When reading self-improvement books, one of the most frequently discussed topics is setting objectives. In order to achieve them, we should meet several conditions, which is what the SMART idea is all about.
As it turns out, the SMART idea also fits into the process of creating gastronomic concepts.
Just like the objectives we set for ourselves, our concept should be specific. In a business plan, it's worth including as many details as possible, emphasizing those aspects that will distinguish our concept from others that already exist. Why? This will prevent sighs from people reading your business plan (including potential investors!) when they find out you want to open yet another French-style café. That's not enough! You need to point out what will make your concept stand out.
An objective should be measurable, allowing us to determine later whether it has been achieved. How can we relate this to a new café or restaurant concept? Fairly easily. To "measure" something, we need data, and a gastronomic establishment provides plenty of it in the form of percentages or ratios. At the concept creation stage, financial simulations are essential. This will allow us to verify whether and to what extent our assumptions have matched actual results, and determine whether our "objective" has been achieved.
The concept should be achievable, feasible under the given conditions. Unless we're creating an ephemeral pop-up concept that, by definition, is short-lived. In this case, we're talking about a business idea that is meant to last for years. Specifying "feasibility" is important in maintaining motivation to achieve the objective. Not only the owner, but also the team working towards the concept's success should be motivated.
The terms "Achievable" and "Realistic" are very similar to each other, which is why "Relevant" is increasingly used. This term suggests that the objectives set are consistent with the position and function performed in the organization.
We have one last, but equally important feature to consider. The new concept should be defined in time and space. In the case of a gastronomic establishment, success often requires years of work, so it's worth using the small steps method and setting milestones. This will help maintain a high level of motivation and engagement in the team until the main objective is achieved.
Does your concept meet all the SMART criteria?
Great, but that's just the beginning - it's only just the start!