From Restaurant to a Lifestyle Brand
8 May 2023
Consumers today demand more from restaurants than just food. Their lifestyle must be reflected in every aspect of the business, including the menu and ambiance. We explore the reasons why this business model is dominating the F&B industry and how to turn a restaurant into a lifestyle venue.
A shift in consumer lifestyle
Ever since the pandemic outbreak unpredictably changed people’s views of the world and life, they have been reevaluating their health choices and how their decisions affect the society they live in. Thus, they are embracing a new lifestyle anchored around wellness, happiness, and sustainability. Individuals nowadays have become more health-conscious and environmentally aware.
This massive shift in consumer behavior is reshaping the restaurant industry in real-time, forcing restaurateurs to:
1. Update their menu
Restaurants need to rethink their offering to fit consumers’ new lifestyles and quest for getting functional health benefits from the food they consume.
By using fresh ingredients and adding F&B items that support physical and mental health to the menu -such as vegan dishes, nutritious mocktails, healthy comfort foods, and fruit-based desserts - restaurants can leverage this new trend to their advantage.
2. Purchase sustainable food and supplies
Ethical consumerism has gained ground these past few years; People are now more aware of food waste, environmentally harmful practices, and CO2 emissions.
Since clients are opting for businesses that share the same environmental beliefs, it is imperative for restaurants to incorporate eco-conscious models, adapt sustainable practices, use environmentally friendly ingredients, reduce food waste, opt for green cleaning products, install energy-saving light bulbs and water-saving plumbing fixtures, as well as switch to renewable energy sources.
3. Optimize take-out
As people became more active, their need for food to take with them on the road or the trail increased. Chef-curated sandwiches, and healthy take-out food options, that are eco-friendly packaged have become must-haves in restaurants.
4. Ensure a great ambiance
Numerous factors contribute to a successful dining experience, starting with something as basic as a friendly greeting, a welcoming smile, and a pleasant ambiance made possible by the restaurant's concept, which is conveyed to customers with panache.
5. Have an Instagrammable design
Ever since people started considering themselves influencers - taking pictures, voicing their opinions, posting their every move, and tagging venues - they have become much pickier about the venues they associate themselves with on social media. This doesn’t only mean food but also design. As customers are constantly looking for the most 'Instagrammable' restaurant, having esthetically pleasing and creative designs, and original tableware, have become a priority.
6. Promoting the Chef
A few years ago, cuisine, location, and ambiance were the main factors influencing customers’ restaurant choices. Nowadays, it is no longer just about the chef’s food but also his style, philosophy, and know-how. It basically all boils down to connecting with the chef.
Chefs have become the center of attention; they are no longer regarded as only a culinary authority; they’ve managed to build a following on social media and even have their own TV program. People have faith in them and opt to eat whatever they suggest.
Customers now aspire to the lifestyle that chefs portray in their restaurants. That is why it is important to leverage that in order to develop a relationship between the customer, chef, and restaurant.
That is why restaurants need to promote their chef and use their reputation and fame to their advantage.
Restaurants are no longer just a place to eat, they are looked to for inspiration, as well as guidance toward a certain way of life. That is why venues are reinventing themselves to become “lifestyle restaurants” that embody the values, perspectives, and culture of their community.