restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.
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How To 7 4 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 Move into Nontraditional Locations O pening new locations is a com- mon occurrence for restaurant chains, but sometimes branch- ing out can bring significant changes. As brands expand into non- traditional locations, or even just a new geographic area, challenges and exciting opportunities abound. Here we spotlight three brands and how they moved into nontraditional locations. Airport Adaptation This spring, Miami-based Spring Chicken will open its fourth restaurant, this one inside Miami International Airport. The location will be a first for the brand in two key ways: It's the first nontraditional location, and to be in the airport, the fast-casual operation had to transform into a full-service restaurant with a strong grab-and-go component. "This works at the airport because you have to have the turnover. Here, we'll end up doing north of $7.5 mil- lion, whereas our other locations are closer to $2.5 million," says CEO and founder John Klunkel. This new location will include an entirely new element: a bourbon bar with a full mixology program. This new feature and the bar seating will con- sume about 50 percent of the space. Other Spring Chicken locations offer only beer and wine. To emphasize the bar, Klunkel opened up the front of the restaurant by removing existing glass walls — those that face out onto the airport con- course. "We wanted to draw people in and make it look warm and inviting," he says. "Bars near a front entrance also create a lot of energy." Spring Chicken also made changes to the materials in its Miami Inter- national location to make it easier to handle airport logistics — despite Klunkel's initial resistance. "I've always stayed away from composite materials, but it's amazing how good these things are now," he says. The site will feature composite wall materials that mimic the natural brick that appears in the chain's three other restaurants. "We normally use Chicago brick, but it's hard to truck around concourses. So we found a fiberglass composite that was molded, and you BY AMANDA BALTAZAR, Contributing Editor Cava's East Coast locations, like the one seen here, feature a darker color scheme than their West Coast counterparts. Photo courtesy of Cava