14 Examples of Successful Restaurant Concepts from Around the World

First, you must decide on the restaurant type you wish to open. Also determine the restaurant’s concept. Your general restaurant type is the best place to begin. Then, narrow your focus to a particular restaurant concept or theme.

  • Food concepts for fast food. Typically chains, like McDonald’s or Taco Bell, fast food restaurants are all about speed, convenience and low prices.
  • Pop-up and food trucksAs an alternative to buying a building, many owners choose to open their own food truck or pop-up restaurants.
  • Concepts for fast casual.Fast casual restaurants offer healthier choices and are a step above fast food. The customer will usually order their food from the register. It will be either brought to them or picked up at the counter. Chipotle, Panera Bread are two popular examples.
  • These are casual concepts.Sometimes, casual restaurants are called family-style. The prices for casual dining are usually higher than that of fast casual. Food is prepared on regular dinnerware, as opposed to disposables. Guests also receive table service. 
  • Fine dining concepts.These types of venues are usually reserved for exclusive occasions. These places are expensive, but the service, food and experience is top-notch.

Once you’ve settled on a restaurant type, it’s time to choose your overall restaurant concept. Here you can have fun, be creative and traditional. If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve found some examples of restaurants around the world that think outside of the box in terms of their restaurant concepts.

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14 success stories of restaurant concepts 

1. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall – Atlanta, GA, USA

Ladybird offers a fun retro dining experience that allows you to live (or recreate) summer camp life in the 1960s-1970s.

2. Saved by the Max – West Hollywood, CA, USA

This replica from The Max’s fictional restaurant, originally started in a popup setting. Saved by the BellThe popularity of the sandstone was so great that it has a permanent place.

3. Troop – Providence, RI, USA

Everything at Troop centers around their tagline—Eats. Beats. Drinks.—from the graffiti art covering the walls to their regular weekend events like DJ nights and Soul Bingo.

4. 5.8 Restaurant Undersea – Hurawalhi, Maldives

The all-glass restaurant is 5.8 metres below the sea. There are several restaurants that offer this type of concept. 5.8 Undersea, however is the most popular.

5. Treepod Dining in the Soneva Kiri Resort – Ko Kut District, Thailand

If under the ocean isn’t your scene, try this tree-top cafe restaurant concept at the Soneva resorts’ Thailand location.

Photo from Treepod Dining's Instagram of an overhead shot of a couple dining at one of their treetop tables.

6. Conflict Kitchen – Philadelphia, PA, USA

Conflict Kitchen has a rotating restaurant menu that includes international news. It changes according to which country the United States is in conflict.

7. Safehouse – Milwaukee, WI & Chicago, IL, USA

Safehouse is positioned as an hideout for spy spies. They require a password in order to access their secret location. (Secret agents who don’t know the password can still enter after completing a clearance test.)

8. O.Noir – Montreal, Canada

O.Noir is a good example of the dine-inthe-dark restaurant concept. This concept allows you to experience a new kind of dining experience by enhancing your senses. Additionally, the entire waitstaff is blind or visually impaired, “a population that experiences roughly a 70% unemployment rate,” according to O.Noir’s website.

9. Enjoy Budapest Café – Budapest, Hungary

Enjoy guests don’t have to queue up at the baristas to get a drink. They can sit down and wait to receive their drinks via robotic delivery. 

An photo from Enjoy Budapest's Instagram of a robot holding a tray with two coffees.

10. Leon – Locations in 5 Countries

Leon has a vision to redefine fast-food with his restaurant concept. Everything from the ordering process to the packaging and menu options, it is all very familiar with a fast food chain but is prepared using healthier ingredients.

11. Solo Per Due – Vacone, Italy

Translating to “only for two,” this successful restaurant concept is all in the name. This ultra-private restaurant offers fine dining at a private table for two.

12. At.mosphere – Dubai, UAE 

Some restaurants are best known for their views, but most can’t beat the one at At.mosphere on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building.

13. The Sky Dinner – Locations in 63 Countries

Dinner in Sky, another contender for top restaurant views is Dinner in Sky. It’s part restaurant part amusement ride. The unique concept of a restaurant opened in 2006, and now has six locations on six continents.

14. Circus – London, England

Circus takes the concept of dinner-and-a-show and adds the element of surprise – rather than one continuous stage show, mini-performances pop up periodically during service.

A photo from Circus' Instagram of a female circus performer swinging a fire-lit torch.

Now that you’ve gotten some inspiration, it’s time to get to work! Whether you’re opening your first or twenty-first location, Small Biz Sense has the tools to help you manage and grow your business. To learn more, chat with one our experts.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.