Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 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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J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 • 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 • 6 3 such as turnover and sales. That planning phase is critical and should involve a restaurant's entire operational team." At the start of each restaurant or hotel project, Lam says his team designs a mock-up of the space and creates a flow that can be tweaked throughout the planning and con- struction process and can even be changed during soft openings or trial runs. "The more work we do with restaurants, the more we understand how zones impact the energy and vibe of the space," he says. "The energy level is crucial to a successful launch and to really create buzz for the first three months. So, we focus on the energy level as guests come in, and we spend a lot of time moving the bar or lounge area to the front. This cre- ates more of a social scene and gives a multipurpose bar experience be- cause it showcases a bustling scene in the front of the restaurant. Then, we go into a more transitional zone as people head into more intimate dining spaces." Lighting Lighting is one way operators and designers create different zones throughout a space while staying true to the brand's identity. "We always talk about lighting as the most important element in a restau- rant," Bushey says. "If you're going for a specific ambience and the lighting is not correct, you're going to ruin it. It affects how the food looks, how the people look and how the atmosphere looks. When you're trying to create zones, you want to take that into consideration." Lighting should be reflective of the atmosphere. Bushey advises operators to stay away from fluorescents because these lights are too strong for intimate zones and need to be adjusted for vari- ous dining room areas. Lighting can change based on the area — with bathrooms, patios and even the exit area as part of the equation. At AZN, light fixtures are changed through- out the space to distinguish the various zones. Pendant lights hang over the sushi bar, while a custom light fixture is used to highlight a private dining area. At Gypsy Kitchen, a BoggsVickers proj- ect in Atlanta, a decorative light fixture is used as the centerpiece to define the zone. Meanwhile, pendant lights hang from the wood ceiling to transition guests to a bar experience. Flooring In addition to the mixture of lights used at Gypsy Kitchen in Atlanta, flooring transitions also are incorporated into each zone. Gypsy Kitchen features mosaic tile in the bar area, while hard- wood is used throughout the rest of the space. The change is subtle; however, it indicates to guests they are moving into a different area within the same space. "The type of flooring used really depends on the brand," Boggs says. At AZN in Naples, Fla., half walls are used to differentiate between spaces. Photo courtesy of BoggsVickers

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