How To Keep Your Restaurant Trendy Always
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
There are two distinct types of restaurants in India (actually, there are more than two, but for the purpose of this article, let’s just say there are only two). Restaurants that offer authentic, traditional Indian foods and specialise in them, and restaurants that are all about fusion, newness and innovation.
Both models can be pulled off successfully with a focus on the right modus operandi. With the former, it’s all about coming up with a specific set of recipes and making very sure the taste of these dishes stays consistent for years on end (not an easy task, believe me). With the latter, the survival depends on constant creativity and innovation.
Today we’ll focus on the second kind of restaurant and look at a handful of ways in which regular innovations can happen in the restaurant business.
Offer a couple of off-the-menu specials periodically. Every week would be great but if you can’t do that, try to make it happen at least a couple of times a month. Gives your regulars as well as your staff something exciting to look forward to.
Communication With Guests
Keep a constant line of communication open with your guests. Listen to their requests and stories. It’s a good way to get ideas that are relevant to people who frequent your business. Also, whenever you try new recipes, asking your guests to taste test them is a great way to involve them in the restaurant process and get fresh perspectives.
Stay Informed About Emerging Dietary Needs and Cater to Everyone
The world is changing. Today, people are a lot more conscious about what they put into their bodies. For example, there’s been an immense growth globally in the vegan segment. If you don’t have a good variety of purely plant-based foods on your menu, you’re missing out on a huge customer base. Plus, there are also many people with food allergies and dietary restrictions: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, oil-free, satvik, etc. It’s important to be sensitive to this segment of customers.
At first, it may seem difficult to make foods without using certain ingredients, but if you keep an open mind and do your research, you'll be amazed at the many fantastic alternatives that can be created! It’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself and be extremely innovative in your offerings. With the right kind of effort, these foods could end up being the superhits of your menu, loved by every one of your guests, regardless of their food preferences.
Motivate Your Chefs to Push Themselves in Creativity
Set a budget and guidelines, and then encourage your staff to exercise their creativity. If you give every team member, regardless of their seniority or experience, an opportunity to share their ideas and demonstrate their skills, you’d be surprised at the innovative dishes that will show up.
Update Your Dine-In Menu Every 18-24 Months
A menu update doesn’t necessarily mean changing the whole thing. It’s all about giving a fresh feel. Cut out the hit or miss dishes and replace them with either improved versions or entirely new ones that are bound to be sure fire hits.
Collaborations are the most fun way to be innovative! Find people who are like-minded but have their own unique knowledge and style and work with them on shared projects. It could be events, workshops, pop-up meals … even a new section in your menu. There are innumerable possibilities. It’s an excellent way to learn from each other and grow together while offering something fresh to your guests.
Being in the food industry, one is often in a high-pressure environment. Letting things get monotonous on top of this is not a good idea at all. Innovation creates excitement, giving us something to look forward to constantly. It helps the whole team stay motivated and creates a happy atmosphere for everyone involved.