Carving a Niche

When initially contemplating a new hospitality investment ( be it a pub, restaurant, hotel or other) it is important to have a clear idea of your vision and where you intend to position the business within the market place. It can be tempting for investors and designers alike to cast their eye across existing businesses in order to gauge what is currently popular and successful and attempt to carve out a piece of that success, however this can be a double edged sword.

Whilst it could be considered a “safer bet” to take cues from current trends when considering your business`s offer (after all, if it ain`t broke why fix it) this does not necessarily translate into success. Its important to take into consideration that Trends come and go, every “next big thing” only has a limited shelf life before the next thing rounds the bend, and hospitality is, at its core, a challenging industry where success can be gained or lost on the smallest of things. It is known that 60% of new hospitality businesses do not last past the first year and 80% go under within 5 years. For this reason a strong USP (unique selling point) and a firm focus on offer, service and design are key to help ensure that your business is not one of that 60%.

A new business that has many similarities to existing competitors may find it difficult to gain a foothold in the market as their success relies on poaching customers from the more established venues. In this instance the quality of product and service is key. When your drinks and food offers are, for the most part, comparable to your competitors, it is the manner in which your product is delivered to the customer that differentiates you from the competition. Are your staff well presented? have they been properly trained in bar operations and customer service? Are cleaning and maintenance levels to a high standard? Is your menu well designed and your product ( food / drink) well presented when delivered to the customer? All these elements and many more beside will affect whether your business thrives or flounders.

The same thought process can be applied to the design of your venue. Whether intentionally or via a form of mental osmosis, Clients and Designers are inevitably inspired by what came before. Rarely can a design be thought of as truly original, there are always elements drawn from other sources, albeit applied to a site in a different way, and the hospitality sector follows design trends as much as any other.

For the designers at MGI it is equally important that one eye be kept on what is happening within the hospitality industry and developing trends as it is to draw inspiration from other sectors and sources to ensure that we are able to deliver upon our client`s brief whilst steering our designs, and the client`s vision, toward new ground in order to ensure each completed Venue can easily be differentiated from its competitors.

If you`d like to learn how MGI can assist you in every step of the development of your project, please get in touch.