Restaurant Development & Design

March-April 2015

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 2 • 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 • M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 5 C ustomers seldom rave about good service, but they sure take note when it's bad. For QSRs and upscale eateries alike, long waits at the counter, drive-thru window or dining table can wreak havoc on business. "Nobody says, 'That was a productive burger!' But if you don't deliver effciently, they won't come back," observes Juan Martinez, principal and cofounder of Proftality, a consulting frm focused on the restaurant and hospitality industry. Many factors impact effcient service performance and a restaurant's ability to squeeze the most revenue out of a par- ticular site, including staff experience and competence, optimal staff scheduling and the number of menu items and options offered. Space design represents another key infuencer. Design alterations — some of them minor — can yield signifcant improvements in service effciency, proft- ability and customer experience. The study of service procedures and how design impacts effciency in the restaurant industry is a discipline unto itself. Specialists conduct detailed stud- ies and analyses of factors that impact operational performance. Some of those fndings make their way into design enhancements that speed service performance and improve the use of space in order to serve more guests in a given footprint. Here we look at several principles that are critical to ensuring the most effcient use of space. Study How Employees Work Effciency consultants and architects typically begin designing a new restau- rant, prototype or renovation by analyzing how employees work. "Employees are the sun," Martinez says. "Everything revolves around them." Specialists observe staff in action, closely monitoring their movements with- in their workstations, how they interact with other staff and customers, how they obtain supplies, and other activities. "It's worth it to spend a little up front so that we understand your business," says David Shove-Brown, partner with Studio 3877, a design frm based in Washington, D.C. An effciency analysis can answer a number of questions, including: + Do runners or waitstaff deliver the food to the tables? + What paths do waitstaff use to clear tables and take dirty dishes to the washing area? + Is restroom access in the path of servers or adjacent to their stations? + Do customer queues at the host station block waitstaff pathways? + Is it possible to rearrange seating to serve more customers? MAXIMIZE YOUR FOOTPRINT As part of a prototype refresh, Checkers transitioned from the chain's traditional double drive- thru lines to a more effcient single-line set-up. Right: As part of Checkers' design refresh, the areas between the kitchen, sandwich assembly area and register were shrunk. New equipment has helped to speed up production.

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