Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 83

J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 • 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 • 2 1 tomatoes and other seasonal produce behind the counter — or otherwise front and center — that the cooks are actively grabbing and using. From a design perspective, it's about having a few touch points that are easy to man- age such that your kitchen can have functional storage while it also com- municates your expertise of handling fresh produce. At Tender Greens and other progres- sive restaurants, you might also see staff doing prep work behind the line but in front of guests. That way, customers can see and hear someone chop- ping lettuce and other produce in real time. It might not be as efficient as having someone come in the morning to prep, but you gain in terms of brand communication and experience-building. Social Media So many concepts popping up are driven by their social media presence and ability to design their food or space for photos. Even something as simple as the tile in the bathroom has to be interesting to look at so you can Instagram your feet on the ground to showcase your experi- ence. At the table, it's all about having the food on the plate pop. We're living in an age of "acceptable narcissism," where there is absolutely no shame in pulling out your phone when the food comes to make sure you have the best shot before you eat. For many Millen- nials and Gen Zers, the camera eats before they do, and many restaurants do and should encourage that. Design impact: Lighting is hugely important for photos. Most modern tables now have spotlighting or other light from overhead to encourage good picture taking. I'm also seeing more use of natural light in different areas. The plating of the food itself, of course, is a huge consideration from the selection of the serving vessel to the look of the tabletop. But the brand experience doesn't stop at the table. There needs to be more attention to detail in everything from the exterior of the restaurant to the menus to the bathroom to the perfectly garnished cocktails to the check presenter. Every- thing should be camera-ready, but it all needs to circle back to the food. Along those lines, I'm also seeing more unabashedly bold choices and heavy use of color. We're seeing it more in some brands like Cha Cha Matcha in New York and even in Starbucks during its experimentation with the multicol- ored Unicorn Frappuccino. The extra color includes the heavy use of plants and greenery — it's such a different take from the dark restau- rants of years past. Technology Offering another layer of convenience via technol- ogy is not only a functional value add — it's emotional, too. But you can't do tech just to do it. It has to add to the experience. If customers have a bad tech experi- ence, that can be worse, especially for Millennials like myself, than a bad food experience. People are much more likely to write off brands because of a bad tech experience these days. The use of ordering and delivery apps should create a frictionless experience and a greater connection with the brand. Design impact: Panera is an example of a brand doing tech right. Not only do they have in-store, self- ordering kiosks and an efficient pick- up operation, but now you can walk in, sit down, order from your phone, and have someone bring your food to your table. This is very progressive and, again, all about care and conve- nience for the consumer. + Trends manifest as a reaction to larger societal movements, which are driven by shifting consumer behaviors. We're seeing trends come about as a result of the changing political climate, growing environmental concerns and an overall shift in health.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Restaurant Development & Design - JUL-AUG 2018