Our directors Nick and Alex Bradley give their views on Restaurant Design

What aspects should be considered when planning a redesign?

The first stage in our process is to establish the design brief.  In some cases, our client will be an experienced operator and will have already formulated a detailed brief.  If this isn’t the case, RDA can assist in a joint approach.  Most critically, the menu and service style should be considered as this is the main driving factor for everything else.  The demographic (i.e. who is the customer?) is also very important, as is a careful consideration of who your competition is.  With restaurants, cafes and grab and go food outlets on the high street booming, one of the key challenges for businesses is to provide an appealing offer which is at the very least comparable to the competition from outside the building.

What looks, trends, etc are fashionable at the moment?

Design trends are constantly changing based on society and what’s popular with consumers. Some of the popular themes we are seeing with clients across the UK from the high street to education sectors range from the Botanical theme through to Industrial/Rustic and Modern.

For example, there is a growing trend in many foodservice establishments to offer food that is not only delicious but also healthy and nutritious. As a result, many of our clients are choosing to use greenery and living walls in their décor that reinforces a feeling of health and vitality.

Many restaurant owners are also choosing a more minimalist style giving a sleek and modern uncluttered feel with cleaner lines, crisp colour palettes and understated furniture, giving a timeless look which won’t feel dated as trends come and go.

The urban industrial/rustic style is still proving a favourite. Exposed brick and aged leather seating, conduit feature lighting and feature piece counters are all key elements of this popular design.

Finally, lighting design is always a crucial factor in any restaurant design    process and whilst feature, big and bold Edison bulb lighting remains popular, there is a nod towards more natural, recessed lighting, lots of natural light, picture windows and sleek fixtures, which is both adaptable and flexible.

What are the benefits of a redesign?

There are many benefits of a re-design but ultimately restaurant interior design can have a profound impact on customers. Implementing a new and unique style of décor can help bring in more guests and boost revenue. More and more, the food industry is building its business around a central theme or concept and this extends to how the dining space is designed and organised.

For instance, one of the most important aspects that the younger generation consider when going out is the Instagram potential of a restaurant, or whether the decor is unique enough to post on social media.  So, you should keep in mind how photogenic your dining space is, especially if you are aiming at a younger market.

How much does the average redesign cost?

At RDA we always work closely with our client to establish a suitable design package which is tailored to their needs.  This could involve anything from a site meeting and consultancy, to a conceptual pack containing outline plans and visuals, right through to a detailed set of working drawings and specifications.  Whilst we calculate our fees on a pre-determined day-rate, we will always look to provide a fixed price for the design, which is usually 3-5% of the total value of the refurbishment.

 What are the benefits of updating old equipment?

There are many advantages to updating old equipment, as part of a new commercial kitchen design. Replacements of ‘single use’ equipment for ‘multifunctional’ equipment where practical, can enable kitchen staff to cook multiple dishes using multiple cooking methods all using the same piece of equipment. This can lead to huge savings on energy usage and labour costs, as well as space in the kitchen, which is particularly useful for the smaller kitchen spaces. The payback on such savings vs the initial capital cost of quality, multifunctional equipment will often surprise operators and be an easy decision when demonstrated.

 What is the most important thing to remember when undertaking this kind of work?

Speak to the experts. There are business’ like ours set up to assist operators in making the correct initial decisions on design concepts, interior and equipment selection, through to implementation and installation

To find out how we can help with you next catering project please call 0844 873 4993

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