Restaurant Development & Design

MAY-JUN 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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M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 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 • 4 1 Social media is top of mind for designers and developers alike. From fast food to fine dining, it touches every segment and every surface. By Amanda Baltazar T wo years ago, a German town experimented with embedding traffic signals into the ground to alert smartphone users of a tram's arrival. And in England, a bor- ough in London experimented with pad- ding streetlamps to protect distracted texters from injuring themselves. Smartphones and social media are now part of the fabric of our everyday lives. As consumers share photos of everywhere they go, everything they eat and everything they like, restaurants are being showcased on social media, both for their food and their spaces. "Photo capture is hugely important and growing," says Tre Musco, owner of Tesser Big Picture Branding in San Francisco. "We look at how social me- dia is changing the overall experience. There's this phenomenon of people wanting to be self-published, and spaces need to deal with it." Social media is changing restau- rant design, says Musco, as operators try to make their spaces as friendly to it as possible. Guests often look for ele- ments that stand out, which becomes a social media moment. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco has a social media wall — a wall of white tiles with "I Got Baked In San Francisco" spelled out in neon let- ters. A bench sits beneath it, encour- aging guests to sit and take a photo. "It makes it more fun to go there and makes it an iconic thing," Musco says. Steep Creamery and Tea, which has two locations in San Francisco, has a micro photobooth with perfect lighting so diners can take the perfect picture of their ice cream. "That takes [social media] to another level and makes it very intentional," Musco says. Some Ben & Jerry's ice cream shops have a VW bus inside, which encourages guests to climb aboard and snap away. "This is intentional, too," Musco says. "And it's not dis- tracting people from their meal — they take time out before or after to do this." This, he explains, is controlled Instagram Everything At Agave in Oakland, Calif., fine details pop in photos. Image courtesy of Aubrie Pick.

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