Restaurant Development & Design

January-February 2017

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 A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 • 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 1 identical, "which is why accessorizing is so important," says Ryder. "It's im- portant to maintain consistency, but we want to do right by the space and make it feel it belongs in that community." Searching for History Like the Fox chains, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, which owns and operates more than 400 units and is headquartered in Chicago, has its team research local communities before it enters them. "We check out the historical soci- ety, the web page for the city, the library, then dig deeper from there," says Senior Director of Design Melissa Wyder. The artwork Potbelly uses is mostly old. "We look for historic photographs, newspaper clippings, magazines, high school yearbooks," Wyder explains. Mu- rals are typically graphic images printed onto wall coverings. Potbelly also has standard pieces. There are usually signs that say "You Gotta Get It Hot" and sometimes "Come In and Eat Before We Both Starve," as well as photos and drawings of antique potbelly stoves. "They're a nod to our heritage and history," Wyder says, "and we supplement those with the neighborhood artwork, so it's a fifty- fifty mix." The color palette of each store is also the same, as are the order- ing lines. But in seating areas, it all changes: Logos or other designs, such as a city seal or flag, are carved into the tabletops, which are sealed with an epoxy coating. Making each store fit into its neighborhood is working, Wyder says. "It gets customers in and staying in because they feel like it's their store." This is especially true, she says, when customers see themselves, friends or family members in old photos on the wall. Creating Some Madness Teriyaki Madness is a fast-ca- sual restaurant concept that's committed to breaking free of At Potbelly, local photos bring the restaurant closer to home for patrons. A Chicago Potbelly store offers directions to Lake Michigan and the Sears Tower. Some Potbelly locations acknowledge the local ter- rain in custom murals. Photos courtesy of Potbelly Sandwich Shop

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