Strategic Themes For Restaurants

As a new restaurant owner, you need to create a brand for your establishment. This includes coming up with a strategic theme for your restaurant. A strategic theme will help you identify appropriate staffing, pinpoint your target market and establish a menu and pricing strategy. Your strategic theme will also influence your restaurant's geographic location, decor and marketing plans.


Ethnic-themed restaurants serve authentic flavors and dishes to customers in search of traditional dishes from certain countries or regions of the world. The menus and decor of these establishments mirror what you'd see if you visited the country or region they represent. Ethnic restaurants may serve Italian, Mexican, African or Indian dishes. Their decors reflect their origins. A Middle Eastern restaurant, for example, may include menu items such as hummus, falafel and lamb dishes. The decor may include hand-woven carpets, carved columns, lanterns, and throw pillows in jewel-tone colors.

Time Period

Some restaurants have strategic themes based on specific time periods. For example, Double T Diner, a Maryland-based 1950s-style restaurant chain, serves customers traditional diner foods, such as homemade comfort foods, burgers, fries, milkshakes and pies. The decor mimics '50s diners by including jukeboxes, a drive-thru style exterior, and counter and booth seating. Medieval Times, is a time-period-specific restaurant whose decor, menu and live jousting tournament reflect Medieval Spain. Medieval Times is a chain restaurant with locations in Baltimore/Washington, D.C.; Buena Park, California; Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; and in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto. As the owner of a time-period specific restaurant, you must ensure that all aspects of the restaurant, from menu to decor, fit the time period of your theme.


Steakhouses offer a fine selection of steaks cooked to their customers' preferences. These restaurants are designed to attract customers in search of juicy steaks, whether served medium-well or rare, and side orders such as baked potatoes, salads and vegetables. Morton's the Steakhouse and Ruth's Chris Steak House are examples of steakhouse-themed establishments that are located nationwide.

Casual Dining

When customers visit a casual dining restaurant, they're looking for an establishment they can visit with their families, relax, and enjoy a comfort-food-inspired menu. These restaurants offer diverse menus that include everything from chicken wings and fries to meat loaf and macaroni and cheese. Casual dining restaurants are known for their laid-back, warm atmospheres and moderate pricing. T.G.I. Friday's and The Cheesecake Factory are examples of casual dining restaurants.