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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4 6 • 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 • S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T 2 0 1 7 Creating a Design for the A restaurant experience is about more than just sat- isfying hunger; it is also a feast for the senses. For this reason, a design that ful- fills all of the five senses — sight, sound, smell, taste and touch — is destined to be more memorable and gratifying. With the five senses fueling emotions that wield the power to persuade, relax and heal, it's only natural that interior designers are turning to sensory design, which focuses on addressing all five senses in a space, according to the Inter- national Interior Design Association, based in Chicago. "Restaurants today are no longer just selling product, they are serving the guest, says Steve Starr, principal, StarrDesign, Charlotte, N.C. "And these operations are no longer just selling food, they also are selling an experience." One of the least recognized as- pects is sound. Yet, with hard materi- als and open kitchens, noises tend to reverberate and bounce around, causing cacophony in dining rooms. "Many are not taking into ac- count the kitchen noises entering the dining room," says Starr. "Sound is one of the most underappreciated sensories, but it's important to be able to control and reduce it." Driven by fine dining and up- scale fast casual operations in the past, innovation in the sense of touch is currently coming out of the fast casual segment. "The focus here is on durability and easy maintenance, because the volumes are much higher," says Starr. "Yet, there is a backlash against hard surfaces, so designers are figuring out ways to create durable, softer alternatives." Almost as underrated as sound is the sense of smell, which can make or break an operation. "If HVAC or hood systems are properly designed and balanced, the kitchen should pull out more air than it is bringing in," says Starr. "This is especially important for restaurants with open kitchens." Finally, sight is as obvious and vital as taste is for a restaurant. It's the first impression a customer has, what sets the overall tone, and is a concept's hallmark. In this case, it's important to keep in mind the atten- tion should be in the details. A design that takes all five senses into account creates a destination that offers an unforgettable experience.

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