Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 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 • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 2017 PRODUCT GUIDE FURNITURE W hen helping clients make furniture decisions, Jeremy Levitt and the team at Parts and Labor Design take a first- things-first approach. "Our process begins with a focus on operations and on creating a floor plan while simultaneously establish- ing a concept and our design approach for the space," Levitt says. "This direc- tion then holds true in the architecture, furniture and lighting. This starting point also dictates form and function." From that point, Levitt says it comes down to wrestling with issues of custom versus off the shelf, which typically comes down to accepting budget realities. Toughest category? JL: Dining chairs in general can be a challenge, in part because creating custom pieces can be cost-prohibitive based on quantity, etc. And finding unique off-the-shelf products at a reasonable price point has become increasingly difficult while trying to maintain a specific aesthetic. Finding a great piece that we, or other firms, haven't used before is not always easy. In regard to performance, chairs are something that you need to be careful with as they're the most used, shuffled around and abused items in a restaurant. Does custom always equal costly? JL: In some areas, yes, because you're working with lower quantities than a run of off-the-shelf products that may be available in stock quantities. More often than not, however, flexibility in pricing when creating custom products is easier to control. For instance, we find with lighting that we can maintain the budget more effectively with custom products, resulting in a higher-end and more original package than what comes off the shelf. What tips the scales toward custom, and what should operators going that route expect? JL: We always lean toward custom in order to maintain a unique look that co- incides with clients' concepts. Plus, we never repeat designs. And certain items, such as banquettes, inevitably need to be custom. Once the decision to go with custom is made, operators should expect a heavy design development compo- nent and a detailed pricing and value- engineering component. Beyond that process, execution led by a purchasing company typically gets the FF&E pack- age from A to B. Low-budget tricks of the trade? JL: There are a few things operators can do to keep costs down. These include: • Be realistic. • Be patient in understanding that sometimes it takes more time to achieve a lower budget target while arriving at a very successful and integrated design. • Don't use large quantities of leather. • Minimize the number of different chair types used. • Create budget estimates as a guide- line prior to final pricing. FIVE MINUTES WITH: Jeremy Levitt, Parts and Labor Design Updated Mid-Century Classic The new Legacy Collection and its latest seating solutions are inspired by Bruno Weil's No. 1294 Bent Plywood Chair, introduced by Thonet in 1945. Designed by Dorsey CoxDesign, the collection updates a timeless classic and includes chairs, barstools and tables at various heights. Composed of bent plywood made from species including maple, oak and walnut, Legacy Collection elements can be used to define the vernacular of a single space or easily integrated into multiple areas to complement a more eclectic blend of styles. Thonet

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