The first and most important step of the design process is to decide which kind of challenge you want to have in your restaurant. This decision affects almost every other step in the creation process. Before going any further, make sure you read and understand The Different Kinds Of Food Challenges. There are 10 different kinds, and they are briefly explained in that article, so make sure you have read it so that the rest of this article makes sense. Here are some questions to think about to help you decide which kind of challenge you are wanting:

Do you already have an existing menu item that will become the challenge? – This is an important question to mention early on because some restaurants already have an existing menu item, and now they are considering turning it into an actual food challenge. Sometimes a restaurant may have a pretty big meal as a menu item, and customers may start asking for it to become a food challenge. If this is the case for you and your restaurant, then pick which kind of challenge fits your particular menu item. If you have a 28″ pizza, it most likely needs to become a team challenge. If you have a 5lb appetizer plate of nachos, this would be best suited as a large quantity challenge. If this question pertains to you and your restaurant, pick the kind and go to step 2.

What size city do you live in? – If you read the Your Geographic Location Is A Major Factor article, you learned that there are typically more bigger eaters in a large city because there is just a larger number of people in the city. Larger cities can get by with larger challenges and shorter time limits than small town cities can. If your restaurant is located in a smaller city or town, you should not aim for a massive challenge because nobody will be able to finish it and the local people will quit trying. Decide to have a medium sized quantity challenge or speed challenge. If your restaurant is located in a bigger city, you may decide to have a large quantity food challenge. If answering this question helped answer the question, pick the challenge kind and go to step 2.

Do a lot of your customers like spicy food? – This question is easiest to answer for Indian and Thai restaurants because spices are used a lot more than in American style restaurants. If a lot of your customers could be classified as “chili heads” that love spicy food, your restaurant is more than likely suited for a spicy food challenge. If you serve a variety of flavored chicken wings and customers keep asking you to make them hotter, then you are probably most suited to have a spicy food challenge. If you never really get any customers asking to make a dish spicier, then you are probably more suited for a non-spicy speed or quantity food challenge.

Do you serve a lot of any particular foods? – Are there any particular food items that your restaurant is known for, such as tacos, wings, or sliders? If so, you may be suited for a quantity record challenge, especially if you have a certain night of the week when that particular item is on special. Then you can accent that particular food and night in your challenge advertising. If a restaurant has a wing record challenge on Wings Wednesdays when wings are cheaper, customers may be inclined to come up and have a few wings of their own while watching people try to set the record. If a burger joint is known for serving sliders 3 or 4 at a time, and some people sometimes order 8-10, your restaurant may be suited for a quantity record challenge. You may also be suited for a speed record challenge where paying customers see who can eat 10 regular sliders the fastest.

What is the attitude of your restaurant and clientele? – This is a very important question because the challenge needs to fit the atmosphere and attitude of your restaurant. Some kinds of challenges just don’t belong in certain types of restaurants. If you have a competitive atmosphere, then you should put together a smaller & more competitive speed or quantity challenge. You may even want to combine a medium quantity challenge with a speed record challenge, awarding a shirt and gift certificate for people finishing under 30 minutes, and the meal free only if a person can set the challenge record. The larger a challenge is, the less competitive it becomes, so remember that when deciding the kind of challenge. If your restaurant is a sports bar or some other type of restaurant that caters to competitive guys and sports, get the testosterone and beers flowing even more by creating a challenge that allows the guys to compete against each other at the dinner table during halftime.

Hopefully these questions provoked some thought and helped you decide which kind of challenge you want to have in your restaurant, cafe, or diner. Once you have made your final decision, its then time to go to step 2.

Thanks for reading why the kind of food challenge is the first detail you must establish!!

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