Let’s talk about a non-conventional restaurant brand called Modern Toilet. The first restaurant opened in 2004 under the name of “Marton Restaurant” in Taiwan in 2006 the brand has evolved under the name of “Modern Toilet” to facilitate its international development desire. For your information, “Matong” is the Chinese word to say the toilet.
Poo poo everywhere
As you can imagine, I’m talking about a bathroom theme restaurant. The theme is pushed to the extreme, and inside the restaurant, everything is related to things you might find in your bathroom. A focus is made on toilets so, if you go to the modern toilet, you will sit on a toilet, the table will be made from a bath-tub, and you will be lit by lamps that are in the form of poo. The restaurant design will transport you into the universe of someone that is obsessed with toilets.
The particularity is that you will not eat crap food in this restaurant. It is good news, isn’t it? Everything else will, however, remind you that you are living a very curious and unique experience that most people would find to be a very disgusting one.
Food tastes good
The menu is also quite large and just as good as in other restaurants. It is a worldwide cuisine with Asian influences and dishes were specially designed by the chef for the theme. The most explicit one, for example, is the chocolate ice cream that is served in a urinal, and that takes the form poo. Food is generally served in plastic toilets or urinates and drinks in the urinal. Find the utility of toilet paper (that replace regular napkins).
You have to count between $10 to $15 US for a meal that includes a soup and an ice cream.
Poo-like ice creams
For the story, Eric Wang, the owner of the brand, was not sure that the concept would work and decided to test the attractiveness of such kind of product. He then decided to sell ice creams that are similar to poo on the street before trying to open any toilet theme restaurant. The fact is that it was a success, and for the test period, he sold an average of more than 1000 ice cream a day at more than 150% of competition ice cream price.
The brand is designed to succeed in the short term, so what will it be in a few years? There are currently more than 13 restaurants all over Taiwan an Hong-Kong, and the fact is that the brand will severely increase its development through franchises in the next years. It means that the brand works. The restaurant theme and the name itself are enough to sell and to attract new customers.
Will people be loyal?
I think, however that it is a transitory trend because it is difficult to imagine that customers will become loyal to this kind of restaurant concept. The experience is, of course, exciting and funny, but would someone frequently go to a restaurant that has toilets as a theme and that serves food that is looking like poo?
Eric Wang says that after a curiosity period, he tries to focus on upgrading food and services quality, Still, it is not sure that these actions will develop customers’ loyalty and this even for a short period of time.
I would then suggest the brand first to upgrade its food and service quality as it was decided because it is nowadays essential for customers. I secondly would suggest creating time-limited restaurants for a period of time that will stay two or three years in the same place that will after that be relocated in another block of the city.
Is it a short-term hit?
The reason is that the concept is designed to attract curious customers in a short period of time, and the main idea of business relocation is to go directly to customers at the opposite of attracting them and developing customer loyalty. The restaurant has, of course, to be profitable in a very short period of time to success, and the advantage is that almost everything might be reused for another restaurant.
The main brand challenge is to follow the strategy of customers’ brand loyalty development; however. As I said, we can probably count loyal customers on one hand’s fingers so, how will evolve the brand in the next few years remains an unpredictable question.
You might want to visit the Philippines, as it is near to Taiwan and is a good travel destination.