Restaurant Development & Design

FALL 2014

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

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3 0 • 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 • F A L L 2 0 1 4 school programs for broadcast journalism and public relations when they developed the concept. "We both had children and realized there were not a lot of places that were healthy and fun that appealed to adults and kids. We saw a need for some- thing that was truly family friendly, but that also wasn't over stimulating," Seip says. "By the time we opened, I had two young boys and Kelly had her second as well. Because our kids at the time were in the toddler zone, we could see every challenge when it came to dining out with kids." Those challenges included how to incorporate window treatments that weren't easily ripped off by children or pepper and salt shakers that prohibited them from spilling the condiments all over tables. "I remember when my son was into Thomas the Train and he would take his trains and put them on the table and shake the salt over the trains for snow. We wanted to take care of the things that made parents anxious about their experience because we don't want parents to have to say no all the time. We hide the salt shakers far away from where the kids can see them. We hide the water and think through things like that," Seip says. "Kids are super hands- on and we want to encourage that, but not in a way where the adults have to worry about it. We don't mind kids walk- ing all around and that it's loud." Bean Sprouts' tables have rounded corners and there is plenty of extra seat- ing in case of overfow. The lights are made out of colanders and the brand's colors are muted green and orange in an effort to stay away from primary colors. Inspiration for interior artwork came from the book, "Play with Your Food." The concept's locations are in family destinations in Seattle, as well as Sau- salito and Oakland, Calif. In addition to kid-friendly spaces, it also focuses on serv- ing healthy and fun menu items. Examples include the Do-Re-For-Me, a sandwich with sunfower butter and organic jam; Crocamole, avocado hummus with veggie dippers; and the Whoopsie Daisy, a roasted turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese and egg-free mayonnaise. The cooking school side of the business is geared toward children, although the classes are hosted outside of the kitchen in party or multi-purpose rooms. "We designed our cooking school so it's not in a kitchen," Seip explains. "I've done them in libraries, outside, etc. It's a way to have fun with the kids but not to take up the whole day. We don't use anything that would hurt a child. We do cook things, but we use a toaster oven or convection oven." Safe, Stress-Free Environments Keeping children safe is the No. 1 theme that runs through every concept designed for children and their families. Second is the ability of each brand to take the stress out of dining out with children. Also at play is the location's ability to make families feel comfortable. "Giggles N' Hugs came out of my and my wife's need to be able to dine out as a family and not be stared at or made to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed," says Joey Parsi, who founded the three-unit Los Angeles-based company. "We wanted a restaurant where our kids could be them- selves. There are restaurants for all types of people, but when it comes to parents with small children, we have zero options. I wanted to create a restaurant that caters to parents as much as children. That's the genesis of Giggles N' Hugs." To get started, Parsi said the concept had to be welcoming, warm, safe and happy. It also had to be clean. The interior colors are white, lime green and lavender, and the play areas can be seen from every seat in the restaurant. Every corner, edge and table is rounded and the bathrooms feature mini sinks that the children can use independently. To appeal to families with children over the age of six, Parsi and his design team integrated gaming areas that children can play for free. There is also a strong focus on food. "We didn't want to be a fast-food place like most restaurants, but we didn't want waiters and waitresses either. So, Bring on the Kids! To make its restaurants more user friendly for younger customers, the Bean Sprouts' founders made the kids' counter 22 inches from the foor. This allows children to see photos of the menu items and engage with staff.

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