When you are deciding upon the theme or concept for your restaurant, it's important to start with what you are passionate about. Start broad and then try to refine your options based on your goals. You need to take into account what excites you and how you plan on translating that into your restaurant.
One thing to consider is whether your restaurant will focus on showing off your culinary abilities or whether the focus will be on the design. You really need to pin down what your trying to say or accomplish with your business.
"What do you want to create? What do you want to spend your time, your money, and your effort on creating every day for people who come to your restaurant?"
One of the benefits of working on something that you are passionate about is that you are going to enjoy yourself. It's up to you to be the motivational leader of your business.
However, you may find that your passions are incompatible with the marketplace. This is why testing your concept is essential. Just because something gets you excited, it doesn't necessarily mean that others are going to be enthralled with what you're doing. It might benefit you to hang around the neighborhood and social scene that you plan on entering. Gaining a proper understanding of the community will benefit you when you're analyzing the strength of your concept.
"It’s probably not a good idea to put a very expensive restaurant in a college town. You might want to think about the schools that are nearby, the businesses that are nearby, the traffic. What kind of concept would work in that particular location?"
When planning out your concept, get inspired by existing restaurants. Try to think back to memorable experiences you've had at restaurants and how you can incorporate those positive aspects into your business. You may find it hard to be original, but nothing is stopping you from putting a unique spin on a tried and true concept. Add value where you can and make it your own.