Successful restaurant concepts focus on trends that are popular among the people in a favored demographic section of the public. People love validation of their own ideas, and restaurants that concentrate on satisfying those attitudes with targeted businesses can do astonishingly well. Capitalizing on a concept usually involves identifying a popular trend, but clever entrepreneurs can create support through social media marketing that convinces people that restaurant concepts are desirable, trendy and eco-friendly.

Chef-based Restaurants

Dining at restaurants that boast world-renowned chefs is a powerful draw for new restaurants, and famous chefs attract diners on the strength of their celebrity status or based on diners actually being able to taste the culinary creations of working celebrity chefs.

  • Celebrities can come from television, well-regarded, peer-reviewed chefs and famed culinary writers who have established followings.
  • Chef Hiron Ursawa of Ursawa prepares what many people regards as the best sushi in the United States and imports his ingredients from Japan.
  • Thomas Keller of The French Laundry prepares a 10-course meal that starts at $240 per person for those lucky enough to get reservations.

Targeting the Middle Market

For many years, people could choose fast food or upscale restaurants to enjoy Mexican cuisine, but Chipotle broke the stereotype by offering fast-casual choices for diners. The burgeoning immigrant population from India and China and wealth of culinary choices make China and India good choices for middle-market restaurant concepts. Again, Chipotle capitalized on the fast-casual concept for Asian cuisine by creating a new chain in 2011.

  • ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen offers fast-casual Asian dishes from a short menu.
  • Chutney Joe’s, a fast-casual Indian restaurant with two locations in Chicago, plans to expand to other cities soon.
  • Noodle & Company offers different takes on noodle dishes and plans further development from its Colorado base.

Sustainable Sourcing Concept for Restaurants

Farm-to-table restaurants have become increasingly popular (including restaurants that promote they are green and sustainable), and planners can use this concept for many types of cuisines from fast food to fine dining. People not only want locally sourced produce but also support restaurants that offer organic meat, sustainable seafood and meat from ethically treated animals. Western civilization was built on beef, seafood and wheat, so building a restaurant concept around these key ingredients resounds with consumers.

  • The better burger concept inspired burger franchises Burgerville and Larkburger to combine upscale burger marketing and environmental issues in their business plans.
  • Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Alice Waters of Chez Panisse pioneered the locally sourced meat movement.
  • Customers prefer wild seafood for ethical and practical reasons, and Blue Horizon Wild sources responsibly caught seafood as its signature concept.

One-dish Eateries

One-dish restaurants have become increasingly popular among aficionados or people who years for their favorite comfort foods. Yogurt and smoothie shops, grilled cheese restaurants and hot dog eateries tap into people’s desire for comfort foods or healthy-dining options. Restaurants that specialize in one or two foods need less equipment, have more time and resources to perfect their recipes and can order ingredients in higher quantities to reduce costs.

  • Dunkin’ Donut turned doughnuts into consumer staples throughout the country.
  • An Oakland-based restaurant called Homeroom serves macaroni and cheese in 10 ways.
  • One-dish concepts that create excitement include fondue, pot pies, baked potatoes and meatballs.