Harrison is the hospitality design name behind Chi Kitchen, the newly-opened pan-Asian restaurant located on the third floor of Debenhams at the Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, UK.
Working alongside renowned restaurateur Eddie Lim, owner of the highly regarded Mango Tree Thai restaurant in Belgravia, Harrison’s Andrew Kirk has ensured that Chi Kitchen’s design is as stylish and tasteful as its menu.
“The overall scheme is relaxed, with a purposefully limited palette of quality finishes”, Andrew explains. “Marble, concrete, copper, oak and leather provide decoration in varying textures and simple forms, spiriting diners away from the hustle and bustle of central Birmingham.”
With 118 covers, Chi Kitchen has a range of seating options, from deep, upholstered window booths offering views of the surrounding city, to high stools at the dining counter and bar allowing customers to participate in the theatre of the restaurant.
Andrew continues: “Flexibility of layout encompasses all dining occasions, while a bespoke and intelligent lighting scheme guides the restaurant through different parts of the day and creates an intimate dining experience for customers.
“There is a sushi bar to deliver freshly-prepared sushi and sashimi, while an open-plan robata grill is a focal point, giving guests a measured glimpse into the excitement of the kitchen’s live cooking. A ‘grab & go’ pop-up counter is provided as a satellite offer in the basement lobby area, offering drinks such as bubble tea, and prepared sushi, pan-Asian wraps and snacks.”
Capitalising on the growing popularity of ‘foodie pubs’, Harrison has been working closely with independent pub operator The City Pub Company (East) to refurbish Grade II listed The Georgian Townhouse in Norwich.
Completed within a tight timescale and budget, this one-time steak restaurant has been totally redesigned to create a stylishly upmarket 450 cover pub/restaurant with the character and flexibility of ambience to attract families as well as adult-only custom.
Heading up Harrison’s team was Andrew Kirk, who said: “Harrison has significant experience of redesigning period buildings, which meant we could hit the ground running with this project.
“With careful regard to planning restrictions, we looked at the allocation of floor space between the elements of the building and devised a new layout which would help maximise the profitability of the venue, particularly its operational capacity.”
The ensuing redesign introduces character to the interior of the building, with a scheme that is strikingly classic, but with quirky elements to create interest and energy.
The styling continues within the six bedrooms at The Georgian Townhouse, all created with a strong emphasis on quality and character.
Andrew Kirk added: “The overall feel of The Georgian Townhouse is certainly unique. It stands out with an historic presence, successfully modernised for a complete palette of target customer groups.”
Harrison is the name behind the remarketing of one of the UK’s most established casual dining chains, with over 50 Pizza Hut Restaurants across the UK rebranded since the end of 2013 and a further 23 due to be completed by our team in the next eight months.
This high profile project follows our brand repositioning consultation with Pizza Hut Restaurants back in 2013 and our subsequent repositioning of a restaurant name which has operated in the UK for over four decades and in the USA for almost six.
Trial units showcasing our new designs led to a 40% increase in revenue, and a similar uplift has continued to date.
Lead designer on the rollout, Aoife Kenny Fallon, said: “Our brief is to reposition Pizza Hut Restaurants for future growth in the UK and to devise a set of schemes which are effective, durable, affordable and excite both current and future customers.
“Right from the start, our client has given us a blank canvas to work with, allowing us to challenge everything from their operations right through to their demographics and locations. They have confidence in us being able to increase sales by upping their investment in the brand and giving equal emphasis to operations and design.”
The result is a reinvigoration of Pizza Hut Restaurants which is highly distinctive in the casual dining sector. Its increased levels of ‘American spirit’ are given prominence through the introduction of key elements such as a bar and open kitchen, as well as the celebration of US icons such as the salad bar, ice cream, self-serve drinks and pizza buffet.
Finishes are authentic and vibrant, from the red and blue leather seating through to neon light fittings and stand-out artworks. All echo the relaxed ethos of the American-born brand, creating the crucial point of difference from the Italian-themed competition. The changes also complement the recent refresh of the iconic red roof logo, delivery boxes, cups, menus and employee uniforms.
Aoife Kenny Fallon continued: “The overall feel of the new branding is one of contemporary evolution which meets, and exceeds, customer expectations, and is standing squarely alongside the market leaders. Pizza Hut Restaurants is no longer in that ‘no man’s land’ between high quality pizza restaurants and cut-price competitors. The brand now has a strong, exciting and unique identity which is reaping rewards for its owners as well as its customers.”