Restaurant Game

The Restaurant Game

Being creative using the restaurant game exercise.

The restaurant game (Green 2008) is an exercise that you can use as a student in order to generate some really interesting and innovative creative ideas. The basis of the restaurant going is that you think of your product, concept or brand as a restaurant, and you ask yourself a series of questions about the restaurant. It starts like this:

    • What is the product?
    • What is it service?
    • What is its price?
    • Where is it located?
    • How is it promoted?
    • What is the customer experience?

So you would answer these questions as if your brand were a restaurant. It’s that simple. Let’s have a look at a couple of examples.

The Apple Restaurant, Head Chef Tim Cook.

1. What is the product?

The Apple restaurant serves a smorgasbord of tasty treats which are adored by its very loyal customers. Head Chef Tim Cook is the kitchen’s creative driving force and specialises in amuse bouche that delight his fans.

2. What is it service?

The level of service is very much focused upon each individual customer and their perceived need for the Apple brand. Some would say it is almost ritualistic and religious. Waiters and other staff are very enthusiastic about the food and the restaurant and this is communicated through their attitude.

3. What is its price?

The Apple restaurant is notorious for being rather expensive in comparison to similar restaurants. If you can’t afford it, don’t go into the restaurant. If you have to ask the price of the food you cannot afford it. Don’t expect any discounts.

4. Where is it located?

The Apple restaurant is located in secondary areas. It doesn’t depend on footfall for its visitors, since anybody that is into this kind of food would know where to find it.

5. How is it promoted?

The business would depend again on effective word-of-mouth. However, you would expect to find it in famous guides such as Egon Ronay or Michelin. You’ll probably read a review from a restaurant critic in the New York Times or Le Monde. You certainly would not see it advertised in the national press or any mainstream media. Reputation is everything.

6. What is the customer experience?

The customer experience is almost like visiting a church. The Apple restaurant delivers a religious experience, especially for the most loyal believers. The experience is wholesome and individual. No two visits will ever be the same, and the anticipation of a new and tasty treat is always on the mind of the Apple consumer, and no sooner have they left the restaurant, but they are planning their next pilgrimage.

Other metaphors

The restaurant game is useful as you can see from the two examples above. There must be a whole series of metaphors that could be used in this creative process. For example, if my brand was an animal, what would it be? If my brand was a rock band, what kind of music would it play? If my brand was a movie, what kind of movie would it be? Metaphors can make fun learning and teaching tools.

The Facebook Restaurant, Head Chef Mark Zuckerberg.

If Facebook was a restaurant, what would it be like?

1. What is the product?

The product which is offered by Facebook Marketing Mix is a social media experience. Individuals stay in touch with friends and keep them up to date with their activities. You can post messages, pictures, and so on. Facebook is immensely popular all the way around the world, it is currently free, although Facebook markets pay-per-click advertising and there are products and services which you can subscribe to. It is perceived as being a highly valuable company, although it often faces criticism because of privacy issues. The Facebook restaurant serves food (its product), which is simple and appeals to most people. It is tasty, value for money and is there a shared with friends.

2. What is it service?

The service provided in the Facebook restaurant is efficient. It is quick and easy to use, and the restaurant itself is clinically hygienic. This is a fast food restaurant. It is not à la carte and everybody gets the same level of service regardless.

3. What is its price?

The food in the Facebook restaurant is very competitively priced. Pricing strategies would include value strategies, and economy pricing.

4. Where is it located?

The restaurant would be located in primary areas, and the Facebook logo would act as a call to arms for any of the global Facebook customer population. There would be a lot of customer walking past the doors of the Facebook restaurant that might drop in on impulse.

5. How is it promoted?

Obviously promotion would be through word-of-mouth and reputation. The Facebook restaurant would not use mass marcoms media such as TV. Instead, it would invest wisely in focused public relations activities, as it did for its 2012 flotation.

6. What is the customer experience?

The customer experience would be rewarding. Customers would spend a lot of time in the Facebook restaurant, maybe more chatting and socialising rather than spending money on food. You would not get to know the maitre d’, and the experience would not generally be a personalised one. You would go again, and you would recommend it to friends. However, the Facebook restaurant is currently very fashionable. Marketers need to ask themselves how long this will last?

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