Taking tradition to the next level.


Mom and Pop restaurants can be hard competing with the trendy-Instagram famous restaurants that are targeting the milennial generation.

I recently read an article on Forbes, “How restaurant brands can leverage both tradition and innovation to win.” This article discusses how brands must implement unique techniques in order to compete with the up and coming restaurants that are drawing in customers. Tradition appeals to customers emotions but that only goes so far in the current restaurant industry.

Larry Johnson, the CEO of Fogo de Chão an upscale Brazilian chain restaurant talks about how the restaurant is still a success since their expansion in 1987. Chain restaurants can go unnoticed or can be unappealing without a touch of spunk to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Fogo de Chão is one of the first restaurants to bring Brazilian food and the experience to the US. They are famous for table service meat carving with top quality meats, “as a brand, we invest heavily in this part of the experience.”

The restaurant experiencing is evolving more than the product sold at the restaurant. Consumers are young with the need and want for constant change and new excitement. Personally, my favorite restaurants offer fixed menus with many courses, every course with a unique surprise whether its the flavor or color of the dish. There is an ability to transform tradition into something extraordinary.

Opaque, a restaurant in San Francisco serves a unique experience. The waiters are all visually impaired or blind, serving a prix-fixe menu. This trend originated in Europe but Opaque brought the traditional experience to San Francisco, California. The dark atmosphere is known to enhance the flavors and enhance the customers senses, giving them a new outlook on food.

This type of dining experience is expanding drastically. The trend of prix-fixe meals and competitive reservation demands is what attracts customers. Customers, especially the younger generation want an experience that they can show off to their friends and social media followers. Being able to implement traditional ideas into hip and trending restaurant is important in the current restaurant industry. Innovating tradition within restaurant culture takes restaurants to the next level.

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