Over the course of EO dinner tonight the one of the concepts I introduced was the concept of eRestaurants. The long story how this came about is this.
As I was preparing for the ecommerce presentation I was looking at applications of ecommerce into the real world. One thing that jumped out at me was that there is a huge opportunity for people to get out of the physical space, and through ecommerce move into the virtual space. Basically, what I saw was that a retail (physical) operation has only a limited radius of reach – and that the physical location’s purpose is get traffic to its business.
IF a right marketing campaign was put into place, I can see, being able to 100% eliminate the need for a physical presence (since its marketing reach is quite limited anyways) and apply that budget into a marketing space that could yield a much higher return than a physical location.
Another words, for a restaurant that operates on walk by traffic, and does not offer a ‘user experience’ as part of it offering, it would be possible to move that 100% into virtual space. Perfect example would be commodity based restaurants, such as burgers, pizza, indian food, chinese food etc. It should be possible for these style of businesses to offer the consumer an extraordinary virtual experience without a physical location. For example, lets say a Chinese chain was to setup a eRestaurant, and their value proposition would be that one could order online or over the phone, the food would be delivered within 30 minutes – and that along with the delivery, the eRestaurant will deliver some candles, a flower, chopsticks and lets say ‘free’ snacks. The eRestaurant would be able to operate out of a very small, low cost space, they would be able to take the ‘cost savings’ and move that into the user experience. So, the value proposition here is not for the restaurant to save money BUT rather to move the rent money and staff money out to the consumer and spend that money as part of the enhanced user experience. I think given our value based society, there could be a rather large subset of population that would rather get in-home ‘enhanced’ experienced vs. restaurant experience.
This is not something I want to get into by any means – but it is certainly an interesting ‘out of the box’ value proposition. The key to success here would be: extremely strong marketing and diversion of the typical overhead costs of a physical business to the consumer via ‘enhanced in-home dinning’ experience.
I predict that in about 5 years, there will be a new brand of eRestaurants that will not exist in physical space, but in virtual space, and their key to success will be through offering the end user an AMAZING value proposition BY moving the savings of the physical establishment into an ‘enhanced’ user experience. We are moving into a value based society and I can see a large segment of the population adopting to this. I think it would be great fun doing a marketing campaign for eResturant and creating a truly ‘enhanced’ user experience.