Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 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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6 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 • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 Form + Function BY VALERIE KILLIFER, Contributing Editor Creating Zones via Lighting, Flooring and Half Walls W ithin restaurants, particularly the casual and upscale seg- ments, interior designers typ- ically use zones to separate the bar from dining areas. Zones can aid designers in creating different guest experiences within the same restaurants. Patios and restrooms are typically their own zones with distinct looks. The use of lighting, flooring and half walls are three common ways designers and operators create specific zones throughout restaurants. Each element might have its own design aesthetic, but they should work together to enhance the dining experience and to entice customers to return. "Quick-service restaurants may not use lighting in the same way as casual dining, but they use half walls and flooring to create more of a casual-din- ing experience," says Michelle Bushey, president of Dallas-based Cohesive De- sign Group. "While this varies depend- ing on a restaurant's size, many QSRs are trying to offer that kind of experi- ence the best way they can." "Each zone is an opportunity, and we look at each like a chapter in a story," says John Boggs, a principal with Dunwoody, Ga.-based BoggsVickers Architects. "However, the transitions are important so it doesn't feel like a differ- ent restaurant as you move throughout the space. Those transitions need to happen so that you don't lose the story the moment you walk through the door." For example, BoggsVickers designed AZN Azian Cuizine as an Asian fusion restaurant in Naples, Fla., using materials such as bamboo shoots, sampan (sails used for traditional Chi- nese boats) and sand pails. A serpen- tine wall limits the exposure between the bar and dining room. The materials highlight the restaurant's theme of giv- ing traditional elements a modern feel. This is reflected in both the restaurant's food and its decor. "It always goes back to the brand and how zones are reinforcing the brand and the story," Boggs says. "Adding zones to have zones is not a one-size- fits-all approach. You have to have a good story and reason to have every- thing integrated." Additionally, traffic flow, employee flow, ADA compliance and other opera- tional considerations need to be consid- ered for specific zones to work within a space. "A major critical component is to work with the operator because zones will affect the flow of a restaurant," says Ken Lam, founder of Toronto-based Navigate Design. "And the flow impacts the effi- ciency of any operation in terms of things Traffic flow should be a key concern, according to Ken Lam of Navigate Design. Photo courtesy of Navigate Design

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