Restaurant Development & Design

JUL-AUG 2019

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 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 • 7 3 + Design for experience. We are living in a world of Instagram inuencers and brand ambassadors. If you want your res- taurant to gain credibility with Millennials, it better include an Instagrammable experience for them to capture. More than just unique plating, as designers, we are encourag- ing restaurateurs to give this generation even more content to snap photos of. Think colorful, patterned oor tiles (see the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithoors), the ubiquitous neon signs — and you better not forget the iconic sel-e wall. This generation is looking for craftsmanship and elegant atten- tion to detail from art expressions to bathroom tiles, creative cocktails, thematic music, relaxing scents and discrete technology. No pressure, but every element in your space is now part of a greater experience that this generation is pay- ing attention to. + Design for convenience. Millennials crave conve- nience. If they didn't, platforms like UberEATS and DoorDash would not be as successful as they are. When designing for convenience, it is important to remember features like curbside parking for to-go orders and drive-thrus. Drive-thrus are not just for fast food restaurants. We recently encouraged Or- leans Seafood in Houston to include a drive-thru in their new location despite being known as a dine-in restaurant. After polling their clients, Orleans Sea- food discovered their customers would, in fact, visit the restaurant more if they included a drive-thru option. Moving forward, you will continue to see many more restaurants redesigning to accommo- date delivery and takeout, even if it means creating separate drive-thrus solely for delivery drivers. + Design for space. It is becoming more common for people to get their food delivered or take it to go. Because of this, when we are designing a space to appeal to Millennials, we are typi- cally designing with a smaller footprint. Large restaurants that seat hundreds of people are becoming more and more empty, and small authentic restaurants and cafes are becoming more prominent. Restaurants should work to create distinc- tive spaces that not only evoke a custom, "only here" feel but also create perfect opportunities for image sharing on social media. This can come in different forms, from quirky menus to separate rooms to unique oor tiles — anything to make a restaurant and the spaces within stand out. Tacos A Go Go in Houston. Image by Prithwiraj Ghosh Roy Image courtesy of Dror Baldinger El Barro in Austin, Texas. Image courtesy of Elena Grey

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