Restaurants of the Future

Restaurants of the Future



As we start to reflect on the impact that COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on the Hospitality and Leisure sector, it’s time to consider spaces that are a lot more flexible and adaptable, with transitions that can be easily made without sacrificing large numbers of occupancy.

Traditionally Restaurant Interior Design and Bar Design is very fixed, screens are welded, bolted to the floor and packed full to maximise on cover counts. However, with society Post COVID-19 we believe a less permanent approach will be required from the very initial design and concept phases. Screens that have a sense of permanence yet are designed in a way to shield and protect without forfeiting on aesthetics.

So we at Harrison have put together this vision of the future to show that social distanced restaurants can be beautifully designed without the need for clinical screens and graphics.

If you would like to contact us to see how we can assist you and your business please contact either…

(UK and Europe)
Richard Samarasinghe

Keith Anderson-

Paul Wainwright-


A Goose Goes to Europe

As we tentatively start moving forward to re-opening the hospitality sector we are showcasing a number of recent projects, starting with Goose Island, Shoreditch, London which opened last year. Our concept presentation is linked here

The Goose Island Beer Company is a craft brewery that originated from Chicago, Illinois with a number of brewpubs named after an artificial island in Chicago. The founder John Hall created the micro-brewery following a tour of Europe in 1998 sampling different beers pint by pint. We were asked by the owners Anheuser-Busch to translate and adapt the unique personality of the US-based operations into Shoreditch, East London. Our design was influenced by Chicago’s stripped-back Warehouse interiors. The space was broken into a number of discrete areas accommodating live music, an authentic US micro-brewery and comfortable lounge and dining areas away from the main bar area. We also developed an ingenious way to reduce or extend table tops depending on the time of day.

As the founder said, “America deserves some damn fine beer like this, too.”

1751 The Distillery Bar & Kitchen – Hilton, London Bridge

Completion of a new F&B Concept at 1751 The Distillery Bar & Kitchen at the Hilton in London Bridge

We’ve recently completed a new F&B concept called 1751 Distillery Bar and Kitchen on the ground floor of the Hilton, London Bridge, named after the gin act of the same year. It was an ex Jamie’s Italian, which we have transformed over 12 weeks. Even with the impact of the recent Coronavirus it’s performing incredibly well and is still building, especially group bookings.

Bob & Berts expansion plans are paying dividends!

Bob & Berts Expansion Plans

Over the past couple of years, our team at Harrison have been working with Colin McClean and David Ferguson on developing a scaleable cafe brand. Our recent development in Portstewart has resulted in sales that have exceeded the founders’ budget expectations.

Founded in Portstewart by Colin McClean, his father Arnold and brother-in-law David Ferguson, Bob & Berts has 16 coffee shops across Northern Ireland, including; Coleraine, Stranmillis, Lisburn, Omagh, Dungannon and the recent, newly located sites in Portrush and Portstewart. The company’s continued growth strategy has resulted in expansion into Scotland and a future push into the North of England.

Bob & Berts philosophy is underpinned by doing things the right way; thinking local, prioritising people before profit, taking great pride in our work and, most of all, putting proper coffee in your cups and great grub on your plate …. your way.

The original designs were created intuitively by the founders and naturally evolved into very fun and charming spaces with bags of positive energy.  Bob & Berts intentionally avoid the on-trend design look, and as such, attract a guest that wishes to avoid the unnecessary, themed and overly trite appearance.  Harrisons have been mindful not to disrupt this formula, consciously not over-designing or over-detailing the proposals so it very much remains in the right space in the new local markets they are entering.  The client continues to encourage us to keep the fun levels high and consistently is revaluating the operating model to ensure the wide and extensive product is delivered to a high standard to the customer.

Bob & Berts is THE rendezvous for LOCAL people to escape from the hustle and bustle of life on the go and a local haven for the community.

What is your competitive advantage?

We can all easily convince ourselves that our business is different. We can believe your product or service is truly ground-breaking.

“If customers could see how good we are…”

“If people realised how we could help them”

“Don’t people realise our product is of better quality than….”

I am sure you have probably uttered something similar either recently or in times past. When customers do understand and believe the advantage of buying from you rather than your competitor, it makes the difference.

Whether you’re making jet engines, selling advertising space or financial services, you have to show why you are a better choice than your competitors.

It’s also important to recognise that one of your competitors might be inaction or something totally different.

A customer may decide your time-saving solution is not for them and stick with a heavy workload or may decide to save time in a completely different way. The competition isn’t always a rival company.

So with all this in mind, we reach two key points.

What makes you different from the competition? What is your value proposition?

People have to see and believe your value for themselves. Customers must understand and appreciate your value and place in the market.

Does this resonate with you? The reason many are frustrated is that in an attempt to prove their value to the market, they miss the obvious. It’s not what you say, it is what is interpreted. Everything we do to promote our business is subjective, the success of a strategy, value proposition or competitive marketing plan is in what the prospects and customers believe and act upon.

I know that developing a competitive market position is challenging in today’s world, but it isn’t impossible. I help people put these together all the time. Having these clearly articulated so a new starter can ‘get you’ is where you should begin.

I’d appreciate your thoughts?



The International Hotel and Property Awards 2019 – The Angel Hotel, Bury St. Edmunds

We are delighted to discover that The Angel Hotel, in Bury St Edmunds, part of the Gough Hotel Group has been shortlisted for the International Hotel and Property Awards 2019.

Gough hotels gave us the brief to ‘modernise the Lounge, Bar and Restaurant and develop a fresh brand identity while being sympathetic to its heritage’.

The hotel has an iconic location within the market town and is famed for its association with writer Charles Dickens, who stayed there three times in the 19th century, referencing the hotel, then a ‘Coaching House’, in his book ‘The Pickwick Papers’. Taking inspiration from this heritage, and that of is impressive Georgian ivy-clad architecture, supported by further local research, we created a concept underpinned by a brand essence of ‘fables and tales’ — this being the foundation for creative descions made throughout the process of all brand, graphic touchpoints and interior design, so much so to include the audio experience and menu creation.

It was imperative to modernise the feel and use of the ground-floor space, in particular by integrating the Bar and Restuarant so that it can work as one hybrid area (reflective of today’s guest and hospitality demands), yet retain some of its ‘old charm’. By using traditional materials, sourcing authentic vintage pieces, and creating bespoke furniture, we have delivered a contemporary solution that has the warmth and soul of “welcome home”, with a sense of tradition and consideration. The light Oakwood floors were replaced with a custom-made flooring created from five tones of fumed oak, which gives the appearance of an ‘original’ floor, and the bar itself is an antique, Jewellery retail-counter, which elevated further incorporating a bronze bar-top. The redesign of the space allows for a new chapter, without disregarding the story behind a place with such heritage.

Small nods throughout the design keep this history at the forefront of one’s mind. Ink blue walls give a cue to the literary heritage, whilst the bespoke lighting fixture in the Restaurant uses handmade porcelain feathers, creating a statement and connection to ‘angel’ connotations. To the side of the bar, the Snug is guarded by a white bear head, as a subtle nod to the White Bear Inn, which had been one of three inns that used to be on the grounds. The small clues littered throughout the creative redesign provide guests and staff alike another reason to engage — providing that additional knowledge and narrative to staff is a key from us at Harrison. We want guests to not only enjoy the space but engage with it.