status
  • Luxury Market/Mid Market/ Budget Market?

8. LOCATION & SITE REVIEW

Firstly, find a list of suitable locations in terms of geographical presence. Then give your existing location a score on a scale of 0 to 10 on each of the below criteria

  • Street side vs mall, 
    • Hotel vs stand-alone! 
    • Parking Accessibility
    • Leasehold Term
    • What’s the Ideal size for the concept? (sq.ft)
    • Bar License?
    • Indoor/ Outdoor

9. BUSINESS PLAN

A detailed business Plan that would cover the

  • Investment Structure
  • Investment Budget 
  • Project Renovation Budget,
  • Customer Spend Forecasting
  • Year 1 P&L projection
  • 5 Year P&L Projection
  • Roll out Schedule
  • Exit Strategy

10. MARKETING PLAN & FUTURE STRATEGY

A very detailed plan outlining how the business will acquire customers and retain them.

  • Pre-opening Plan
  • Post Opening Ongoing Strategy
  • Opening Campaigns
  • Social Media Set-ups
  • Engaging the Media
  • Future Expansion

How does that make you feel? I bet …this would be an uplifting experience!!

I am sure that none of us want spend the rest of our careers just following a wait and watch approach. We are all searching for some certainty in business during these trying times. So go ahead… Try capturing your ideas on the mentioned format and give your business a fresh start.

Ask for help from experts to do this job for you if it sounds like a daunting task

 

Published by Shyam Sundar Bhaskaran

Food & Beverage expert specializing in Restaurant Transformation, Conceptualization, Re-branding, Pre-Opening Project Planning, Executive Coaching, Developing detailed Standard Operating Procedures and Implementing robust IT structure for Food & Beverage Business  Over the last two decades Shyam has conceptualized, opened and managed over 20 unique F&B Dining concepts including Fine Dining brands, Golf Clubs, Sports Bars, Casual Diners, Concessions in Stadiums, Central Kitchen Projects and Fast Food Brands in India, Middle East and China.

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