The Concept of Concept Restaurants
Most restaurants aim for a varied menu that will be appetizing to a wide range of palates. The décor should be pleasant, service should be efficient, and prices should reflect the value of the dining experience, accordingly. Concept restaurants work a little differently. They strive to provide customers with a unique dining experience that sets it apart from “normal restaurants.” The concept can be based on menu, décor, location, experience, or a combination of these factors. Themed restaurants are a risky business. Some are seen more as a “tourist attraction” than a place to dine on a regular basis, making the profits high for the first few months and business slow thereafter. The following are the top 10 most interesting restaurant concepts worldwide.
Top 10 Interesting Restaurant Themes:
10. Famous Service- a restaurant’s popularity can come from the service customers receive when they dine there. Contrary to what one might think, it is not always polite and efficient service people are after. Dick’s Last Resort (Boston, USA) is famous for its notoriously rude waiters. “Hooters” draws men from all over to see and be served by beautiful women wearing revealing outfits.
9. Themed Menu- Conflict Kitchen (Pittsburgh, USA) takes the concept of a restaurant to a new level with its menu. The restaurant only offers ethnic dishes from countries the US is in conflict with.
8. One Main Menu Item- Some concept restaurants center around one main ingredient that makes up ALL the dishes on the menu. OatMeals in New York City offers both sweet and savory oatmeal bowls, oatmeal cookies, and other baked goods, all containing oatmeal. A popular theme is a chocolate restaurant, but there are also eateries that have built their menu around blueberries, apples, potatoes, and even garlic!
7. Molecular Gastronomy- molecular gastronomy is an exact science of combining flavors and chemicals to create foods that usually look and feel nothing like the original main ingredient, providing the customer with an entirely new dining experience. Alinea (Chicago, USA) is just one of a handful of restaurants that center their dishes on molecular gastronomy.
6. Incredible Interiors- some restaurants have such impressive interiors that much of their business stems from customers simply wanting to sit in the restaurant, such as the restaurants worldwide that are made of ice! Snow (Finland) and IceBar (Norway) are just a couple examples of such venues.
5. Experiencing a Lifestyle- many theme restaurants that provide the experience of feeling blind or death are popping up worldwide. Pitch-Black (Beijing), Blackout (Tel Aviv), and Opaque (various USA locations) are just a few of many concept restaurant that allow the diners to experience a meal as it is for the blind.
4. Ambience, Menu, and Service- some restaurants strive to give their customers an all-round dining experience. Rosengrals Medieval Restaurant (Riga, Latvia) is located in an underground, candle-lit cavern with giant wooden tables and décor that would have been appropriate in medieval times. The waiters and waitresses are dressed in medieval attire, and the menu offers historically popular foods. They offer barley cakes, which supposedly King Phillip I ate in the 11th century and a dish with rabbit meat, eaten at Isabella of Bavaria’s wedding in the 14th century.
3. Location, Location, Location- A great setting for a business can make it thrive and be the concept of a restaurant. From tree-house cafés in New Zealand, underwater restaurants in Israel and the Maldives, dining while suspended in the air by a construction crane, or dining in a restaurant set on a rock in the middle of the ocean, customers will flock to these places for the location.
2. Accepting a challenge- A surprisingly large number of concept restaurants offer the meal free of charge, if completely finished in a certain amount of time. Kooky Canuck (Memphis, USA) will dismiss a bill if the customer succeeds in finishing a 7.5 pound steak in one hour! There are also some restaurants that have taken the challenge upon themselves. Rather than having listen menu prices, they leave the customer to decide how much their dining experience was worth.
1. Wild Experiences- Cannibalistic Sushi bar (Japan) seeks to provide customers with a wild experience they will get nowhere else. Curious and adventurous diners flock there to experience the play on the past fashion of eating sushi off a naked woman. At Cannibalistic Sushi, customers are brought a “cadaver” made of dough for skin and sauce for blood. The meal begins when the waiter makes an incision to open up the “cadaver,” exposing “edible organs” inside. Though this is one of the more twisted restaurant themes around, those who desire a wild dining experience will probably visit Cannibalistic Sushi at least once.