When executed properly, restaurants with unique concepts experience high traction and profits. They even become go-to tourist destinations.
In 2019, there were 95,708 establishments in the Philippines’ foodservice industry, of which 54,499 were restaurants, cafes, and bars. That’s a lot of competition!
That means you need to do your best to stand out. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make a name for your business in the foodservice industry. You could start a unique marketing campaign, like large chains do all the time.
Just use Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino from a few years ago as an example—they created a vibrant, flavor-changing themed drink with a strong concept, promoted it heavily on social media, and created a huge buzz around the new product.
The result? They sold out of the Unicorn Frappucino across the country.
You don’t need to do something on this scale (or budget) to stand out, though. Even coupons or deals are simple, easy ways to bring in new customers to try your cuisine.
But one of the best ways to really stand out from the crowd is to start with a unique restaurant concept. Offering an exceptional experience that few others have can draw huge amounts of attention. If it’s really unique, it could even go viral. Then you may even have people making pilgrimages from other cities just to check out your concept.
In this article, we take a look at some of the most interesting and successful restaurant concepts from around the world. By learning from these remarkable dining spaces, you just might find the inspiration you need for your own business.
To start with, let’s look at a concept that shakes up one of the foundations of the kitchen—the chef!
Founded in 2012, Chefs Club’s claim to fame is its rotating roster of top international chefs. The restaurant’s guest chefs take over the kitchen for a couple of nights at a time, allowing diners to sample signature dishes from a wide variety of culinary experts.
The restaurant also has a residency program that allows chefs to take over the kitchen for 3-6 months at a time.
Don’t be afraid to go all-in with a cool theme. Just look at Safehouse!
This spy-themed restaurant positions itself as a covert safehouse for international men and women of mystery. You have to enter a password at the entrance to get inside and whisper code words from their social media to access their different promos.
Menu items are themed after spy gadgets and, of course, famous James Bond references. There’s even a huge wall of spy memorabilia that the founder himself collected over the years.
Cat and dog cafes have been increasing in popularity the last few years, and it seems like every food hub in the Metro Manila area has had its own at some point.
But what about cafes where you can actually bring your own pet and let them dine there too? That’s the premise behind MUTTS Canine Cantina, an off-leash dog park cafe that has menu items for both bipeds and quadrupeds. The restaurant even lets you throw a 7th birthday “pawty” for your dog.
While an extensive, diverse menu sounds like an instinctual choice for restaurateurs… that’s not your only option! You could also choose to focus on a single type of food and go to town with it.
This is what Flex Mussels does with—you guessed it— mussels! They serve dozens of dishes featuring the tasty mollusks, along with some classic seafood fare as well.
Sure, a lot of restaurants feature entertainment, but Circus takes it one step further.
While you’re dining, they offer some astonishing circus-like performances for their diners—with a catch. There’s no set schedule, so it happens at random intervals. Expect the unexpected, like fire-breathers, tangled contortionists, and expert hula-hoopers.
What’s wrong with poo in a restaurant? It’s how all food ends up, right? That’s what one restaurant wanted to embrace and they’ve gained international recognition for it.
If you’re up for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, check out Modern Toilet. The restaurant seats diners on actual toilets, serves poop-themed food in toilet-themed dishes and furniture, and likes to poke fun at you with their food.
Banks provide a unique air of security and bureaucracy that are unmatched by many other public spaces. So, of course, someone decided to build a restaurant behind an early 20th-century bank vault!
Take a look at Trinity Place, a restaurant protected by steel walls and a 35-ton vault door. The only heist taking place in this vault will be diners scarfing down an array of delicious international dishes.
Moscow is a beautiful city that you’d never want to take your eyes off—not even while you’re eating!
White Rabbit embraces this, offering diners an expansive view of the city through a 180-degree glass dome that goes from floor to ceiling. If your location offers a unique view, there’s no better way to leverage it than with stunning glass architecture.
Eating in a cave doesn’t sound so appealing—unless you’re at Grotta Palazzese. Grab a flashlight and hardhat, because this cave hosts a hotel and restaurant named after it.
Diners can eat an array of dishes while admiring the nearby ocean view and a cool breeze. The cave’s culinary origins go back 400 years as it was once a common site of parties and banquets.
If you like your international cuisine with a side order of political relevance, look no further than Conflict Kitchen. This restaurant only serves food from the cuisines of countries with which the United States is currently embroiled in conflict.
It also hosts events that raise political awareness, such as Instagram takeovers by activists, table conversations with refugees, and all kinds of group discussions.
Just when you thought you’ve run out of ideas for unique restaurant concepts, someone goes ahead and makes something that you’ve never seen before. There are so many ways to spice up the way you serve your customers.
And even with ideas that were done before, there are still so many ways to add your own spin and unique flavor!
Ready to create your own incredible concept restaurant? Get in touch with us to find out how Mosaic Solutions can help you ensure it’s a success.