Emerging ConceptsReal EstateRestaurant Design

Is it time for a Restaurant Upgrade?

I know. I feel your pain. The mere thought of an upgrade, whether remodeling a home or renovating a restaurant, can send shivers down the spine. And, while we’d like to think of this feeling as the excitement derived from anticipation, all too often it comes from uncertainty and a slight sense of dread. 

But what if your restaurant transformation didn’t have to be a major overhaul with walls coming down, supply chains overhauled, and massive upgrades to technology and design? What if a few changes could leave you and your customers feeling refreshed and revitalized? As Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric, said, “Change before you have to.”

So, with fall waiting in the wings, now may be the time to consider the possibilities. After all, the end of summer is a perfect time to take a breath and dream. 

The Design

Paint. If there’s one thing that can transform an interior in the most economical manner, it’s paint. Look at what Veranda considers the most beautiful restaurant interiors in the world. Does the modern mural of rolling hills and mountains found in Sassetta in Dallas inspire you? How about the mural with larger-than-life flowers in Le Colonial in Atlanta? 

Then, there’s the clean white walls of Ristorante La Sponda in Positano, Italy. This restaurant offers two additional easy-to-apply makeovers: plants and candles. Lemon trees separate seating areas, and plants with long vines are trained to flow along the walls. Candles are seen everywhere you look. In fact, over 400 candles provide evening illumination.

Taking the opposite approach to white is The Little Door in Hollywood. Old-world charm is found in the Mediterranean blue, rose, and natural wood. It also took advantage of the power of candlelight and the beauty of plants with candle chandeliers, wrought-iron candelabras, palms, ferns, and vines. The garden patio is covered with bougainvillea and exotic plants and includes a tiled fountain and koi pond. 

Another unique feature is the mutton rugs placed on chairs, providing extreme comfort and a cozy environment. 

And while we’re on the topic of comfort and cozy, today’s lighting can instantly transform an environment. Today’s LED tape lights tucked away in corners, around mirrors, under shelves, and in recessed architectural elements creates lighting from an unseen source that can change with one touch of a button. 

Whether creating an exquisite candlelight glow, a beach-themed environment with the tropical colors of the sea, or an atmosphere that says party central, this simple lighting can help create the various themes you desire.

The Food

While some restaurants change their offerings daily, others go by the theory, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That theory, however, doesn’t connect with the newest generations that are now our most prevalent customers. They’re looking for an experience, something new and different that they can’t duplicate at home. 

And that requires change. Of course, we’re not referring to a whole new menu selection, though some concepts, like farm-to-table, do just that to stay relevant with the seasons. For many restaurants, however, keeping the crowd interested is as easy as cutting one dish that’s proved a dud and replacing it with a crowd-pleasing trend. 

Keep an eye on the effectiveness of your dishes via your daily reports. They’ll tell you which ones are best sellers and which ones offer the highest profits. Keep those.

The Trends

Innovation is a part of every successful business, including restaurants. Are you aware of trending beverage and food items in your niche? One of the hot items this summer is international grilled food (think outdoor barbeques) featuring Thai and Korean barbeque techniques. This accommodates both today’s consumer preferences, unique ingredients, and authentic cooking styles from other countries.

As C.S. Lewis said, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” May these restaurants and ideas inspire you to take a chance or even one small change. 

At Emerging Concepts, we’re committed to helping our partners succeed, whether through menu overhauls, overcoming supply chain challenges, or ensuring a site selection suitable for your concept and target market. The outcome? Reducing risks, enhancing profits, and ensuring you meet your long and short-term goals.

To learn more about becoming a strategic partner or to schedule a consultation, contact Emerging Concepts today.


How often should you change a menu?

Many in the industry suggest changing your menu every three to four times a year. One way to consider this is changing it as the seasons change. 

How long does it take for a restaurant to succeed?

We’ve all heard about the overnight successes. For most establishments, however, it averages out to about two years—the time it takes for a restaurant to turn a profit and begin its upward trajectory. 

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