Restaurant Development & Design

MAR-APR 2018.

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

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5 8 • 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 8 FIREBIRDS IMAGINES THE MODERN STEAKHOUSE tion costs. Additional structural changes should also make the building cheaper and make the rooftop less crowded with mechanical equipment. On top of these practical changes to the design, the prototype will typically be changed on a store-to-store basis due to external factors, primarily related to real estate, Williams says. Competition for quality locations is intense, which means Firebirds may be willing to open in structures with unusual footprints. That can impact the desired customer experience, says Williams. The entire restaurant is built around the idea of fire, with two main attractions: the fireplace and the ex- posed wood-fired grill. The prototype's strategic layout points guests to those two elements. In a space with a non- standard footprint, creating a flow that smoothly directs guests to those two features is difficult. In addition, many developments and jurisdictions with the demographics to attract a polished-casual operation like Firebirds have codes governing exterior materials and signage. In a buyer's market, it might be easier for Firebirds to stick to its prototype, but that's just not the reality of commercial real estate today. "There could be height restrictions, and therefore we have to lower one of our main elements, which is our chimney. There could be color restrictions. Some- times out west we have to go with lighter materials. It's a lot of back and forth with the developer," Williams says. The goal of course will be to keep the core, the heart of the Firebirds experience — wood-fired cooking in an energetic, elevated environment — alive in the new design, no matter what com- promises are made for new builds. This core, after all, is what Firebirds is counting on to take it from a traditional steakhouse to a more modern concept that will appeal to generations of diners seek- ing a different look and experience. "We are making sure that we are still current, relevant as trends change and populations continue to grow up and even age a little bit," Loftis says. "You've got to continue to evolve in this space." + Bar Prep Dish Vestibule Hostess Lounge Patio Beverage Cooler Freezer Beer Cooler Main Dining Room Expo Cookline Secondary Dining Secondary Dining Office Restroom Restroom

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