Rethinking Hospitality and Leisure for Tomorrow’s Customers. A Free Workshop.

Will Covid-19 provide unique opportunities for Food and Beverage and redefine Hospitality? 

Having spoken to a number of sector CEO’s recently we think now is a good time to carve out some headspace for you and your business designed to reflect and ask the question … why you are doing what you do and if you’re ready to adapt to changes post Covid-19? 

Join us for a free Harrison Workshop/Webinar.  We have set aside two alternative dates and times for our webinar, which are 23rd or 29th September 2020 at 2pm (BST). 

During the workshop, Phil Seddon, Head of Branding and Graphics, Dean Concannon, Design Director and Richard Samarasinghe, Head of Brand and Business Development will discussing their thoughts on the future role of food and drink experiences, drawing on both macro consumer trends and themes accelerated by Covid-19.  We will also explore how theses changes in society are blending with new eating habits to form  a radically different picture for tomorrows customer and the role that eating experiences will play in our lives. 

For more information please contact or follow the link to our registration form


Are hospitality concepts, design and interiors changing as a result of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is changing the design & interior of Hospitality

01-Nathan Social Media Post

Nathan Stevenson, a Senior Interior Designer at Harrison has recently outlined his thoughts about how he believes hospitality businesses will change post-COVID-19 and we’d like to share his thoughts.

“Hospitality has already changed dramatically because of COVID, brands have had to think creatively and pivot their business models to respond to the new needs of customers whilst developing multiple revenue streams to safeguard against changing conditions.

I think this has been an eye-opener for the industry, with increasing revenue from retail products, online and delivery will become the norm.

A key point will be to make physical space work harder, with smaller footprints doing more, offering Grab n Go capabilities, smaller dining areas, Click and Collect and take away via a delivery platform.
However, this new breed of sites will need to be carefully planned (rather than retrofitted) to accommodate the multifunction uses and minimise staff levels to reduce costs.

I can see businesses changing their site strategy by opening more smaller sites over a larger geographical area to cater for increased suburban trade and delivery coverage, this was already evolving but COVID accelerate this shift.

Nathan suggests that value and simplicity will increasingly be more important for brands and customers, whether that’s the design of physical spaces or food offer. Popular brands such as Flat Iron and MOD Pizza are two recent examples.

Nathan believes we will need to be more creative to achieve more with less. So, simpler design with cleaver detailing and working with the existing features and finishes of sites.

Technology will also be more important, Wetherspoons have led the way by introducing a table ordering via an app designed to lower staff costs pre-COVID. Now ordering prior to arrival is commonplace, helping decrease dwell time but increasing customer volumes.

I think for a long time there has been to many barriers to entry for entrepreneurs to enter the hospitality sector due to the prohibitive start-up costs, high rents, high levels of competition for prime sites and large well-established brands with strong covenants.

I think one of the fallouts from COVID has been to level the playing field to a certain extent with new brands coming into the market not having the burden of financial losses from COVID and being able to negotiate more realistic rents with landlords as well as potentially being able to take on units which are already fitted out with commercial kitchens. Also, the Front of House can be changed to accommodate a new brand at a relatively small cost. David Page, Fulham Shore said recently that this was a strategy that Franco Manca would be pursuing going forward. This creates huge (well needed in my opinion) opportunities for new brands/entrepreneurs to revitalise, what has been a pretty stale market for quite some time.

Finally, an increased focus and shift to online channels will also allow entrepreneurs to build strong brands virtually, allowing them to test/refine their offer before committing to opening physical sites. We are currently working with a new client, Gallio Pizza ( who have launched the concept via a dark kitchen in SE London to test and refine their Mediterranean menu.

David Singleton joins Harrison .. Driving growth across EMA/APAC

David Singleton has been a global client of Harrison for many years and has recently joined us to assist with their EMA / APAC growth plans. He is widely known for his franchise & global growth advisory expertise, and will work with the UK, Dallas and Melbourne based teams connecting the world, working with clients on strategic advisory and design projects as a Harrison Associate.

If you are looking for out of the box thinking, or strategic advisory insight as you navigate these challenging times, get in touch with the team at Harrison who will work with you offering you a free initial workshop to a complete master plan on a new project.

David has a wealth of experience in the hospitality and retail industry in the USA, EMEA and South Asia as a brand builder, creator, operator, franchisee, franchisor for some of the world’s best known and respected brands and now advises across the hospitality and services sectors, globally.

The Age of Brand Transformation

The Age of Brand Transformation

At Harrison, we are transforming ourselves. Beyond mere graphics and interiors, we are constantly finding new ways to get inside our clients home and be a part of their life as branded content, branded entertainment and branded space.

But clients are transforming themselves, too. New cultural modes of performance are emerging from new network-based social behaviours and conversations. With millions of people able to share ideas, opinions and experiences in a single online space – and generate billions of web page impressions every month – these behaviours and conversations are creating a seismic shift in the traditional balance of power that once existed between customers and companies.

As content is increasingly delivered via personalised and self-scheduled social webs, viewers – not broadcasters – this will decide when, how, why and what is experienced. And they will dictate who they share those experiences with.

Our Strategy and Brand document provides a snapshot of our recent brand transformation work click on this link to access.

Harrison can help you in this age of transformation do drop us a line to find out more.

Brand Storytelling is the future of Hospitality Marketing

The future of Hospitality Marketing is in Brand Storytelling

Now, more than ever, hospitality businesses need to rethink and develop their creative storytelling. Covid-19 has given the sector a once in a lifetime opportunity to reinvent who we are, throw out the old and welcome the new. It’s a chance to come out of this industry shake-up smarter, leaner and more efficient and stronger.

We have recently been working with The Cambridge Society Union, on a new visual identity and brand personality, specifically looking at;

– Acknowledging the Society’s longevity and dependability.

-Appealing to, and retain a broad audience — students, teachers, guest speakers, general public and tourists, and those with an event in mind.

-Sharing the ‘brand story’ – it’s what makes the experience valuable, enjoyable and shareable.

-Increasing the knowledge of the location.

-Highlighting offerings and the potential to accommodate events.

To see how Harrison completed and built the brand foundations for the creative direction follow this link to our case study.

A Changing World for Hospitality – Meeting the Guest Needs

As we slowly come out of lockdown and the country takes tentative steps toward some kind of normality there is no sector more impacted by what remains a very fluid situation than hospitality, so there is little wonder that we are finding many clients challenged by what their next steps might be. Current views seem to fall into 3 main groups:

A. Those clients who simply want to wait and see how thing play out over the coming weeks and months.

B. Those clients who are initially taking steps to safeguard their businesses but are intent on looking to the future and planning for this as best they can, either by developing a single strategy or exploring a range of options to meet varying market conditions.

C. Those clients who believe this will only be a short-term problem and that business levels will return to near normal in the medium term, notwithstanding the potential for future partial lockdowns.

Taking the second client group as the one that is most active in terms of planning for the future, by considering the need for longer term flexible social distancing measure, and developing their takeaway/click & collect business as a permanent brand extension are unsurprisingly in the mix.

It is fair to assume that the legacy of Covid19 is going to be with us for some time, as the virologists say we are just going to have to get used to living with it, and there is always the potential for other similar pandemics down the line, so having flexible solutions integrated into the space planning and design process makes good sense. Solutions that become an integral part of the design and not a “bolt on”.

Of course, no one really knows when and to what extent things will return to normal nor can we predict what the generational differences in attitude to going out might be, although it is probably fair to say that the older the generation the more risk averse, they are likely to be. A recent UK Hospitality report confirmed there a marked difference in attitude between age groups’

For all hospitality businesses, the absolute priority has to be to ensure their guests feel safe groups.

The same report said 23% of guests will only return with caution and 33% only if they were sure there were added precautions in place, which leads us to another important point.

Physiologically a quick fix “sticking plaster” approach will not do this as it suggests there is only a limited interest in guest safety on the part of the operator. Reels of hazard tape and notices on tables are not the answer. What is really needed are solutions that are fully integrated into the design so that guests sense their concerns have been properly considered and thought through properly. That restaurant or bar owner has thought seriously about guest safety, not just in the short term but as a long-term social necessity.

Guest confidence is key at every step of their journey, from stepping through the entrance to leaving, including critical health risk areas such as kitchens and toilet configurations, and brands that fail to address this in a meaningful way will struggle to stay relevant in what is likely to be a changed consumer need state.  This is no more important than in City Centres where it seems 75% of leaders expecting consumer reluctance to visit town centres, it is going to take a concerted effort from all businesses to rebuild consumer confidence.

Can we help you with your post-COVID planning? Contact or fill a contact form here.