In the fiercely competitive restaurant industry, staying relevant and appealing to customers requires a constant process of evolution and transformation. This entails re-evaluating various aspects, including the restaurant’s image, menu offerings, ambiance, and overall dining experience. Successfully navigating this process can lead to increased customer loyalty, improved sales, and long-term growth.
One shining example of restaurant transformation is Fogo de Chão. Since 1979, this global brand has been practicing the authentic Brazilian grilling technique of churrasco, offering a menu centered around premium cuts of expertly butchered and simply seasoned grilled proteins. With over 70 locations worldwide, Fogo de Chão has become known for its unique and innovative dining experience.
Consumers are constantly seeking new and exciting culinary experiences, making menu refreshments a key element of restaurant evolution. This may involve introducing new dishes, reimagining existing ones, and incorporating current food trends. Recognizing the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, many restaurants are expanding their menu options to cater to these preferences.
Following this trend, Fogo de Chão has enhanced its menu and Market Table offerings by introducing new plant-based and nutrient-dense dishes, alongside an expanded Bar Fogo beverage program that includes traditional and clean, zero-proof cocktails. These plant-based offerings feature innovative creations like Seared Tofu with Miso Black Bean Pasta and a hearty Roasted Power Vegetable Bowl, accommodating a range of dietary lifestyles. To further enhance the dining experience, guests can enjoy indulgent premium cuts as part of the churrasco experience at no additional cost. This allows guests to explore new flavors in a low-risk setting, with options such as bone-in ribeye, double-cut pork chop, and lamb picanha.
Redesigning the physical space of a restaurant is another crucial aspect of transformation. The ambiance plays a significant role in shaping customers’ dining experiences, and refreshing the decor can create a more modern, inviting, and comfortable environment. Fogo de Chão, with its new locations opening across the country, is revamping its interiors to create unique and architecturally inspired dining spaces that provide a memorable hospitality experience. Features such as lounge and conversational seating for enhanced comfort, spacious patios for al fresco dining, and open kitchens that immerse guests in the culinary experience appeal to the modern diner.
Furthermore, restaurants may need to re-evaluate and adjust their marketing strategies to cater to evolving customer bases. This could involve rebranding to appeal to a younger demographic or focusing on a specific type of cuisine or dining experience. Fogo de Chão’s churrasco experience, for instance, attracts a diverse and predominantly younger audience, with 87% of guests being Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z customers, including 41% females.
Innovative concepts like Bar Fogo, offering an All-Day Happy Hour and shareable Brazilian-inspired bar bites, or The Butchery, where customers can purchase premium cuts of meats carved in the traditional Brazilian style to cook at home, provide new ways to experience the traditional cuisine and enhance the guest experience.
Barry McGowan, CEO of Fogo de Chão, reflects on the brand’s transformation, saying, “Nearly 45 years ago, Fogo was built on the foundation of authentic Brazilian hospitality and delivering unique experiences to our guests. Today, we have evolved from a small restaurant in southern Brazil to a global leader celebrating the culinary art of churrasco. Restaurant transformation is crucial for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing industry. Our ongoing transformation efforts are focused on innovation to enhance the guest experience while remaining true to our Brazilian heritage.”
To learn more about Fogo de Chão and find a restaurant near you, visit fogo.com.