The restaurant business and the food industry, in general, has always been a profitable line of work. In recent times, the restaurant business has diversified into many different areas. In just the past 50 years we have seen traditional restaurants evolve into fast-food chains, casual restaurants, and fine dining restaurants. While they all focus on providing food, the way they do this has a huge impact on the kind of service that end clients receive.
Each of these different types of restaurants caters to a specific need. For business owners, this represents different risks, opportunities, and challenges, in running that business. What’s important to note in these different business models is what will work for your particular situation. If you are looking to get into the food business, here are some of the main differences you should keep in mind between casual and luxurious restaurants.
The first and most prominent difference is the food itself. Casual and luxurious restaurants can both serve any kind of cuisine, but the way they source ingredients, prepare the food, and the way they serve it to their clients is extremely different. For instance, in many casual restaurants, you will find a buffet menu where you will have to serve yourself. In some casual restaurants, there will be waiters, but they won’t be the most skilled or highly trained professionals for the job. The casual restaurant will employ part-time employees that are there just to get your order and deliver it to the kitchen.
On the other hand, luxurious restaurants will go to great lengths to perfect each part of the food preparation to ensure that you are getting the best possible experience. The ingredients they use will be of the highest quality, the people preparing the food will be experts in that particular role, and even the people serving food and taking orders will have specialized training to help give clients the best possible experience. The focus is on providing you with a culinary experience rather than just serving a meal. If you are looking for high-end food or rare food, then these are the places to visit.
Casual restaurants generally employ untrained or semi-skilled staff. Their chefs don’t have to be fully qualified professionals, they just need to know enough to produce the food that is on the menu. The focus here is on producing meals with consistent quality in large volumes. Casual restaurants usually stick to what the menu has to offer, and because all their systems are designed for a specific purpose, they can’t easily cater to custom requirements. In casual restaurants, the most that an employee has to do is just wear their nameplate and their apron. One of the main signs of a luxurious restaurant is how the staff is dressed. In a high-end steakhouse, you will see staff with modern steakhouse uniforms but in a casual steakhouse setting, even the head chef might be just working in their jeans and shirt. In luxurious restaurants, the organization spends a lot of money on making sure their staff looks professional and delivers a higher level of service quality. Luxurious restaurants are often a venue for business meetings, for celebrities, for high-end functions, and all kinds of other activities where people expect to get the best quality of service possible. It is a need for this business to invest in staff that can deliver that kind of quality.
You will have noticed that luxurious restaurants also invest a lot of money in the general ambiance of the space. Whether that is the carpeted floors or the comfortable seating or even the fine silverware used on the tables, creating a fantastic environment is also a need and a hallmark of this kind of restaurant. On the other hand, casual restaurants just work on getting the bare minimum done. They will focus primarily on keeping the place clean while having basic interior design and a simple infrastructure in place. In luxurious restaurants, it is not uncommon to see branded interior design and high-end fixtures and fittings. Another major difference is that luxury restaurants will often have a live band or some kind of fancy fountain or some attraction in the space to keep the guests entertained. Some luxury restaurants even offer private rooms for people who want to dine in total privacy.
One of the major differences, and one that costs the most money, is that luxurious restaurants tend to be situated in pristine locations, whereas casual restaurants can be located in any kind of locality. Part of the experience of dining at a luxurious restaurant is the location. Beachfront properties, mountain top properties, the top floors of skyscrapers, or a property in an exclusive area like a private golf club, are all places where luxurious restaurants will choose to set up shop. This is one of the reasons why even just a bottle of water sells for many times its real worth at such businesses. Casual restaurants focus on keeping costs down and catering to a wider demographic. Being located in a business area or in a place that might not be that attractive but has a higher footfall is a better strategy for these businesses. If you already have access to a great location, then you can set up a luxury restaurant, but if you are starting off in a rather average locality, it will be difficult to attract a high-end clientele.
In some cases, you will have to choose a certain kind of restaurant style based on external factors. For instance, if you want to have a restaurant on an exclusive private beach, or in a 5-star hotel, the only solution is to create a luxury offering. All the clients visiting that locality will be looking for something that offers quality, and they will not be too concerned with getting a cost-effective meal. On the contrary, if you are setting up shop in a theme park or near a major tourist attraction, people will want something that is fast, easy, and cheap. Each of these businesses comes with its own operational challenges. In some situations, it might be hard to find a specialized sushi chef for the sushi bar in your luxury restaurant, in other cases it might be hard to find cost-effective serving staff to address the dozens of clients you have at rush hour. Before choosing a certain style, look into what you can set up easily and what will be most effective in your particular scenario. When the time is right you can always expand and enhance your operations.