Tips For Choosing A Restaurant Concept

Choosing Your Concept

The Main Catagories or types are:

QSR (quick service restaurants) - A fast food restaurant, sometimes known as a quick service restaurant or QSR, is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by its fast food cuisine and by minimal table service. Food served in fast food restaurants typically caters to a "meat-sweet diet" and is offered from a limited menu; is cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot; is finished and packaged to order; and is usually available ready to take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are usually part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation, which provisions standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam-Webster in 1951.[2]

Variations on the fast food restaurant concept include fast casual restaurants and catering trucks. Fast casual restaurants have higher sit-in ratios, and customers can sit and have their orders brought to them. Catering trucks often park just outside worksites and are popular with factory workers. (source: wikipedia)

Family Dining: Family style restaurants are restaurants that have a fixed menu and fixed price, usually with diners seated at a communal table such as on bench seats. More common in the 19th and early 20th century, they can still be found in rural communities, or as theme restaurants, or in vacation lodges.

Casual dining restaurant is a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere. Except for buffet-style restaurants, casual dining restaurants typically provide table service. Casual dining comprises a market segment between fast food establishments and fine dining restaurants (see also Fast casual restaurant).

Casual dining restaurants usually have a full bar with separate bar staff, a larger beer menu and a limited wine menu. (source: wikipedia)

Fine dining restaurants are full service restaurants with specific dedicated meal courses. Décor of such restaurants feature higher quality materials with an eye towards the "atmosphere" desired by the restaurateur. The wait staff is usually highly trained and often wears more formal attire. (Source: wikipedia)

Ethnic Restaurants: Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Caribbean, English, French, German, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean, Thai and Vietnamese.

Tools for choosing your concept:

Demographic survey -Do a demographic survey of the area you are going to put your restaurant to determine the ages of customers, Ethnic groups, Occupations, Income levels, Size of market to see if your concept is a good fit for the area.

Some web sites for finding demographic information are:
US Census Bureau
> United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
Demographics Now

Market analysis software
Conducting A Market Analysis
The Center For Economic Development
The business Research Lab

Competitive analysis - This will help you understand who your competition will be. You should compare your menu prices with your potential market competitors. Simply perform some market research by visiting these competitors and taking note of their menu prices. Use this competitive pricing analysis as a test of reasonableness to determine whether your menu and prices are in line.

The search for information on your competition should begin by finding their names and locations. Online directories such as and can help you find competitors in your area. Just choose the category that your business is in and the number of miles around a city you'd like to search. Visiting the competitors' web sites will help you decide what marketing strategy would be best for you.

The type of concept you will choose will determine the following
areas in your restaurant planning.

  1. Your equipment needs.
  2. Your type of table top items, such as flatware, plate ware, napkins and linens
  3. Storage, cooler and freezer size
  4. Employee Uniforms -
  5. How large of a building you will need.
  6. How many employees you will need to hire.
  7. Your parking lot size.
  8. What type of signs and type of advertising needed.