You need to be passionate about your restaurant to make it work. The food you serve needs to be fresh and flavourful, the ambience needs to suit the style of the restaurant and the type of customers you are trying to appeal to.
You may think that deciding which food to specialize in is one of the easiest decisions you will need to make when you are launching your own restaurant. If you have a certain ethnic background and are able to cook authentic food, you may think the decision has already been made.
However, this is not always the case and it can be a tricky time as you balance the pros and cons between what you know and what will sell.
What Are Your Skills?Let’s say that you see yourself as the next Gordon Ramsay. You love exquisite, fine dining and Michelin star influenced cooking. You are already planning a menu full of truffles, oysters and rare ingredients, cooked to perfection with the high end price tag to match. That is all well and good if you have very large pockets full of money and a lease in a Mayfair location.
But if you are actually going to set up your restaurant in a small market town and have a budget that just about stretches to Ikea, you really need to think again. If you go for the fancy option, you may get people coming in for high days and holidays, but you are unlikely to have a stream of regulars – and they are the people that keep a business going.
What Will Sell?Deciding what type of food to specialize in needs to be a balance between what you are able to do well and what will suit your potential customer. That does not mean that you cannot try anything new, indeed some restaurants are a surprise success as too many people assume that a market town only wants more tea and scones. Push the boat out by all means, but you will have your work cut out for you in terms of marketing and promotions.
Popular cuisine types for English restaurants are Chinese food, Italian food and different types of Asian influenced cooking – Thai, fusion and Japanese. If you are able to cook authentically in any of these styles and are passionate about it, then this is the perfect type of food for your restaurant to specialize in.
If, however, you are not really sure of a particular type of food and you are open minded about what you will serve, do not try to be jack of all trades. It is very hard for a new restaurant to succeed if potential customers are not able to describe what they sell. By all means offer a range of foods, or make it clear that you are able to produce a varied menu, but some people do turn their noses up at this and prefer a more structured cuisine.