From the blog Most Profitable Restaurant Concepts for 2019 and Beyond

Starting a profitable restaurant in 2019 isn’t easy. Competition from both big and small sources can make getting people seated in your new spot difficult. Chances are you have a vision for your new eatery, but do you have a strong concept to help launch it? Or perhaps you’re thinking about joining a franchise? If you were to join a franchise you could use the name, branding and existing marketing of that company. This would make you instantly recognizable and well established. Perhaps you would like to take a look that the Our QSR franchise opportunity and see if it’s something worth considering? Being a part of a franchise would certainly help you get your foot in the restaurant industry door.

We put together a list of the best concepts based on current food trends to take you into the next year – and beyond!

Fast Casual

Both fast food and traditional full service restaurants are hurting. Consumer tastes are trending toward healthier, more sustainable food. But many diners are limited by budget and time constraints to faster-food options. That’s where fast casual steps in.

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The market for food trucks is very near saturated in most urban areas. Fast casual offers the same customer perks as a food truck – fast, creative, good food – with a consistent location and lower startup cost than a sit down service restaurant.

Many successful fast casual places are operated by big multinational corporations. Competition can be stiff, so you’ll want to have the best technology to make your service stand out. That can mean tableside ordering, digital signs, or advanced POS and payment processing systems.

Ghost Restaurants

No, we aren’t suggesting you open a haunted restaurant. A ghost restaurant is a delivery-only concept that doesn’t have a storefront for customers to pick up food. Ghost restaurants collect orders using third-party delivery apps and bring them to customers directly.

Ghost restaurants are especially popular in hip, high-rent areas. Instead of trying to find an expensive storefront in a prime location to draw foot traffic, this model can be set up anywhere nearby to serve the young, affluent, tech-savvy population that makes these areas popular.

And ghost restaurateurs have the advantage of being able to build out and customize the kitchen to suit their needs, in part because they don’t need for a dining area. This means more room for specialist restaurant equipment from companies like Nella Food Equipment, which in turn means more food will be able to be cooked and prepared at a quicker speed. More food going out the doors equals more profit made.

Look Local

Explicitly partner with local organizations and brands and put that at the forefront of your concept. Modern diners are looking to make a connection with the food they eat. They want to know more about the supply chain, and see that their meal was made with integrity and care.

When you choose to source local, don’t shy away from being specific. Don’t just be farm fresh, be “fresh from the Miller Family Farm in nearby Miller’s Hollow, Michigan.” Do your authentic Philly cheesesteaks come on fresh Amoroso rolls? Tell people they do!

“Locovore” concepts are very popular as of late, so it can be difficult to stand out. Making that connection beyond basic “localness” can make a big difference.

Think Globally, But Get Specific

For a lot of diners, regional fare is an enticing way to experience the culinary uniqueness of another culture in depth, from seasonings to preparation and beyond. When planning your next restaurant, get in touch with your own cultural roots.

There’s a big difference between local favorite in Guadalajara, Mexico City, or Oaxaca. Ditto the cuisines in the north and south of Thailand, or different regions in France. You can offer food that adequately touches on each region – or specialize in one regional style and do it great.

Explore your family recipes or regional favorites – that genuine food culture that makes us think of home, no matter where they’re from.

Limited Menu

The days of book-length menus are coming to a close. When you step back and crunch the numbers, it’s easy to see why.

The more you offer, the more you need to stock. The more you stock, the more space you need for storage – all of which comes at a per-square-foot price. Everything from supplying to organizing stock to FIFO will become more complex, too.

Keeping your menu limited also allows your chefs to perfect the few dishes they have available.

Be Creative

Who’s to say that something like an pushcart for Korean rice balls couldn’t take off in a highly walkable neighborhood? Or maybe a clever new take on an ice cream truck, or a fast casual spot that specializes in grilled squid. Maybe put together a sweet promotion with a local partner. The next great restaurant concept may be the one you imagine on your own. Unlock your own creativity and see what you find!

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