Storytelling in Restaurant Design is One Pillar of your brand’s success

Sarah Jenkinson, our Design Director at our Dallas office has recently shared her insights on creating compelling stories for hospitality brands in a US publication Restaurant News.

There is nothing like a great experience. Our lives are built around them, and the better the story, the more involved people become. Restaurant brands have the same objective because their success is all about the customer journey narrative.

There are a multitude of factors and influences, whether it is the history, food fusion or cultural significance, that play into a restaurant brand’s story.

When a brand engages its guests, it helps guests start to fall in love with everything the restaurant brand does. Designing one-off restaurants or multi-chain brands to make them part of the fabric of peoples’ lives is no easy task.

What makes a restaurant unique, what gives it a competitive edge and how the brand wants to grow are all part of how we identify the solution. We need all of those subliminal qualities to be make sure our design is just right.

Fogo de Chão is known for its Brazilian heritage and warm hospitality. We were determined to help this brand show its Southern Brazilian roots in every step of the guest’s journey with new design elements.

We started by creating a timeless, sophisticated and welcoming environment within the restaurant using deep accent colours and rich upholstery textures

Fundamentally, the food has to go above and beyond tasty. Then, we come in to help maximize the guest journey, which starts not just at the door.

The customer journey is what everyone sees and touches to create a sense of place. Whether the details are big or small, we convey a narrative in everything the guest experiences, from moments like walking to your table and seeing the seats you sit on, smelling the aroma of the brand’s food and drink, hearing music being played and people talking to noticing how the napkins are folded on the table, the weight of the cutlery and how the food is served, everything matters.

Ethics and brands’ behaviours are now even more of a priority on the consumer’s mind. We have to reflect the brand accurately to create the perfect narrative that resonates with who the brand is and what it offers. This is part of what makes any brand stand out from the rest and brings people back for more.

We must understand the finer points that give the discovery and strategy phase of the brand depth.

While it may seem obvious, many new startups, incubator brands and even long-established brands omit this stage as they get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of operating their business.

For example, we have recently been working with FB Society on Buttercup Love Me Tenders, a quirky brand that serves chicken tenders in cones.

The concept takes an unconventional approach to classic comfort food that embraces global influences and encourages flavour exploration. The unique brand has a fun sense of humour and needed to be envisaged correctly to be successful. As we crafted the Buttercup concept from the ground up, we had to analyze how the brand experience would be for its guests to appropriately bring it to life.

Playing with food is encouraged, so our design had to be equally as fun and playful. The restaurant stall was designed to resemble a traditional shed and chicken coop and even the logo and font choices reflect that lively energy.

In addition, Fogo de Chão is known for its Brazilian heritage and warm hospitality. We were determined to help this brand show its Southern Brazilian roots in every step of the guest’s journey with new design elements.

We started by creating a timeless, sophisticated and welcoming environment within the restaurant using deep accent colours and rich upholstery textures.

From the moment guests arrive, they will enjoy an experience that allows them to discover something new with every bite. Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, Fogo elevates the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame – into a cultural dining experience of discovery.

Whether guests are celebrating an occasion with family or enjoying a date night in the Next Level Lounge, the restaurant’s design aesthetic tells the Fogo story through every touchpoint.

Guests want a brand with a story to tell. Told often through many unseen details, key features are planned out and unite to create the right experience.

As designers, we rely on the brand to help us translate its DNA into special features or magical moments and feelings that ensure the brand’s story is being told.

Ultimately, we’re in charge of putting the guest at the heart of the experience, and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure they fall with the brand and stay in love.

Because we all love a happy ending.

The Future is Now for New Restaurant Design

At Harrison, we are fortunate enough to work with restaurant concepts that are taking this leap in to the future and creating engaging experiences through their restaurant designs. Many have used this time to redefine their brand stories and maximize areas of opportunity. These shifts are revolutionizing the industry and defining the restaurant of the future.

Keith Anderson, CEO of our US Design Studio has recently been interviewed by QSR magazine and outlined his thoughts and ideas on next level interior design.

“We should focus in on responding to the need states of the guest through increased flexibility, experience, customization, personalization, convenience and safety measures.

As we move into this new phase, there are three areas of focus for next-level design:

 

Fully Customizable Spaces

During the height of the pandemic, restaurants realized that versatile design played an integral role in profitability and this lesson will become part of the new landscape. We predict a shift towards adaptable designs that offer the flexibility to create multiple lay-out options that can flex to heightened restrictions but without creating cavernous space. New prototypes will be designed for multi-functionality with screens to divide high-traffic areas, moveable tables and chairs instead of fixed booths, and flexibility to create socially distanced layouts. Creating personalized and multi-purpose design is no longer an option, it has become an essential part of all future design.

 

Hygiene and Sanitation Built-in to the Design

The big winner of the last year is hygiene. We will never again take our health and safety for granted, even at our favorite restaurants. This new must-have design element will be reflected in future restaurant prototypes and will include more than just hand washing stations. Anti-microbial finishes should be considered for guest touch points. All handles and high-touch surfaces will be made with self-cleaning materials which can prevent the spread of germs and seating will convert from fabric to hard surfaces for ease of sanitation. Brands must continue embrace technology that enables convenience, enhances safety by allowing contactless ordering and transactions.

 

Maximizing Opportunities for Off-Premises Dining

During days of lock-down when many of us were missing our favorite restaurants, it was a treat to have the option to grab carry-out from our favorite spots. We learned, although eating our favorite menu items at home is a different experience, it’s not all bad and we might want to keep doing it when all restrictions are lifted.  In addition, many restaurants realized they had been leaving money on the table by not offering this option and are ready to make off-premise options a permanent part of the equation. According to data, 66 percent of consumers anticipate continuing to use curbside pickup after dine-in services resume. We must continue to innovate and look for ways to enhance the off-premise brand experience through digital, technology and packaging.

Off-premises dining is here to stay and restaurants are building it in to their model moving forward. They are adding grab and go areas to maximize take-out and dedicated access for third party delivery drivers. Additional options include dedicated space for take-out orders with items stored in lit or temperature-controlled locker-like boxes with designated numbers to ensure that orders are secure and only picked up by the correct customer.

We must continue to think outside the box and return our focus to the need states of the guest. True innovation in drive-through should be explored by focusing in on personalizing the customer experience through data and understanding. Technology such as number plate recognition can help brands recognize returning guests so they can personalize communication, gifting and experiences. Imagine the possibilities of a drive through experience that triggers a music playlist, plays a favorite Netflix movie or provides a special birthday greeting. If it sounds futuristic, it is. But, the future is now.

Things are always changing and that’s not always a bad thing. In these extraordinary times, brands can reimagine their stories and ways to connect with their guest.

 

 

The “new normal” that everyone is talking about is actually an exciting evolution for an industry ready to come back better than ever”.

 

Agile brand design that increases revenue and responds to COVID-19 safety measures.

Harrison is here to help you enhance the guest experience by developing an agile brand design that increases revenue and responds to COVID-19 safety measures.

We offer a comprehensive range of strategic brand services in order to encourage brands to “think differently” to stay ahead of your competitors, adapt to these challenging times and retain/attract new customers.

Harrison is here to help! We want to support by giving back to the industry, therefore we are offering free initial consultation to all existing and new clients.

The links below offer further recommendations and insight developed for Hospitality, Restaurant & Retail brands.

Please click on the links below and switch on your sound.

Link #1 – Strategic CPMG Covid Playbook

Link #2 – Flexible restaurant design video

Link #3 – Think differently about off premise delivery video.

 

For further details about our consultation and services, please contact Keith Anderson

kanderson@harrison.hn

Tel: 469 268 4124

 

 

 

 

Restaurants aren’t dead; they’re just different.

Restaurants aren’t dead; they’re just different.

Or at least, they’ll have to become much more different from what they are if they’re to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.

That’s the overall takeaway from a RestaurantSpaces discussion featuring Juliana Strieff, VP of Design & Construction for Blaze Pizza; Gabrielle Rosi, Senior Director of Store Design for Whole Foods; and Gwen Newland, Director of Design for Chick-fil-A; that was moderated by Paul Wainwright, Design Director for global architecture and design firm Harrison.

As off-premises dining and third-party delivery continues growing at an exponential rate (especially with the current state of affairs), restaurant design must be reimagined to accommodate this change in customer behaviour, while still appealing to those who want novel dining experiences.

Follow the following link for the entire article.

https://info.restaurantspacesevent.com/blog/physical-restaurant-design-in-the-age-of-on-demand-food-delivery

Dallas’ Beloved La Madeleine debuts exciting new bakery concept in Uptown

La Madeleine debuts new bakery concept in Uptown, Dallas

Harrison is working on the La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe in Dallas which is an exciting new bakery in Uptown Dallas, on the ground floor of High Street Residential’s Residences at Park District, a new mixed-use development at 2100 Olive St. It’s slated to debut in summer 2020.

According to spokesperson Jacqueline O’Reilly, this location represents a brand new petite format that will be tailored to meet the needs of the building and the neighbourhood.

At 2,500 square feet, it will occupy a smaller footprint than the usual 4,500 to 5,000 square feet of a typical la Madeleine, with a sharper focus on convenience and flexibility including an array of to-go foods. The location will also feature a vastly expanded coffee and espresso program, and a bigger commitment to croissants

“It’s a completely new la Madeleine experience,” O’Reilly says. “We’re bringing forward the famous recipes la Madeleine is known for, of course, but are excited to introduce guests to many new, bakery, salad, sandwich and shareable offerings.”

“The vibe of la Madeleine Park District is a modern, charming French escape,” she says. “Our landlord at Park District was looking for something special, so this was the perfect opportunity for us to create a daily French retreat for guests, a place that people feel welcome throughout the day.”

She says that la Madeleine classics will be front and center including their signature salads and soups, plus French viennoiserie, pâtisserie, coffee, wine, and sandwiches — “but with a lot of awesome menu innovations,” including dishes they culled from R&D trips to France.

They’ll also be promoting their catering services, which are a hot commodity in the downtown/Uptown areas.

The Residences are a part of Park District, which includes offices, restaurants, and luxury residences. The residential tower, which was developed by High Street Residential, the residential subsidiary of Trammell Crow Company, and joint venture partner, MetLife Investment Management, is connected via a grand plaza to PwC Tower at Park District. Le Madeleine will have pedestrian access via the plaza and Olive Street and feature multiple outdoor patios.

The space will incorporate two shaded patios and boast a quaint French-bakery façade, but the interior will be an open design, a departure from their traditional homey floor plan. Seating options will include bar stools running along the windows, a community table, and banquettes.

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.