Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

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J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 • 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 9 Form + Function Entryways By Peter Fabris Y ou only get one chance to make a rst impression. Typically, a patron's rst take of a restau- rant centers on the entry area, both inside and outside. The entrance's design from signage to door to hostess station gives signals about the type of food, ambience and service the estab- lishment provides. Align entryway elements, includ- ing the door material, the layout of the area immediately inside the door and the rst point of contact with staff, from a design standpoint to attract target customers, says Dana Foley, design director, Gensler. These features and areas are exposed to the weather and heavy foot trafc, so designs also need to emphasize durability. Indeed, a lot hinges on the ap- plication of a restaurant's design in its entry areas. Consider customers walking or driving by a restaurant. If unfamiliar with it, they will make snap judgments based on cues that indicate the service style — fast, fast casual, ne dining or luxury — the restaurant offers. What patrons see at the entrance to the res- taurant could also shape their expecta- tions on the quality of the experience. Signs and Doors Give Clues The font type and color of the res- taurant's sign and logo, for example, indicate whether the ambience inside is formal or informal. Fonts with serifs signal formality, while sans-serif fonts suggest informality. Bright, highly satu- rated colors typically indicate casual, fun brands, while muted hues indicate a more formal experience. A glass door, common in the fast- food segment, tends to indicate a ca- sual vibe, while wood doors, especially those with ornate „ourishes, herald ne dining inside. "A solid wood door also adds an element of surprise," Foley says. Because patrons can't see through it, a heavy, rustic door could indicate that a hidden gem of an eatery lies within. The entry should be approachable, says Joel Schultz, design division lead, Great Lakes Culinary Designs. "Our rst sense for interaction is sight," he says. "If it doesn't look friendly, warm and inviting, then we risk not having a customer come in." Peeling paint, cracked glass or other defects will give customers pause. Try to make it easy to nd the restaurant's point of entry. When designing the exterior entry, consider from which direction(s) customers will approach. Signs should be easily visible from those directions. Will signs from other businesses or building features obscure the view of the sign? If so, bumping out the doorway to make the entry more prominent might counter- act this, or a larger sign with sharply contrasting graphics could help. To Gensler's design of Haywire in Plano, Texas, sets the tone for the entire space. Images courtesy of Garrett Rowland

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