Food is particularly important in our everyday lives. Singapore’s Food and Beverage (F&B) Industry contributed 3.5% to the country’s GDP (Emerging Markets Direct, 2011). In order to satisfy this craving for food, people would either cook their own food or head down to food establishments and restaurants would be an example of such an establishment. A restaurant, by a report from V.M Patel Institute of Management (2006) is defined as “an establishment that serves prepared food and beverages to be consumed on the premises.” Restaurants are aplenty all over the world, with streets being dedicated just for them. Competition within the restaurant industry is high, with restaurants like Elbulli, a Michelin 3-star eatery becoming so well sought after such that one has to book 3 months in advance to dine in. On the far end of the scale, although Manpuku, a restaurant dedicated to serving Japanese cuisine, was the talk of the town when it first opened in 2009, it still had to throw in the towel in early 2012. With such high competition, it is not easy to sustain in this throat-cutting industry. What are the factors then that Elbulli possess allowing it to operate so successfully? Hence this report aims to investigate the “ingredients” of a good restaurant whereby what are the factors that allows it to be successful. Within the term restaurants itself, there are many different types of restaurant operations and service such as Fast Food Restaurants whereby food is supplied quickly after ordering and by minimal service (V.M Patel Institute of Management, 2006). The perspective of Full Service Restaurants, a sit down eatery where food is served directly to the customers’ table (Franchise Direct, 2009), will be adopted in the context of this study.
1.2 Literature Review
Several studies have been done to investigate to the success factors of a restaurant. An article by Dennis McCurley (2011) suggested that the main factor of success for a restaurant is revolved around ownership rather than visitor-ship. Some key detailed factors pointed out by him were quality of food, food service, beverage service, alcohol variety. Similarly, Geoff Wilson (n.d) gave a list of 20 factors of a successful restaurant and factors such as quality food and quality service coincides with the factors listed by Dennis McCurley (2011). However, Geoff Wilson (n.d) also introduced a few other crucial success factors such as location, differentiated brand image, experience, customer feedback and to always have a winning and positive attitude.
1.2.1 Restaurant Concept
One ingredient of a good restaurant as mentioned by many of the authors reviewed, including Bill Ryan and Michael Krisler (2003), would be the restaurant concept. This is especially so as this is the first and main factor restaurant owners should thoroughly consider before starting up a restaurant. A restaurant concept is determined by elements such as ‘decor, lighting, menu, food preparation and presentation, service, price, location, and size’ (Bill Ryan and Michael Krisler, 2003). Strategies such as Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT analysis are several ways to analyse the market to decide on a concept. After deciding on the concept, restaurant owners should lay out their mission and vision and goals such that they have an idea what they should be working towards. Katastar (2010) defines “A vision describes a view of the perfect situation that might eventually be achieved “in an ideal world” whereas the mission more describes the day-to-day activities and processes needed to achieve the vision”
This factor, largely affected by external environment, was mentioned by Spyridon Mamalis (2009) as the second most crucial ingredient in a good restaurant. Within this factor in his research, respondents felt that quality of food was more important than the taste of food. Hence when one is establishing the restaurant concept, one should conduct market...