Pizza Hut Restaurants appoints Harrison to design its largest ever UK refurb

Pizza Hut selects Harrison to design its largest ever UK refurbishment

London and Birmingham-based Harrison is the hospitality design name at the helm of Pizza Hut Restaurants’ largest-ever UK refurbishment, on the Eureka Leisure Park at Ashford in Kent.

The consultancy – which also has offices in the USA and Middle East – is about to complete the £785,000 restaurant renovation as part of a £60m nationwide refurbishment and restructuring programme by owner Rutland Partners, having already rebranded over 100 Pizza Hut Restaurants across the UK since the end of 2013.

Harrison’s lead designer on the project is Aoife Kenny Fallon, who heads a team responsible for repositioning a restaurant name which has operated in the UK for over four decades and in the USA for almost six.

She explained: “The new designs embrace the strong American heritage of the Pizza Hut Restaurants brand and create excitement for a broader customer base.  In Ashford, this approach is taken a step further by building the brand’s attraction as an evening, as well as a daytime, destination.”

Highly distinctive in the casual dining sector, Pizza Hut Restaurants in Ashford showcases finishes that 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-inspired brand, creating the crucial point of difference from the Italian-themed competition.

The overall ambience is designed to generate more of an ‘evening vibe’ in its approach than its predecessors.  The decor is sophisticated and interactive, with a stand-out feature wall taking centre stage.  There is a distinct move towards intimate booths at the front of the space and more convivial party and family-style seating further into the restaurant.

Aoife continued: “A key part of our brief was to allow the Pizza Hut Restaurants brand to transcend from day to night, therefore much of our design focus has been on promoting the venue not just as a buffet, but also as a restaurant and cocktail destination for evening custom.

“We introduced a large cocktail bar, which automatically makes the space feel more adult, but we didn’t neglect our younger diners, with the continuation of the Ice Cream Factory and specific Pizza Hut Restaurants icons to target each demographic.

“The zoning and variations in approach throughout the new scheme mean that the appeal of the design is broad and doesn’t alienate customers. A high-tech lighting system flexible enough to influence customer mood from morning through to late evening is subtle but a key part of the transformation.  Each element of the design revolves around making each of our target audiences feel equally at home in the same space.”

Sophisticated reclaimed timber finishes, lacquered steel and a skilfully-selected palette of fabrics and textures combine to create a unique destination which elevates the Pizza Hut Restaurants brand and spans a wider customer demographic.

Aoife added: “The Ashford refurbishment has really got people talking.  Frankly, if they weren’t, then we wouldn’t have succeeded in the job we set out to do.  Right from the start, Rutland Partners supported a complete design review, enabling us to create a contemporary and vibrant restaurant environment with broader customer appeal.

“Their faith in our abilities is enormously gratifying but, more importantly, we know it will pay off for them.  Pizza Hut Restaurants in Ashford will be a hugely positive game-changer for the future direction of the brand.”

Top industry award for The Restaurant Group with help from Harrison

The best and most innovative projects in travel-related food and beverage have been recognised at the prestigious 2016 FAB Awards – and our design for The Restaurant Group’s latest opening at Gatwick Airport helped win a top prize!

Receiving the award for ‘Outstanding Originality in Airport Food & Beverage’, TRG’s Nicholas Culpeper – the world’s first airport gin distillery, bar and restaurant – was praised by the judges for its unique design and one-of-a-kind approach to its food and beverage offer.

Take a look at this stand-out concept here, and see how we helped create an innovative airport venue which not only capitalises on the growth of the premium gin market but also gives customers one of the world’s most enthralling airport hospitality experiences.

Harrison hits half century with Pizza Hut Restaurants rebrand

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.”