By Priyanka Matondkar
While preparing to write a blog post on this topic, I went through many websites and shortlisted some of the innovative tips for startup restaurants which I came across. The following 19 ideas/tips, which I swear by can easily help anybody in building their dreams in the food sector:
1) Use organic ingredients
The restaurants should team up with local farms for the organic raw material supply or should come up with its own tiny open field in front of their place and grow the required farm products themselves so that the customers too can experience the whole process.
2) An open kitchen can be a highlight
The restaurants should opt for an open kitchen so the main chefs remain as the center of attraction to the customers. The chefs should be able to craft their own signature special food items so the customers get something new to discover. Also, every now and then, invite some new yet different chefs from other hotels and restaurants to take up the charge of your kitchen and let them try out a few of their own signature delicacies for your regular customers.
3) Don’t leave pets out
The restaurants should be pet-friendly. Let’s include domestic animals like cats and dogs to the place. For example, the Cat Café Studio, Gostana and Mutt Hutt in Mumbai.
Customers can help themselves to food items. Also, the food should be packed in a container so that the customers can take home their remaining or leftover food with them. The idea is to eliminate food wastage.
5) Provide some entertainment programs within the restaurants
Magic shows, singing programs, and other entertainment shows, games, competitions, etc. Every day, turn your restaurant into a particular theme. You can also try blind dinners or dim light/candlelight dinners.
6) Allow guests to make their own food
Create a tiny private kitchenette in front of your restaurant for a quick fix for street food. Allow guests who are willing to prepare their own food in this private kitchen.
7) Use new technologies like apps
Customers can place their food orders and book their tables from a personalized restaurant mobile app. Also, customers can rate dishes and the service or the whole experience through the app. They can also do their payments on the app by scanning the QR code or by entering credit/debit card details. You can still use the traditional way in addition to the app that is cash payments after buying their food.
8) Promote on social media
Encourage your staff especially the chefs to post their food preparation videos and clicks on the restaurant’s social media channels. Appreciate the restaurant staff on a timely basis by rewarding them with a bonus and other incentives. Putting a suggestion and feedback box can do wonders.
9) Location, location, location
Start a satellite stall near a college, high brand hotel or mall to get the required shout outs by being located in their vicinity. This is the better way to market your business and increase sales through more footfall.
10) Valet Parking
The need for and availability of valet parking should be considered while setting up the restaurant.
11) Offer extra facilities
like free Wi-Fi and an inbuilt library (especially for students and the bookworms) can attract a huge crowd.
12) Partner with NGOs
Serve free food to poor and needy by partnering with charity organizations at least once in a month. Also, contribute a certain percentage of your earnings for their betterment every year.
13) One Stop Shop
The restaurant could try to offer almost everything under one roof like breakfast, brunch, coffee, desserts, lunch, dinner, snacks, takeaway, etc.
14) Encourage Better Health
The food provided should be healthy and diet oriented. Medicinal properties such as vitamin C, minerals, and iron, etc could be mentioned which is popular nowadays. Vegan restaurants are also very popular around the world.
15) Interior Design Theme
One idea is to turn your restaurant exteriors and interiors into a historic theme from a particular part of the world, such as British, French, Indian, Portuguese.
16) Communal Table
How about assigning a communal table in your restaurant so that several people can sit together and become friends?
17) Promotions at the end of the day
Instead of throwing out the food at the end of the day, offer discounts to sell off the remaining food.
18) Late night food services
One should try and stay open late while almost all other restaurants doze off.
19) Other ideas
Screen movies/ sports, encourage small parties or get-togethers, offer free delivery in the vicinity of the restaurant, etc.
I hope this list is helpful and gets you thinking about more ideas. Do leave a comment below to add your own ideas and experiences!