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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We all know good lighting is essential to the perfect photograph, and restau - rateurs are having to play to this by keeping lights brighter and having more white walls and negative wall space. "It's important when amateur restaurant photographers are taking hundreds of thousands of photos a day," says Hannah Collins, owner and principal designer at Hannah Collins Designs in San Francisco. "You have to wonder how that looks online, and you have no control over it. So restaurateurs have to make it an experience where the amateur photographer can be successful." At Salads UP in Ann Arbor, Mich., the lighting is track lighting with an additional row of lighting at the pop walls. "We highlight accent walls anyway, but here it's especially important," says Nicole Poole, associate and project architectural designer with Aria Group in Oak Park, Ill. "It's really about the bright background pop, so we make sure we have bold colors in the pattern - ing. It catches your eye. This warm light helps — it brings out the warmth and the natural color, and especially red colors in food." What Tre Musco of Tesser Big Picture Branding in San Francisco is see - ing is "staged areas" with special theatrical lighting for guests to get fantastic images of themselves or the food. But designers don't have to worry too much about perfecting the light for smartphones. "Phones are much better now with adjusting for light," says Irene Yu, lead creative strategist for Arcsine. "I think there's a bigger demand for statement lighting, so we've been designing impactful decorative lighting." 4 4 • 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 Y / J U N E 2 0 1 8 Distracted Diners Social media isn't just influencing the design of restaurants, it's also affecting how customers act in them. "People are highly distracted with their devices, which leads to flow is- sues," says Musco. For example, in fast- casual restaurants, distracted consum- ers slow down lines because they're not paying attention to questions the em- ployee is asking them or they're diverted at the checkout by texts or alerts. Because of this, and similar to the German idea of embedding traffic signals in the sidewalk, Musco says that because consumers now spend so Instagram Everything much time staring down, he's incorpo- rating more wayfinding into floors, like striping and graphics to lead custom- ers to the checkout and seating areas. "Any clues we can give to help people navigate is useful because people get very frustrated if they are stuck behind someone," he explains. The ubiquity of smartphones also means more customers are comfortable dining alone. "It doesn't have the nega- tive stigma it had maybe a generation ago because you are fully entertained with your device," Musco says. "We see more individual seating, such as coun- tertops that face windows, so we see it impacting seating arrangements." From the floors to the bathrooms, and the walls to the tables, considering social media is unavoidable. Poole thinks it's all a good thing. "Social media is adding to restaurants in a positive way," she says. "It gets consumers excited about seeing them. They might not know about them until they hit the social media wave. It's good for us as architects and designers to see how people are inter- acting with those spaces. I think that's a great move forward." + At the Atlanta unit of Holler & Dash, textures and colors are layered and make interesting backdrops for pictures throughout the space. Image courtesy of Mark Steele Lights, Camera, Action

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