Differentiation – Now defined

Differentiation is the process of distinguishing a product or entire offering from others, making it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors’ products and standing out on the competitive landscape through unique positioning.

In the business world, differentiation is the key to success. It’s the process of making your product or offering stand out from the rest, appealing to a specific target market. By highlighting the unique aspects of your product and distinguishing it from competitors, you gain a competitive edge.

Differentiation can be achieved in two forms: Duplicate and Exclusive.

Duplicate Differentiation involves highlighting features that may be available elsewhere, but executed exceptionally well. For example, a restaurant that prides itself on first-class service is differentiating itself, but the significance of this differentiation may be limited if competitors also offer good service. However, when multiple points of difference are combined, like fresh and fast food at a competitive price with friendly service and engaging surroundings, it creates a powerful unique selling proposition.

On the other hand, Exclusive Differentiation sets your product apart by offering features that are truly unique in the market. This can be a patented technology, innovative design, or unique recipes. When executed well, this type of differentiation can lead to extraordinary success.

However, it’s important not to overlook Duplicate Differentiation even when Exclusive Differentiation has been achieved. Brands like Dyson have demonstrated that paying attention to all aspects of differentiation, including design in addition to patented technology, can maintain and enhance their competitive advantage.

In the restaurant industry, Exclusive Differentiation can be seen in unique recipes, food presentation, and environmental design. Service also plays a crucial role, with modern dining trends offering new opportunities for innovation and differentiation.

By understanding and leveraging the power of differentiation, businesses can truly stand out from the competition and attract their target market.

Customers today hold the key to businesses’ success or failure. Even before interacting with employees, a customer’s opinion of a restaurant can be swayed by a confusing website. It’s all about their Zone Of Possible Approval (ZOPA), which determines their emotional rating when making purchasing decisions. Small details like lukewarm food or overly frothy coffee can be deal breakers. But, with the right touches of duplicity and exclusivity, businesses can skyrocket their ZOPA ratings. Imagine giving a customer flowers on their birthday without any prior knowledge – that’s what makes a lasting impression.

In the competitive landscape of our globalized world, differentiation is the key to survival. The ability to stand out from the crowd, both through duplicating successful tactics and offering exclusive experiences, will determine who thrives and who fails.

At The Next Idea Group, we understand the importance of differentiation in staying ahead in the market. By identifying and creating trends, we give our clients the edge they need to outshine their competitors. So, join us in embracing differentiation and securing a special place in your customers’ hearts.

Author: Robert Ancill

Robots in Restaurants: A Cost-Saving Revolution or Job Stealing End to Hospitality?

The future of automation technologies will play a significant role in restaurant automation strategy. However, the Jury is out on the emergence of robots in restaurants. Some individuals view them as a threat to jobs and the ever so important human element of hospitality, while others see them as a cost-saving revolution that will alleviate the ever-acute staffing crises. Whatever the public opinion, reality dictates that robots are, more and more, taking over certain restaurant tasks and systems, and directly impacting the restaurant experience..

Several factors, including rising labor costs, a labor shortage, expensive rents, and employee turnover, have led restaurateurs to look at automating repetitive tasks, actively reduce labor deployment requirements, and ultimately increase profitability. Robots are, therefore, the most obvious and vociferous next step!

Robots are now found in various types of restaurants; from Royal Caribbean cruise ships, that use robotic bartenders, to Costco pizza-making robots, which have helped keep prices low. Other fast-food chains, such as Chipotle and Picnic, have updated their operations with robotic technology to create tortilla chips or make up to 100 pizzas per hour.

Robots in Restaurants

Presently, robots are more likely to support restaurant staff by carrying out tasks such as chopping ingredients or cleaning. Automation is also being used to improve customers’ experiences when making reservations, placing orders or paying for their meals. Order kiosks in place of cash registers is becoming more and more prevalent.  However, as the future becomes the present, we will begin to see the introduction of human like robotic servers, bartenders, hosts and even valet attendants, consequently robots are only in their infancy and will evolve quickly over the foreseeable future.

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The Future of Restaurant Design

The Future of Restaurant Design

Robots are coming to a restaurant near you! How the hell do we design for that?! Turns out there are quite a few things you may not know about restaurant and hospitality design. Today’s guest, Robert Ancill, shares his insight on interior design and formats for restaurants and hotels, ranging from the psychology of design to robots replacing staff.

Robert Ancill has spent over 25 years in the restaurant industry, designing and overseeing the launch and operations of over 40 new restaurant brands and 500+ restaurant or café openings or remodels. His projects have taken him to 24 countries, where he has worked with clients in a wide range of businesses – from restaurants and hotels to offices and luxury homes. Robert is particularly experienced in franchising and development in international markets. Read More

LEDs or Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

Restaurant Interior Design Sustainability Trends 2023

2023 is the year that sustainability and social consciousness in new restaurant design and construction will engage the industry. With an increased awareness of their impact on the environment, customers are actively looking for restaurants that demonstrate sustainable solutions to global issues more than ever before. Restaurants and cafes will begin to advertise at scale how they are actively reducing their environmental footprint through their use of sustainable building materials and deployment of alternative power. The restaurant industry has never been more vibrant and forward-thinking as it will be in 2023. We have identified some key trends that are really pushing the boundaries of sustainable creativity when it comes to new and upgraded designs. The following are the top ten sustainable trends we have identified in 2023.

1.LEDs or Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

While LEDs are not new, they facing increasing demand. Lighting styles are integral when it comes to pushing the limits of what a restaurant experience can be, ranging from theatre lighting to moody dark spaces perfect for intimate dinners. Consumers are becoming more aware of accessibility, color schematics, environmentally friendly materials and unique welcoming designs where all restaurants become worth entertaining guests!

LED and CFL bulbs use less energy than traditional lightbulbs, thus represent an obvious choice for reducing energy waste. When it comes to efficiency, CFLs use about one fourth the amount of energy of a regular bulb but last 10 times longer. In comparison, LEDs require about the same amount of energy as CFL’s yet shine brighter over the course of up to 25 times longer.

Finding bulbs in different colors and shapes to coordinate with restaurant decor is not a challenge; LED and CFL models come in many sizes and styles and are available at many specialist vendors as well as mainstream wholesalers/retailers such as Ferguson Home Depot.

Sustainable value:Reduced power use

Reduced manufactured material & energy cost

Reduced replacement cost


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Amino Farmacy Opens PRESS RELEASE

Phood Farmacy 2 LLC

DBA Amino Farmacy
1000 E 60th Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90001

Tel: (818) 927-4274


Amino Farmacy Opens

Los Angeles, July 2022: Food as medicine finally has a home!

Amino Farmacy, located at The Beehive, South Los Angeles, is a new, take-out, restaurant concept seeking to disrupt the food delivery and meal plan sector by providing pre-made and made to order, nutritionally balanced, farm fresh food.

Amino Farmacy has been created to provide the ultimate natural food experience and is focused on food that provides medicinal qualities utilizing nature’s farm raised plants and proteins. All meals are produced with a deep focus on health, nutrition, and wellness while using ingredient combinations designed to be preventative and / or healing, not to mention, enjoyable to eat.

Meals are freshly made and are available pre-packed or ready-to-eat on demand.

Most important are the ingredients and cooking methods deployed to produce Amino Farmacy’s meals. Amino Farmacy is a From Scratch kitchen concept; Produce is purchased fresh from local farms who have production integrity systems and adopt sustainable farming practices. All ingredients are GMO and antibiotic-free and come from certified sources. Amino Farmacy cooks with filtered water to ensure all meal regimens and remedies are prepared as purely as possible for the human body.

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Lifestream video analytics tool


Lifestream is a powerful and intuitive video analytics business that provides unique, and never before available, insights for restaurants and food and beverage operations to optimize operations and identify data-based customer behavior analytics.

Lifestream is a highly effective solution for measuring true guest satisfaction, keeping track of speed of service, assessing how staffing levels match customer demand on an hour to hour basis, as well as analyzing new initiatives such as interior design and layout changes.

Customer behaviors that have been notoriously hard to track include the percentage of people who walk in and then out of an establishment without making a purchase, true wait times at drive through restaurants, and real wait times from order time to table delivery. Sampling yields significant research results, however, with the delta that can be present between a sample and the real customer base, sample errors can occur. That is, of course, until now!

Lifestream resolves these problems by providing state-of-the-art video data analysis that captures critical information which has never before been available to restaurants. Lifestream’s AI technology can identify every human that enters a space and subsequently report their behavior in analytic format with absolute accuracy. Questions about missed opportunity, wait times, customer confusion, and dwell times can now all be answered. This provides a substantial advantage in addressing missed sales opportunities in addition to multiple other areas that will improve operations and the bottom line.

Video more than any other data source generates valuable insights based on how people actually behave, not just how they claim to behave. The more authentic the data source, the more valuable the insight. For the first time, restaurants can make deeply informed decisions by harnessing the power of their video and deploying analytics to improve their customer experience, resulting in substantial top and bottom line improvements.

Watch our video here: (

For information contact: Robert Ancill, / 818 887 7714

New design Ideas from TNI Design

We are often asked what the ‘TNI’, in our name, stands for. The answer is: The Next Idea.

We have always been a design agency that seeks to push boundaries in interior design wherever possible.

This design was for a Sports Restaurant in the Middle East. The entire design was centered around a stadium look and feel, with its own commentator’s room and different dining and lounging areas.

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Sustainable Design and New Materials For Restaurants

Our focus at TNI Design is not just about sustainability. We were one of the first Design and Interior Design firms to use Hemp-based construction materials and furniture. For example, in our design for Phood Farmacy, we used hemp wood for the wall and counter finishes (the equivalent of 5 trees if we used a wood finish)

#hempwood #phoodfarmacy #sustainablerestaurantdesign

As a substitute to wood, palm, another under-valued and little understood material. Examples can be found at: TNI design is specifying Palm Theory products in many of its new commercial and residential projects.

#sustainablematerials #sustainableinteriordesign #newdesignideas #palmtheory

Hemcrete® is a bio-composite building material made from hemp shiv (the woody core of industrial hemp) and a lime based binder called Tradical® HB.

TNI Design is exploring new ways to use Hemcrete in restaurant design. This is an exploration design with one of our favorite clients, using hemcrete as wall finish instead of gypsum board, and hempwood planters.

#hemcrete #sustainableinteriordesign #newdesignideas #phoodfarmacy

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