Restaurant Development & Design

MAY-JUN 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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2 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 Y / J U N E 2 0 1 7 Peer to Peer it's going to have this impact here." And while we had all the data points of what Falcons fans look like, we still had a number of questions about how we'd execute on that. We ended up prototyping several concessions concepts and doing a few events with the team's fan council so they could experience them. Those events gave us a much better understanding of how people in Atlanta really want to eat and what their expectations are. Several key changes were made as result. So it's a left-brain/right-brain approach. BG: That's right. The way we think about it is that you can use research to narrow in and also to think expansively. When we're developing an idea, we use design research and involve guests or even employees in creating a new offering or service or menu item. We also use ethnography and contextual inquiry throughout the process. And a lot of times, when we're thinking about a new concept in a blue-sky way, we'll go to a city and identify who we think the people leading the trends are. We'll spend time with them, watch how they spend their entertainment dollars and what they con- sider good experiences, and draw conclu- sions from that. So the constant left/ right brain way of approaching research is very influential. What are some tools that your own team relies on most? BG: We use a lot of digital collaboration technology, things like Evernote, Slack and Google Docs. They're pretty essen- tial because our people are often spread out everywhere. Our E 15 group also has a tool that lets them gather data about fans' experiences throughout a game. That's been a good resource for us to figure out initial fan sentiment and give us a base to design from. We can also use that if we need to conduct surveys on the fly through mobile devices and start to gain initial perspective on cer- tain design challenges. How about technology in the venues themselves? Where do you see the greatest innovation? BG: There's a lot of work being done in areas like digital wayfinding, speed of service, mobile ordering, etc. Those are all top of mind and really important to our partners. But the important thing for us to think about with new technologies is whether we can use them to remove barriers and enhance the guest experi- ence. We don't want to use technology just because we can. What's one really fun part of your job? BG: I get to go to a lot of games to stay in touch with our teams and their fans. Whenever I travel, I try to catch a game and take in the culture of the events and venues. It's hard to be a designer from an office. The more we can be out in the world that we're serving, the better. Our work helps people celebrate life and have fun. + Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and Brew is one of several new concepts developed by Curiology for the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium. Fostering authenticity and community connection, Curiology developed the Chicago Pours program at the United Center. Featured local bartenders are invited to create craft cocktails specifically for the venue. Images courtesy of Curiology. For more with Brian Graziano see

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