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.”