Due to the pandemic, 110,000 American eating and drinking establishments will close their doors in 2020. 87% of the surveyed restaurants also reported a 36% decrease in revenue. The worst of the pandemic seems to have ended, but restaurants need to reevaluate their marketing strategies and try new restaurant concepts.
We analyzed hundreds of ideas from restaurant owners around the globe and found these strategies to be most effective.
7 innovative new restaurant ideas to help build a strong marketing foundation
#1 Create a unique theme for your restaurant.
The first underwater restaurant, surrounded by water, was established in the Maldives. Or how about a Spanish restaurant on top of a volcano in Spain? Would you prefer to eat at The Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs?
Although it might be expensive to set up and maintain a similar theme, you will still attract customers looking for memorable experiences.
Setting up a special environment doesn’t need to cost millions of dollars or require costly maintenance. For a special interior design, you can pay a once-off fee. Seven Kingdom, for example, is an Indian cafe and grill that features Game Thrones-themed food.
A theme can be chosen related to a film, football team, or art movement. This will make the event a popular destination for fans. Here’s a tip. Avoid choosing a specific theme, as it might be too narrow for your audience.
#2 Use self-service kiosks to reduce labor costs
You’ve probably noticed that McDonald’s restaurants combine self-service kiosks and real employees who register orders. What are their benefits? Digital kiosks:
- You can register orders precisely and without any human error.
- Reduce labor costs (no vacations, no days off, no employee benefits),
- You can instantly change prices and menu items, while printing menus are more expensive.
- You can upsell your customers based upon the chosen items (e.g., an extra slice of cheese for a hamburger.
- To ensure that your customers purchase what you have in stock, you can include only the most profitable and well-received menu items.
- This will help you avoid waiting in long lines and taking too long to get your service.
- Allow your employees to be creative and not just do repetitive tasks.
This tactic allowed for face-to-face communication between the buyer and cashier, making it one of the most innovative and important restaurant ideas during coronavirus. Even if you have to comply with all the restrictions, you’ll still enjoy the same benefits as before.
#3 Mix the cuisines from different continents
Have you ever thought of making a Mexican chicken taco using a Thai peanut dressing? You could also try short ribs with Korean BBQ sauce and Mexican cheeses. A restaurant in the United States combines the best flavors of Latin and Asian cuisines and presents them differently. It’s one of those innovative restaurant menu options that only experienced chefs and business owners would attempt.
This strategy is ideal if you are passionate about trying new recipes and have the financial resources. This strategy will attract high-end customers, tourists, and food lovers from other continents. It will be difficult for your competitors to build a comparable restaurant. You will be the only one offering this unique combination of cuisines.
#4 Reimagine your favorite food in a new way
Pizza in a bowl…
Shawarma is on a plate…
Sub sandwiches transformed into salads.
You have many options to transform popular foods and drinks into new menu items. You can offer the same flavors, same ingredients, but in a different way. This is a safe tactic that almost guarantees success. Although it is easy to copy your ideas, you should still have the secret recipe that will keep your visitors coming back.
This tactic can be used to create innovative concepts for fast-food restaurants. This tactic is designed to make people’s lives easier and help them launch their business with an interesting approach.
#5 Become a top destination for dog lovers
According to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of American households own pets. Americans are most likely to have a dog, surpassing cats, birds and freshwater fish.
Although most restaurants won’t allow dogs to eat in their establishments, you can still attract millions of dog-owners looking for a place to take their dogs. Websites such as Bring Fido can help you get noticed and make it clear that your business is pet-friendly. You can also create a special menu for dogs (chicken breasts, bacon, crunchies etc.) to increase your sales.
You must admit that not everyone likes dogs. You might lose customers who otherwise would visit your restaurant. You can offer a few dog-friendly days to avoid this.
#6 Offer a coworking area and meals
Coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular to offer innovative services such as restaurant ideas and freelancing.
Coworking Resource predicts that 5 million people will choose to work in coworking spaces by 2024. This is a 158% increase over 2020. You might consider turning your restaurant into a coworking space if it is a restaurant that serves only dinner or a café. This isn’t a good idea for fine-dining restaurants as the coworking space would not accommodate expensive dishes, wealthy visitors, or an elegant interior.
It would be best to consider the space available and what business model will best suit your needs.
Freelancers can make work packages and charge a monthly or daily fee. These fees may include a reserved spot, unlimited internet access, parking, unlimited coffee, and X hours of internet. You may also offer a la carte meals for your launch break.
#7 Join apps to sell leftovers from restaurants at discounted prices
According to Ordering, 34% of food waste is caused by restaurants in the United States. Pre-consumer stages (e.g. Pre-consumer stage (e.g.
Not only does it hurt your profits but also the environment. This is why technology has been developed to solve this problem.
Two apps that help connect hungry customers to restaurants and food stores are Food for All and Too Good to Go. These apps can solve many problems at once by joining together.
- Even if you have paid for the food, avoid throwing it away.
- Offer discounts to customers so they can try your food.
- You can contribute to sustainability by reducing trash in your restaurant and the environment.
- You can sell your products, which you wouldn’t otherwise throw away, and make a profit. Or, at the very least, break even.
- If you show that your business is eco-friendly, you will attract many food and nature lovers.
Food for All is available in New York and Boston. These restaurants should offer at least 50% off to ensure their offer is visible on the platform. People can purchase food starting at $3, which will reduce waste.
No matter where you are located, there is a service that offers similar services in your area. This is a great way to promote your restaurant and make it profitable.