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restauranteur background information

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Columbus Ohio, Restaurant, Inc. (a family owned business) owns 3 national casual dining restaurant chains, has 30 years of experience being a purveyor of value added, quality and personal dining experiences. Known for their contemporary, conversational themed and service oriented dining experiences, the company serves the middle class and upper middle-class public with 312 restaurants in 26 States, about 34% of households in major suburban and metropolitan communities. Restaurateur, Inc. operates three store concepts. The first “Seafood” in the US; 5,000 square foot (500 m2) suburban format located in near A and B Level lifestyle centers around Major Metropolitan areas and 6000-8,000 square foot located major city downtowns near city squares, tourist destinations and convention centers ; i.e. New York, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angles. The second “Steakhouse” in the US; 5,000 square foot (500 m2) suburban format located in near A Level lifestyle centers around Major Metropolitan areas and format of 4,000 square feet (400 m2) is located in major downtown locations: New York City, Chicago, Los Angles, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, and Cincinnati. The third “American Fare” in the US; 6,500 square foot (600m2) suburban format located in near B and C Level lifestyle centers around, major highway interchanges, Metropolitan areas and 6,000-8,000 square foot located city downtowns medium sized city squares. Restaurateur, Inc. competes with major U.S. Restaurateurs; “Seafood” Concept; Legal Seafood, Ocean Air, McCormick and Schmidt, and when in major downtowns and key mall/lifestyle centers, Red Lobster. “Steakhouse” Concept; Flemings, Black Angus Steakhouse (western US), Claim Jumper, Logan’s Roadhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Outback. “American Fare” Concept (bar and grill); TGIFridays, Applebees, The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, Hard Rock Café, and Ruby Tuesday. Restaurant Inc., went public in 1989 and expanded nationally in the early 1990’s aggressively, but then declared bankruptcy in 1995. After restructuring and closing 50% of the locations, the family took the company private in 1996. The company has now surpassed the high mark 1994 numbers in 2006 and is looking to double locations by 2020 through new concepts and international expansion.

restauranteur background information

Positioning Statement: As an industry leader in value added experiences, relevant menus and targeted marketing, the Restaurateur seeks to be the leading global casual dining brand, offering modern, American styled menus and atmospheres. Now led by the second generation, the Restaurateur provides its guest with the highest quality customer experience and service. Based on the success of the new organic and sustainable menus for the “Steakhouse” and “Seafood” concepts, Restaurant Inc. wishes to develop a new brand and concept for the “American Fare” restaurant. Restaurateur Inc. is looking to rename, rebrand, and re-conceptualize the chain into a modern, warm, welcoming, and sustainable store environment that reflects the needs of the wellness conscious guests. Still an American based menu which now reflects the brand attributes of ‘organic locally sourced/grown menus ingredients including gluten free, allergy sensitive, free range chicken, organic meats and sustainable seafood. Environmental issues are a concern and the Restaurateur is looking for sustainably ideas that align with their menu initiatives. hard rock cafe

New Restaurant Format: After the first Columbus Ohio 6500 sq. ft. (600m2) test store is completed in fall 2013 the refined prototype is intended to launch into an existing “American Fare” restaurant in the Seattle Market by the spring of 2014 with plans to build 2-4 in each major west coast city by fall 2014. If successful, the rebranding and key elements new prototype will be retrofitted into 50-60 former “American Fare” locations before launching internationally. The Business: A private company since buying back all stock in 1996, the restaurateur has lagged behind their competitors in growth. Many of the casual dining competitors have spent the last decade expanding internationally with company owned and franchised locations, depending on the country. In 2012, the Restaurateur has seen a significant upswing in revenue with an 15% increases in sales year over year in the past year with the biggest increases (30%) in their new menu, west coast metropolitan downtown locations for their “Seafood” and “Steakhouse” concepts. However, the west coast “American Fare” locations have been under preforming since before the recession. The ability to add newmeaningful locations has been limited in the U.S. with the developer crisis and the lack of new residential and lifestyle center developments. There are only 4 new locations planned in 2013 (2 “Steakhouse” and 2 “Seafood”, with 20 renovations of the “Steakhouse” east coast locations with the new healthier “Medium Rare” menu and design concept. In the summer of 2012, new organic and ‘Fair Catch’ menus were launched into all “Seafood” locations. Sales increased 23% across the entire “Seafood” chain with a 32% increase on the west coast. The launch of the new local organics concept into the west coastmarket is an important part of the Restaurateur’s growth, “Our commitment to understanding our guests and their families health conscious casual dining needs are a major part of our strategy as we continue to revamp our menu offerings and update our brands. We are investing our resources to create and deliver the next great concepts before we enter the international market.” - A. Bien, SVP Marketing, Restaurateur Inc. fromher October 1st 2012 MUFSO speech.


ruby tuesdays

main competitors

tgi fridays

the cheesecake factory


scope of submittal

required information

The scope of services requested is as outlined below. The design firm(student)is to provide a concept design inclusive of the deliverables below. Retail Design Institute will select the Design that best meets the overall objectives. It is anticipated that the process will be divided into the following phases. Programming: The design firm in consultation with the Restaurateur and any other persons or entities designated by the Restaurateur shall develop the program for the design prototype to ascertain the project objectives and requirements for the project. The design firm will indicate what data is necessary and Restaurateur will provide such data, given the data is available and on-hand. The design firm will review the project objectives and gain understanding of what areas of the prototype need to be addressed and what if any areas may be excluded from the design or only modified in some way. It is recommended that the design firmutilize their own research and data as well as visit and review competitors or other Restaurateurs for proposing best practices ideas. The design firm will collect program requirements from the Restaurateur team and provide a comprehensive millwork and furniture program in partnership with the Millwork/Manufacturing Partner (To be selected). Concept Design: The design firm will develop from the Program, an existing base plan, the space plans for the prototype including conceptual design of the exterior and interior building elements, seating layouts, and dining areas. The design firm is to provide materials and methods to achieve the design intent. The scope of work includes review of brand positioning including branding elements and translation of brand attributes to the retail environment. It is recommended that the Designer select a working name for the restaurant concept instead of “Restaurateur, Inc.”, however, the designer is not being judged on the renaming, store logo or tag line. Restaurateur has contracted with a marketing consulting company to develop brand packaging and review in-store signage. The design firm's scope of work includes incorporating their initial concept ideas into the store front, interior graphics, signage, lifestyle graphics (if part of the concept) and the exploration of relevant sales technologies and their incorporation into the guest journey. It is the intent that the existing store front is clad to marry with the new concepts along with proposed new windows. Recladding/skinning to reflect the store’s brand positioning on to the existing building is a challenge many Restaurateurs are facing. The project judgingwill exclude evaluation of any the design of the exterior signs, menus, packaging, graphic manuals and policy statements. Restaurateur, Inc. will provide final information regarding dining room and bar sitting requirements and adjacency planning for the design firm to utilize in the design of the layout and dining areas (see appendix ‘X’ uploaded to the website on January 2nd, 2013). Millwork design will be limited in the Concept Design Phase to indicating where features are planned, types of fixtures (conceptually) by dining area presentation purposes. The initial concept board will be illustrated should be presented for review and approval of the professor before further development on the Concept design deliverables. Final Concept Design Development: Based on the approval of the ConceptDesign proposal, the design firm will provide a detailed design indicating the following: • Building layout and site plan • Front elevation and Entry • Interior finishes (scanned) • Blocked out Kitchen and service area layout (kitchen equipment layout not requested) • Planning of key dining areas and seating layouts • Rendering of key areas to best demonstrate the concept design • Millwork design for key dining room millwork and bar(s), including host stand. • Ceiling lighting plan and fixture types The Final Concept Design Development will be presented to the Restaurateur appointed committee (the Reatil Design Institue Judges),for approval. After selection, the Fixture Design/Manufacturing Partner will provide the detailed fixture design drawings and approximate cost and lead times as part of this phase. The Signage partner will develop prototypes and layouts of the signage designed by the Design Firm.

Each concept design presentation submittal must provide the following minimum information to be evaluated as part of the selection criteria. Slides/Pages will be a single file, Adobe. PDF Format: Slide 1. concept philiosophy: Please provide an overview of your overriding concept and brand strategy. In your view, what are the top three critical factors for a successful business / design solution for an Restaurant and how does your concept address the these factor: a single paragraph (18pt font min.) with the three major key bullet points on the first slide of the PDF and as a separate file on the cdrom, 1000 words or less (letter size in Adobe .pdf format). Slide 2. design process: Demonstrate your concept design development process through a collage of images, customer journey, bubble diagrams, sketches and/or words, and as a separate file on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200dpi .jpg format. Slide 3. seating plan and space plan: Interior Plans of the store indicating storefront, partitions and doors, location and area of seating, aisles, floor fixtures, bar(s), service desk, cash wraps,furniture, displays, operating facilities, etc. Also include as separate files on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats. (1/8 inch Scale or 1:100 (metric) for Restaurant Seating Plan. Slide 4. storefront elevation and entry: View from the exterior showing building design and signing. Elevations to be of the entire front of the building, possible canopy, extending from the entry. Include detailed partelevation of entry. Also include as separate files on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats. (1/4 inch Scale or 1:50 metric). Slide 5. three colour interior evevations (minimum): Show the best elevations that communicates your concept. Also include as separate files on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats. (1/4 inch Scale or 1:50 metric). Slide 6. design reflecfed ceiling/lighting plans: Indicate design features, general illumination and accent lighting. Also include as a separate file on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats. (1/8 inch Scale or 1:100 metric). Slides 7 and 8. two perspectives (min. one each floor) that best characterize the concept design, one rendering to be an interior view from the entrance. Also include as separate files on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats. Slide 9. colour and finishes: Scan or render all major samples. No real samples will be accepted. Also include as a separate file on the cdrom, 20”x30” 200 dpi .jpg formats Slide 10. individual entrant Student name, years as a design/architecture student, mailing address, permanent address, email address and Telephone Number. School name, school address, school official, official telephone number professor name, mailing address, school address, email address and telephone number.


1. Make Sure Your Concept is Different Enough If there're a lot of traditional red-sauce Italian restaurants in your area, for example, then maybe you shouldn't open another one, even if you think your mom's recipe for lasagna is out of this world. Make sure that your concept will be distinguishable by the average consumer. The restaurant business is competitive enough without you having to go head-to-head with established eateries. Remember, one of the keys to a restaurant's success is having a concept that stands out from the crowd. 2. Don't Be Too Far Ahead of Your Time While you need to be different, don't be so different in your concept that customers won't "get it." If you're too weird or too different, you'll have to spend too much time educating your clientele. Opening a raw food eatery in Pocatello, Idaho, for instance, may not fly. Do your research and make sure friends easily understand your concept. Remember, the best concepts are variations on a theme -- not a totally new theme. 3. Don't Price Yourself Out of the Market Be careful your concept will allow you to offer menu items at prices that the market will bear. You may have a great idea for a fine steak and seafood eatery, but if you're planning to open in an area where poor students and struggling artists mainly live, you better make sure that customers who can afford your prices will be banging down your door. The concept needs to be right and the prices need to be within reach of local patrons. 4. Don't Design A Menu that Will Make Food Costs Skyrocket Grandiose menus with many exotic ingredients don't pay off unless you're a top restaurant charging over $100 a head. Smart menu design uses the same ingredients over and over again in clever ways, so that food buying can be done efficiently. A well-thought-out menu will have chicken breast in one dish, for example, chicken stock in another and gizzard stuffing as a side, so that the entire chicken can be used, saving money on buying just breasts. 5. Make Sure Your Concept Will Be Profitable Some concepts look good on the drawing board, but in reality they can't make money. Either they take too long in the kitchen, require too much labor, or cause patrons to linger and slow turns. Make sure that your concept will make money with up to 50% less business and 50% more costs. With spreadsheet programs, it's easy to change your numbers. Don't rely on the best case scenario. Stuff happens. Make sure your concept is flexible enough so that you can make adustments. 6. Good Concepts Are On-Trend Strong concepts take a current trend like healthy fast-food, the rise in popularity of tea, or the growing love of Latina food and run with them. They leverage the popularity of a growing trend, not a fad. They deliver solid execution, fair prices, good service and offer menu items in an atmosphere that is current and popular. Remember that you'll going against the current if you try to be too avant garde or too retro. 7. Your Concept Has to be Easily Identifiable If people can't pronounce or spell the name of your restaurant it's not good. Don't think it's uber trendy. If the name is too foreign or the font you choose for your logo is so unusual that it's hard to read, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Spend some time to come up with a unique name that is easy to spell and preferably starts with one of the first letters in the alphabet. 8. Take Inspiration from Other Sources It's ok to borrow from other eateries and museums that you've seen in your travels. Maybe a museum in Texas had a great exhibit that gave you an idea for the lighting in your restaurant. Maybe a restaurant in Chicago had a cocktail that was dynamite and inspired you to create a similar one in Florida. Recipes and unpatented ideas are in the public domain and are out there to inspire you. 9. Make Sure Your Concept Fits the Location So you had this great idea for a burger joint, but you lucked out and got a seaside location. You now serve burgers and fries in a place that attracts lovebirds seeking a romantic seafood meal. Oops! Maybe you should re-think your concept. How 'bout dressing up the menu and dining area for dinner, offering fresh broiled fish and offering lobster burgers at lunch, removing the candles and flowers from the tables.

1. Locally Sourced and Grown The top two slots of this survey go to locally sourced and produced foods: meats, seafood, and produce. "People are more interested in what's on their plate and where it comes from," says the National Restaurant Association's Annika Stensson. "So it's not just eating to satisfy hunger, it's also an interest in what you actually ingest." Manhattan's Bell Book & Candle takes this to an extreme: The restaurant uses a pulley to bring its produce from its rooftop garden to the kitchen. 2. Gluten Free and Food-Allergy Conscious Those with food allergies may find it easier to eat out now, as 75% of chefs have indicated catering to these needs as the No. 7 trend this year. “It’s not just a preference,” Stensson says. “It can be a medical condition, so being in the hospitality business, we want to make sure our guests are happy, and that they have a safe and enjoyable meal.” Chicago’s Vinci even offers an entire gluten-free menu, from appetizers to desserts. 3. Locally Produced Wine and Beer Of course local foods are in style, but locally produced alcohol is also gaining traction—and restaurants that serve local wine and beer feeling the boost. This movement is gaining so much traction that there are even statewide events featuring the best local spirits. Virginia announced March as the Wine & Dine Month, encouraging visitors and residents alike to drink wine produce locally. 4. Sustainable Seafood and Non-Traditional Fish Sustainable seafood—which has to do with how the fish are caught—and less-traditional fish, such as Branzino and Arctic Char, are making waves on menus this year. Tataki, a sustainable sushi bar, opened up in 2008 in San Francisco, selling only responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly seafood. The restaurant also participates in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s Cooking for Solutions event, which invites restaurants and celebrity chefs to speak about how to protect the ocean. 5. Food Trucks and Street Food Meals on wheels have been around for a while, but more and more chefs are now recognizing opening a food truck as a solid business venture. In fact, 61% of those surveyed by the National Restaurant Association said they would consider launching a food truck. Stensson says adopting this method is a good way to break into the industry because it’s far less expensive than a full brick-and-mortar operation. It’s not just for newbies, though: Consider Luke’s Lobster, which has expanded to five locations in just three years. And now it’s not just the lobster that’s on a roll: Luke’s latest location is a fully mobile truck. 6. Ethnic Food (to the Extreme!) The American palette has been exposed to ethnic food for several decades now—in fact, “certain cuisines have been around for so long, they’re not considered ethnic anymore,” Stensson says. This year, the survey identified Peruvian, Southeast Asian, and very specific regional flavors—think, Szechuan or Cantonese, for example—as hot items.

10. Make Sure You Love the Concept Any successful restaurateur will tell you that they created their concept because it's the type of restaurant they love to eat at. If you create a restaurant because you think it'll be popular or because a silent partner convinced you to -- beware. With all the time, energy, and money you'll be putting into the place, make sure you love the idea and are passionate about the menu.

Top 10 Tips for Developing Your Concept by Lorri Mealey (

Best Industries 2012: Full-Service Restaurants | 6 Hot Trends in Eating Out (

‘Top 10: Cool Concept Restaurants ‘ (

Marton Kaohsiung, Taiwan “Think of the times you’ve trudged out of a restaurant after a particularly revolting meal and thought to yourself, “I may as well have been eating out of a toilet.” Well, if you were in Taiwan at the time, you truly could have. The proprietors of Marton, an otherwise traditional Taiwanese eatery, take eating kitsch to the extreme with a toilet motif that doesn’t hold back. Upon entry, diners are greeted with a giant toilet bowl sitting between two urinals, while even more urinals grace the walls. In case you haven’t caught their drift, meals are served in mini toilet bowls while customers sit on ornately decorated toilet seats. “


Signature dish: Considering the presentation, let’s not get too fancy. The tasty chicken curry and rice will do just fine.

MIM Barcelona, Spain “Tired of fumbling in foreign languages to condescending staff while eating abroad? Well, dialectical issues aren’t an issue at this slightly worn Barcelona restaurant, where the waiters communicate exclusively via the very beloved art of mime. The restaurant is set up as a sort of mini theatrical dinner, with tables surrounding a medium-sized central stage. In addition to the miming servers, diners are treated to a variety of mid-meal spectacles. If you’re patient enough to wade through the mime, the showstopper comes at the end of the meal, with a very daring trapeze act.” Signature dish: Nothing stands out here, but as in the rest of Barcelona, the shellfish is pretty good.

Absolut Ice Bar and Restaurant Stockholm, Sweden “Absolut, the makers of one of the world’s most popular Vodkas, decided to buttress their cool image by building a trendy bar made completely out of ice (walls, barstools and bar included). The “icy” part of the Ice Bar experience isn’t particularly lengthy -- or filling for that matter. Patrons are given a cape and a fake fur hood to keep warm in the freezing environment and are offered a single ice cubefilled, Vodka-based drink before being sent on their way. Customers are shuttled in and out in 40-minute shifts, after which they’re steered toward the “Below Zero” room, which, despite its name, is actually much warmer than you might think, where sustenance is offered via a “grazing menu.” Absolut Ice Bars have also opened in London and Tokyo. “

VIP Zone Magnitogorsk, Russia “Young Russian hockey star Evgeny Malkin, now tearing up the NHL as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was looking for a unique restaurant investment opportunity in Russia. He found it via the fun “eat like you’re in a USSR gulag” motif of the VIP Zone where, fortunately, the food rates better than the usual prison cafeteria fare. Diners can replicate the hard-knock prison lifestyle by eating while sitting on a plank-bed (there are comfortable chairs for the more delicate inmates), and food is consumed via incarceration-worthy aluminum utensils. When you’ve finished, waitresses dressed in striped prison wrappers will bring you a bill dotted with fingerprints. To get you in a sinister state of mind, pictures of Russian dictators provide inspiration.“



Archipelago London, England “This restaurant features the most ridiculous roster of game you’re bound to find anywhere; from kangaroo to crocodile to peacock, and from emu to wildebeest and locusts, just to name a few. Customers at this London spot might be understandably curious about what on earth they’re eating. At Archipelago, the customers need not have their curiosity go unsatisfied, as every dish comes with an explanation. Well-schooled waiters provide diners with intimate details behind every bizarre dish, not only explaining the origins of every concoction, but also offering up an exhaustive list of ingredients. Fortunately, there are neither breakfast sausages nor hot dogs on the menu.”


Signature dish: Chocolate-covered scorpions.


Legal Test Kitchen Boston , USA “The state-of-the-art Legal Test Kitchen offers a glimpse into the future of dining, where, apparently, nobody will have to acknowledge anyone else’s existence. Launched by noted chain restaurant Legal Sea Foods, Legal Test Kitchen offers up a highbrow, chic menu of mostly seafood, alongside some of the restaurant industry’s most innovative technologies. There’s tableside internet access, iPod docking stations, meals can be ordered via plasma screens (the point of sale software is wireless), and mood lighting systems change the ambiance accordingly throughout the day. Pasty tech geeks rejoice: Dining out doesn’t have to be socially awkward!”


Ed Debevic’s Chicago, Illinois “There are run-of-the-mill throwback ‘50s diners and then there’s Ed Debevic’s. This Chicago based restaurant lays on the kitsch factor thicker than a bowl of cold pea soup, with a bright green and pink exterior that runs nearly an entire street block. The interior décor is all fake jukeboxes and Elvis head shots, and the menu is typical Eisenhower administrationera fare, replete with cheeseburgers and ice cream floats (with only a few stray modern nods here or there). But this unique restaurant offers something even more unusual than its colorful décor: Gum snapping, insult-hurling servers coached in the art of I Love Lucy-style sass who take pride in giving you the rudest, crudest service possible. “



Carnivore Nairobi, Kenya “You can snag a decent steak, pork chop or chicken breast pretty much anywhere in the world, but jungle game? That’s a rarer (no crappy pun intended) proposition, which is why Carnivore’s exotic array of local game is so popular with visitors to Kenya. Waiters at Carnivore haul out massive skewers of local meats, including zebra, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, and crocodile. This is a feast unquestionably fit for tribal royalty. The skewers literally come straight from the fire to the table. Game is cooked in a huge charcoal pit and impaled on traditional Maasai swords. The meat is subsequently sliced onto prewarmed, cast iron plates for optimum utensil-free inhalation.”


Der Kartoffelkeller Berlin, Germany “We all have our personal culinary favorites that we return to again and again, but there may be a point when a broader palate is necessary to shake up the old taste buds. Then again, if you’re a devoted fan of the potato, perhaps you’ll be in spud heaven at Der Kartoffelkeller in Berlin, which takes a mild ardor for the tater and turns it into an obsession. No less than 100 dishes on the menu revolve around the potato, running the gamut from basic fare like baked and mashed potatoes to more adventurous choices like potato meatballs and potato garlic puree. Desert is, of course, potato pancakes.”


Dans le Noir Paris, France “In 1999, the Paul Guinot Foundation, a major organization supporting the blind in France, developed a program in which diners would have the opportunity to eat while sitting in complete darkness. The aim was to simulate the experience of being blind, thereby raising awareness of those with disabilities. The program was such a success (and a media sensation) that private investors decided to launch a restaurant relying exclusively on that concept, with the explicit support of the Guinot Foundation. At Dans le Noir, diners order in the lobby beforehand before eating in a pitch-black room, where blind waiters serve as guides. Customers must yield all potential sources of light (lighters, cell phones) before entering the dining room, and rely completely up their waiters to help navigate the meal. Dans le Noir has also opened restaurants in London and Moscow. Signature dish: The purpose of the whole experience is to test your secondary senses, so go with the surprise menu and grope through the thrilling revelation of mysterious flavors.”

‘Consumer Picks: Top 5 casual-dining restaurant chains’ Written by: National Restaurant News Staff. August 8th 2012

‘Research shows customers want more value at full-service restaurants’ Written by: Bob Krummert. June 20th 2012

For years, casual dining chains have put up strong numbers in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report on the restaurant business. But 2012’s scores deliver an ominous message to every full-service operator, chain or otherwise: When it comes to customer satisfaction, fast food restaurants have drawn even with full service in customers’ eyes, particularly because of price. “The opposing customer satisfaction trends for full-service outlets versus fast food are all the more troubling for sit-down restaurant operators given the current weak economy,” says ACSI founder and University of Michigan business school professor Claes Fornell. “The juxtaposition of low prices with newly improved quality makes fast food an attractive option for budget-conscious diners. It’s a safe bet that fast food will make further inroads into the traditional restaurant business.” Ann Arbor, MI-based ACSI follows 47 industries on a national basis, reporting how customers perceive individual companies in them once a year. Restaurant customer satisfaction scores are released every June, and they’ve always been a go-to source for industry watchers wanting to know how Chili’s was doing relative to Outback, or whether Red Lobster or Olive Garden was the betterperforming Darden brand. ACSI also tracks QSR chains. Companies from that part of the restaurant universe always did well relative to most other industries, but QSR customer satisfaction scores have trailed those of full service for years. That wasn’t the case in 2012. “For the first time in ACSI history, sit-down chains tie rather than lead fast food,” the organization reports. “For the former, this year brings a loss of 2.4 percent, while fast food keeps climbing—up 1.3 percent to an all- time high ACSI score of 80.” It could have been worse. ACSI doesn’t specifically track rapidly growing fast casual chains. If customer satisfaction scores were available for chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Noodles & Co. and Panera Bread Co., full service’s competitive position might look even weaker. ACSI did add Applebee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway to its list this year. By the way, the highest-scoring full-service chain in this year’s rankings was Red Lobster, with an 81. Chili’s had the lowest score, declining four percentage points to 76. In fast food, Papa John’s, with an 83, climbed five points to record the highest QSR score. McDonald’s, with a 73, trailed the QSR pack. But at least ACSI’s numbers and analysis point to how full-service operators can buck the trend. One way or another, the full-service segment has to up the ante on its value proposition to raise its standing in the eyes of restaurant customers. But rest assured there will be plenty of customers for both restaurant segments going forward. ACSI data show that a typical household dines in restaurants three times a week. On a monthly basis, that household will eat at a quick-service restaurant six times and pay five visits to a full-service operation. Most respondents told ACSI they had no plans to change their dining habits, so full-service operators will have plenty of opportunities to make a better impression on customers in the year ahead. But operators had better be on their toes. “Full-service restaurants used to be able to insulate themselves somewhat from the impact of higher prices, as long as they were better than fast food in customers satisfaction,” ACSI points out. “This is no longer the case. Differentiation will be a key—not only with respect to fast food, but among the chains within the category itself.”

This is part of NRN’s 2012 Consumer Picks special report, produced in partnership with WD Partners. The study rates top restaurant chains based on customer preferences. Visit Consumer Picks on for more information. For the full report, including detailed rankings on the more than 100 chains, see the Aug. 6 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News. It may not shock casual-dining operators that customers choose to visit them for their food quality, cleanliness and menu variety, but they may be surprised to learn that having a reputation for value doesn’t cinch their status as a consumer favorite either. Consider The Cheesecake Factory, which emerged as the most preferred casual-dining brand in the Varied-Menu subcategory despite tying for the lowest rating for Value. Although the chain fell short on Value, it nearly swept the rest of the survey’s attribute ratings. 1. The Cheesecake Factory: In the past year, Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based The Cheesecake Factory has revamped its menu to include new low-calorie, more healthful menu items. The chain also announced its first venture in the international market with a franchise deal in the Middle East. • Number of units: 156 • U.S. systemwide sales: $1.5 billion • Survey strengths: Food Quality, Reputation, Cleanliness • Last year’s rank: 4 2. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro: had a busy year, selling to private equity firm Centerbridge Partners for $1.1 billion and debuting Pei Wei Asian Market, a fast-casual spin-off of Pei Wei Asian Diner. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company’s CEO Richard L. Federico was also named the 2012 Norman Award winner for leadership. • Number of units: 206 • U.S. systemwide sales: $930.4 million • Survey strengths: Service • Last year’s rank: 3 3. Bonefish Grill: This year, John Cooper, president of Tampa-based Bonefish Grill, was named one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Golden Chain honorees. The chain, known for its market-fresh seafood, also demonstrated its ability to effectively use social media to engage and retain customers, signficantly increasing its Restaurant Social Media Index score in the first quarter. • Number of units: 158 • U.S. systemwide sales: $459 million • Survey strengths: Food Quality, Cleanliness, Reputation • Last year’s rank: 2 4. Olive Garden: has made an effort to shift its focus to value amid struggles with sales. The subsidiary of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc. has introduced promotions like “Create Your Own” lunch and the “two for $25” deal in order to meet an “elevated need for affordability” going into 2013, said Drew Madsen, Darden’s president and chief operating officer. • Number of units: 784 • U.S. systemwide sales: $3.6 billion • Survey strengths: Reputation, Menu Variety, Value • Last year’s rank: 8 5. Carrabba’s Italian Grill: The Tampa, Fla.-based chain continues to feature seasonal, hand-prepared Italian food, with most dishes made from scratch in its restaurants. Most recently, Johnny Carrabba, cofounder of the chain, opened a fast-casual concept in Houston called Mia’s Table. • Number of units: 232 • U.S. systemwide sales: $686 million • Survey strengths: Food Quality, Service • Last year’s rank: 5

Research shows customers want more value at full-service restaurants (

‘Consumer Picks: Top 5 casual-dining restaurant chains’ (

Company: TGI Fridays Established: 1965, New York City Founder: Daniel R. Scoggin Stores: 992 (March 2011) Area serviced: Global Mission Statement: pride | passion | personality To be the market leader in casual dining, providing great tasting food & beverage, excellent service & guest satisfaction by employing talented people. History: “In 1965, T.G.I. founder Alan Stillman figured the bar scene of skyscraper city needed a shake up. So he created a cool new singles bar! One week later, the New York police were called in to control the crowds, as hordes of young people flocked to the city’s coolest new venue.” TGI Friday’s,Inc. restaurant chain was founded by Daniel R. Scoggin and partners in 1971. Alan Stillman created the original concept in 1965 in New York where as an essence salesman he lived in a neighborhood with many airline stewardesses, fashion models, secretaries, and other single people on the East Side of Manhattan near the Queensboro Bridge, and hoped that opening a bar would help him meet women. At the time, Stillman’s choices for socializing were non-public cocktail parties, or “guys’ beer-drinking hangout” bars that women usually did not visit; he recalled that “there was no public place for people between, say, twenty-three to thirty-seven years old, to meet.” He sought to recreate the comfortable cocktail-party atmosphere in public despite having no experience in the restaurant business. With US$5,000 of his own money and US$5,000 borrowed from his mother, Stillman purchased a bar he often visited, The Good Tavern at the corner of 63rd Street and First Avenue, and renamed it T.G.I. Friday’s after the expression “Thank God! It’s Friday!” from his years at Bucknell University. The new restaurant, which opened on March 15, 1965, served standard American cuisine, bar food, and alcoholic beverages, but emphasized food quality and preparation. The exterior featured a red-and-white striped awning and blue paint, the Gay Nineties interior included fake Tiffany lamps, wooden floors, Bentwood chairs, and striped tablecloths, and the bar area added brass rails and stained glass. The employees were young and wore red-and-white striped soccer shirts, and every time someone had a birthday, the entire restaurant crew came around with a cake and sang Friday’s traditional birthday song. The first location closed in 1994.

Design: The newer T.G.I. Friday’s franchises (as well as redesigned restaurants) are more contemporary, with wallpaper, granite exteriors, and red-andwhite striped lamps instead of Tiffany. The exteriors have stucco, the entrance doors have “F” shaped handles, and a metal cup above the door has a stripe saying “In Here, It’s always Friday”. Most Friday’s have a propeller and a rowing scull on display as part of their antiques, which are actually a part of a story told to all Friday’s employees; the scull always contains a pair of saddle shoes and a bottle of champagne to remind employees of the value of teamwork, leadership, and celebrating success.

The ‘Americana’ style interiors tend to consist of alot of dark wood and red leather - they are always very colorful and busy but with a rather simple table layout. They are in the style of the prefabricated diners which were first invented in 1872, by a man named Walter Scott in North America and have been extremely popular ever since. Diners are characterized by offering a wide range of foods, mostly American, a casual atmosphere, a counter, and late operating hours. “Classic American Diners” are often characterized by an exterior layer of stainless steel—a feature unique to diner architecture.

2 013 They have also introduced a new gluten free menu

2004 The older menu offers little in terms of ‘heath’ food or catering for dietary requirements. It has an Atkins® option which was a popular diet in the early ‘00s.

2007 Later they introduced a ‘Jack Daniel’s® menu’. Jack Daniel’s® is Southern American whiskey - showing that they are passionate about delivering a local menu along with ‘Southern fried chicken’ and ‘buffalo grills’ - their approach is rather stereotypically Southern.

2009 In 2009 their advertising campaigns re-branded the company with a 60’s retro, almost pop-art style

2 013 Their current advertising campaign re-brands the company as a old,’back to basics’ Southern American style with wood surfaces, wooden slab plates and stainless steel

Menu: Friday’s has a large menu with an emphasis on alcoholic beverages which includes their famous “Ultimate” drinks which are served in an 18 oz. (532 mL) glass, and often made with top shelf and darker liquors. They also focus on a variety of blended drinks that are signature to the Friday’s name, such as the “Tropicolada” and the “Friday’s Freeze”. A section of the menu is dedicated to the “Jack Daniel’s Grill”, a selection of items with a special Jack Daniel’s-branded sauce. T.G.I. Friday’s formerly served Atkins approved appetizers, entrées, and desserts. In 2006, the Atkins name was removed from the menu, but the restaurant continues to offer both low carbohydrate and low fat menu items. The UK menu offers gluten free items Environment: Friday’s claim to strive to treat the environment with the same respect they show their guests. They use converted cooking oil in all of our delivery trucks, have installed smart meters to track and measure their energy usage, and from September they will be using certified ‘green electricity’ in all of their restaurants. Friday’s is also already 88% ‘No Landfill’ and by 2013 they aim to be 100%

Company: Appelbees Established: 1980, Georgia Founder: Bill Palmer, TJ Palmer Stores: 2,010 (2011) Area serviced: Global Mission Statement: worldwide | development To contribute to the growth, joy and enrichment of all the lives we touch Applebee’s is an integral part of the social, psychological and economic development of every neighborhood. To become the winning team in casual dining through service, customer and employee relationship and profitability by empowering people. History: The Applebee’s chain was started by Bill and T. J. Palmer who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, in Decatur, Georgia, on November 19, 1980. After opening their second restaurant the pair sold their company to W. R. Grace and Company in 1983. As part of the transaction, Bill Palmer was named president of the Applebee’s Division, an indirect subsidiary of W. R. Grace and Company. In that capacity, Palmer guided the operation from its entrepreneurial beginnings to a full-fledged franchise system. He became an Applebee’s franchisee in 1985 and today owns more than three dozen Applebee’s restaurants In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar to reflect the Palmers’ original concept of a place people could call their own. In 1988, Applebee’s International, Inc., became the restaurant chain’s franchiser when Kansas City franchisees Abe Gustin and John Hamra purchased the rights to the Applebee’s concept from W. R. Grace. From 1993 to 2005, Applebee’s opened 100 or more new restaurants each year. The company estimates the development potential of the Applebee’s concept in the United States to be at least 3,000 restaurants.


Design: Applebee’s are not as well branded as their competitors - although their color scheme is able to be directed into a ‘healthier restaurant more easily I don’t think the brand as a whole is very unified compared to TGI Friday’s for example. The Exterior of their outlets are rather bland and so are the interiors. With Hard Rock Cafe or TGI Friday’s, the interiors are exciting, colorful, recognizable and, most importantly, memorable. Appelbee’s branding comes across as being weak and rather confusing.

2 013

Applebees Positive Themes

Applebees Negative Themes

2 013

In 2012, like TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s re-branded alot of their menu as ‘healthy option’ and supported by Weight Watchers®. Their graphics also changed to up-to-date, fresh colors, fonts and logos

In 2010 a Brand Management company from Kansas created this new interior instullation in ordered to revive one of Applebee’s stores - design concept: using the aerial grid of a typical American neighborhood as a visual way of formatting the Applebee’s story and brand message.


The pre-2006 Applebee’s menu also has no ‘healthy’ options or any special deirty requirement options

Company: The Cheesecake Factory Established: 1949, California Founder: E & O Overton Stores: 151 Area serviced: Global Mission Statement: “To create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority. Through a shared commitment to excellence, we are dedicated to the uncompromising quality of our food, service, people and profit, while taking exceptional care of our guests and staff. We will continuously strive to surpass our own accomplishment and be recognized as a leader in our industry.”

History: The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. a distributor of cheesecake in the United States. It is also a restaurant company. The company operates 165 full-service dining restaurants: The Cheesecake Factory was founded by Oscar and Evelyn Overton. Evelyn first decided to open a business after making a cheesecake for her husband’s employer in 1949. Evelyn opened a small cheesecake shop in Detroit, Michigan, in the late 1950s, but later gave it up in order to raise her two children. She continued to supply cakes to several local restaurants, however, through a kitchen in her basement. In 1972 Oscar and Evelyn Overton moved to the Woodland Hills area of Los

Angeles where they opened a wholesale bakery in which they produced cheesecakes and a other desserts for local restaurants. In 1978 Evelyn’s son David Overton opened a small salad-andsandwich restaurant in Beverly Hills which sold 10 different varieties of Overton’s cheesecakes on their one-page menu. In 1983 the Overtons opened a second restaurant in Marina del Rey. By 1987 the Beverly Hills location had expanded into a 78-seat restaurant and was experiencing great financial success. This led to the opening of a third, larger location in Redondo Beach, which was eventually renovated into a 300-seat, 21,000 square foot location. By the end of the 1980s, The Cheesecake Factory’s one-page

menu had expanded and the restaurant offered additional fast-food and short-order items. The 1990s saw the opening of the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant outside of Southern California. The new restaurant was located in Washington, D.C. The Cheesecake Factory was incorporated in 1992 and went public September 1993. David Overton planned to open 3-4 units a year in the hopes of generating 25% a year increase in sales. The company began changing the menu twice a year and added further items including steaks and seafood as well as vegetarian dishes. The company continued to open new restaurants, and by 1995, the chain was ranked 11th in the United States. As of April, 2013, The Cheesecake

Factory corporation operates 162 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory name in 36 states On January 25, 2011, the company expanded into the Middle East in a partnership with Kuwaiti retail franchising company M.H. Alshaya Co.. The 300-seat restaurant opened on August 16, 2012, at the Dubai Mall. This is the first location for The Cheesecake Factory outside of the United States. As of March 4, 2013, the Cheesecake Factory Inc. has four restaurants operating in the Middle East, one being located at the Dubai Mall and another at the Mall of the Emirates (both in the UAE), the third in Kuwait City, and the fourth in Beirut.

Unlike TGI Fridays or Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory has a much greater task of rebranding their company as being a healthier family restaurant as they specialise in high fat and high calorie desserts. Controversy: The Cheesecake Factory has been criticized for their heavy promotion of large servings of high calorie and high fat foods, and a corresponding lack of healthy menu options. For these reasons, the chain was dubbed the "worst family restaurant in America" for 2010 by Men's Health magazine. The average sandwich at the restaurant contains 1,400 calories. In 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that The Cheesecake Factory's "Bistro Shrimp Pasta" dish had more calories than any other entrée from a national chain restaurant at 3,120 calories, with 89 grams of saturated fat. The United States Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states in its dietary guidelines that a typical adult should consume about 2,000 calories and no more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day. The 2013 report also noted that The Cheesecake Factory's "Crispy Chicken Costoletta" has more calories (2,610) than a 12-piece bucket of fried chicken from KFC.

Distinctive design and decor: The company claim that their restaurants’ distinctive contemporary design and decor create a high-energy, “non-chain” image and upscale ambiance in a casual setting. Whenever possible, outdoor patio seating is also incorporated in the design of the restaurants, thus allowing for additional restaurant capacity (weather permitting) at a comparatively low occupancy cost per seat.

Company: Chili’s Established: 1975, Dallas Founder: Larry Lavine Stores: 1400 Area serviced: Global Mission Statement: “Chili’s mission statement is Spice Up Everyday Life. Chili’s vision is to dominate casual dining.” History: Chili’s first location, a converted postal station on Greenville Ave. in Dallas, Texas, opened in 1975 (this location moved to a new building near the same site in 1981, and was shut down in 2007). Lavine’s concept was to create an informal, full-service dining restaurant with a menu featuring different types of hamburgers offered at an affordable price. The brand proved successful, and by the early 1980s there were 28 Chili’s locations in the region, all featuring similar Southwest decor. In 1983, Lavine sold the company to restaurant executive Norman E. Brinker, formerly of the Pillsbury restaurant group that owned Bennigan’s.Chili’s now has locations in 49 U.S. states (excludes Alaska), 30 international locations and two territories. Chili’s serves American food influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine. In addition to their regular menu, the company offers a nutritional menu, allergen menu, and vegetarian menu. They also offer a veggie burger (non-vegan) that is supplied by the Kellogg Company.

Their colour scheme, like Applebees and TGI Fridays is prodominantly red with accents of green. But this isn’t as apparent within the acctual interior of their outlets compareed to either of the other companys

In terms of floor planning and layout, Chili’s use a simple grid system ensuring they can seat as many customers as possible in their outlets

Chili’s trademark interior tends to have a large plastic chili pepper hanging from the ceiling , giving them a consistant and recognisable interior style

All Resturanteurs ,inc competitors are Southern American family resturants. Most of them don’t draw on Mexican influences in terms of interior design and their menus yet Chili’s specialise in a ‘Tex-Mex’ menu and this is reflected through their interior decor and design by using patterned tile table tops (below)

This is one of Chili’s newest interiors. It has, like TGI Fridays and Applebees, opted to rebrand itself slightly as a fresher, more health conscious family restaurant. This is clear threw its lighter, brighter interiors

Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2007, Hard Rock was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Currently, there are 175 Hard Rock locations in 53 countries with the largest in Orlando.

Company: Hark Rock Cafe Established: 1971, London Founder: Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton Stores: 175 Area serviced: Global

History: The first Hard Rock Cafe opened 14 June 1971, in London, England under the ownership of young Americans Peter Morton and Isaac Tigrett. Hard Rock initially had an eclectic decor but it later started to display memorabilia. Hard Rock has amassed one of the largest collections of rock and roll memorabilia in the world. The chain began to expand worldwide in 1982 with locations in (among others) Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris and Berlin. Hard Rock Cafe locations in the United States vary from smaller, more tourist driven markets (Biloxi, Destin, Gatlinburg, Key West, etc.) to large metropolises (Houston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, etc.). Hard Rock Cafe does not franchise cafe locations in the United States. All US Cafes are corporate owned and operated.


Mission Statement: “To spread the spirit of Rock ‘n Roll by delivering an exceptional entertainment and dining experience. We are committed to being an important, contributing member of our community and offering the Hard Rock family a fun, healthy, and nurturing work environment while ensuring our long-term success.” Interior design: The interiors always tend to have a great atmosphere, they are cluttered with memorabilia and always seem to be busy. Hard Rock Cafe interiors are all unique due to different locations and different memorabilia yet often they have the same atmosphere. They are usually rather dark and use pieces of memorabilia as furniture or lighting.

Hark Rock Cafe is known for its collection of rock and roll memorabilia. The cafes solicit donations of music memorabilia but also purchase a number of items at auctions around the world, including autographed guitars, costumes from world tours and rare photographs; these are often to be found mounted on cafe walls. The collection began in 1979 with an un-signed Red Fender Lead II guitar from Eric Clapton, who was a regular at the first restaurant in London. Clapton wanted management to hang the guitar over his regular seat in order to lay claim to that spot, and they obliged. This prompted Pete Townshend of The Who to give one of his guitars, also un-signed with the note “Mine’s as good as his! Love, Pete.” Hard Rock’s archive includes over 70,000 items and was briefly displayed in a Hard Rock museum named “The Vault” in Orlando, Florida from January 2003 until September 2004. After the closure, items were disbursed to various restaurant locations. The London Vault remains open and free to visitors, located near the original cafe. In 2005, Deep Purple launched its new album Rapture of the Deep in Hard Rock Cafe London.



Hard Rock Cafe has transformed itself into a vibrant, memorable and recognisable family restaurant since it first opened in 1971 - these two pictures show how it has developed over the last 30 years.

Concept Delvelopment: After researching the restaurants competitors I have built an idea of what is being done well and what isn’t working for the restaurant chains. Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays seem to have the most successful branding, they both have a clear mission which is portrayed not only threw their menus but also threw their graphic design, interior design, exterior design and smaller details such as uniforms. It is clear that the resturant must have a ‘american diner’ theme as well as a Southern American, country feel. I will now look at other Southern American style products, brands and advertising techniques.

homemade cooking

axes red, white

& blue

horse shoes

pastels americana

junk food log fencing leather bench fries steaks

dinner dances


‘old fashioned’




& burgers

wood pin up style

american food

60s/70s pick-up trucks






flannel fabric

ice tea diner

southern america

mason jars beer


neon signage

jeremiah weed


& whiskey

grid layout value for money

red barns verandas

countryside jack daniels




& white

wild life


cows deers

branding horses cowhide


& leather


Hollow glass tubes used to make neon lamps come in 4, 5 and 8 ft lengths. To shape the tubes, the glass is heated by lit gas and forced air. The theory behind neon sign technology dates back to 1675 before the age of electricity, when the French astronomer Jean Picard observed a faint glow in a mercury barometer tube. When the tube was shaken a glow called barometric light occurred, but the cause of the light (static electricity) was not understood at that time. By 1900, after years of experiments, several different types of electric discharge lamps or vapor lamps were invented in Europe and the United States.

Attracting new customers is important for any business but that becomes even more critical for restaurants. Each and everyday, millions of people flock into fast food joints, cafeterias, grills, taverns, concession stands and of course, fine dining restaurants. Neon signs quickly caught on as a popular fixture in outdoor advertising in the U.S.. Visible even in daylight, unique in its visual display, people loved the first neon signs. The brilliant red illumination fascinated the public and it was coined “liquid fire.” Neon became symbolic of America’s Inventiveness and creativity. Through the 1920’s and 30’s extravagant neon displays, and elaborate neon signs became more common and these large scale signs began to dominate American down towns from New York to California. Las Vegas set the stage in the 40’s and 50’s with lavish colorful and creative signs with impressive neon animations. Border neon, and decorative architectural accents framed the City streets.

Centuries ago, European farmers would seal the wood on their barns with an oil, often linseed oil - a tawny-colored oil derived from the seed of the flax plant. They would paint their barns with a linseed-oil mixture, often consisting of additions such as milk and lime. The combination produced a long-lasting paint that dried and hardened quickly. In historically accurate terms, "barn red" is not the bright, fire-engine red that we often see today, but more of a burnt-orange red. As to how the oil mixture became traditionally red, there are two predominant theories: Wealthy farmers added blood from a recent slaughter to the oil mixture As the paint dried, it turned from a bright red to a darker, burnt red. Farmers added ferrous oxide, otherwise known as rust, to the oil mixture. Rust was plentiful on farms and is a poison to many fungi, including mold and moss, which were known to grown on barns. These fungi would trap moisture in the wood, increasing decay. Regardless of how the farmer tinted his paint, having a red barn became a fashionable thing. They were a sharp contrast to the traditional white farmhouse. As European settlers crossed over to America, they brought with them the tradition of red barns. In the mid to late 1800s, as paints began to be produced with chemical pigments, red paint was the most inexpensive to buy. Red was the color of favor until whitewash became cheaper, at which point white barns began to spring up. Today, the color of barns can vary, often depending on how the barns are used.

The Marlboro Man is a figure used in tobacco advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. In the United States, where the campaign originated, it was used from 1954 to 1999. The Marlboro Man was first conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954. The image involves a rugged cowboy or cowboys, in nature with only a cigarette. The advertisements were originally conceived as a way to popularize filtered cigarettes, which at the time were considered feminine. The Marlboro advertising campaign, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide, is said to be one of the most brilliant advertisement campaigns of all time. It transformed a feminine campaign, with the slogan “Mild as May”, into one that was masculine, in a matter of months. Although there were many Marlboro Men, the cowboy proved to be the most popular. This led to the “Marlboro Cowboy” and “Marlboro Country” campaigns

The Marlboro advertising campaigns from the 80’s and 90’s capture the imagery and attitudes of the Southern American ‘country cowboy culture’ I really like the wholesomeness of the ‘back to basics’ campaign and would think that this would work well in re-designing the restaurants brand as the raw and country feel hasn’t really been done before in terms of family restaurants in this way. Although it has been referenced by companies such as Buffalo Grill.

Case Studies: Although the design is influenced by Southern America I think this theme shouldn’t be overpowering as it might run the risk of becoming too stereotypical or may not appeal to a wider audience. Instead, it will be visible in the details of the design and the products it serves and the style of the furniture within the restaurant.

KNRDY Restaurant by Suto Interior Architects, Budapest: The base for the design was a high headroom 250 m2 space partly encompassing the inner court of the more than a hundred years old building. The most spectacular of the restaurant is the guest area, it can sit 40 guests, with its great glass portals it allows people to look inside. From the street you can see the cross-sectional view of the restaurant. he counterpoints of the light coming through the wide shop windows are the black and dark grey wall surfaces and the dark materials. The contemporary furniture look more elegant in front of the plastered white and brick walls, which are slackly left at their original states, as the lights are more extraordinary directed on them. The unique atmosphere is created by the consciously used L iron structure through the whole of the restaurant. I am concious that the Southern American influence should not be too serve because it could risky being far too steryotypical and over powering - Ideally I think something like the design of this resturant in Budapest would work well with the Southern American theme.

I have been looking at a graphic design scheme created by Ptarmark for a butcher/ meat market. It caught my eye because of its original yet contemporary approach. The small details such as the meat tickets and the aprons all work together to produce a thorough and consistent design and it are able to create a clear image of the brand. I think this design approach would work really well with the Southern American ranch/ grill. It is really original yet modern and recognisable through its use of graphic design.

I have also researched a more health conscious brand who are also a client of Ptarmark graphic design firm. The colors are obviously a lot brighter and fresher . I don’t like this imagery as much as their ‘Chop Shop’ work although I can see how they have reflected the concept of the restaurant in their design. I will need someway of acknowledging and displaying of a health conscious menu

Bill’s is a really good example of an afforbable and casual, family resturant. It serves great food and the interior decoration is rather industrial and in the style of an old fashioned market. It is really colourful and inviting whilst remaining sensible and attractive. The original Bill’s opened in Lewes, East Sussex in 2001; it’s expanded rapidly since being acquired by the Côte chain in 2008 and now has branches in student-heavy towns such as Brighton and Cambridge, as well as London and more on the way. The appeal of the formula – old-fashioned deli meets country-style café/restaurant . Chunky tables and school chairs, metal shelving full of Bill’s own-label jams, chutneys and oils (for sale, of course), and hanging garlands of dried chillies and colourful tissue paper – all seem to have been ordered from Retro Design Inc. Still, the effect is vibrant and homely, aided by a funk-soul soundtrack and friendly staff.


initial moodboard

Design Strategies:

Large windows facing pavement: These windows need to entice the customers into the restaurant

In order to fit the required amount of seating (160minimum) for the dining room I have decided that a sensible approch is to keep a rather simple and adjustable seating plan which will be set out according to the structural grid system

Although it is good to have an entrance on the corner of the buiding, making it visable from both adjacent streets, I am not sure it will provide much of an impact when entering the interior, escially if the seating plan is arranged in a grid lay out. I think it would be best to move the entrance to the centre of this wall

It would be a good idea to keep the bar area as close to the kitchen and storerooms as possible. , Perhaps there could be an additional entrance leading to the back of house from behind the bar, making it as easy as possible for staff to interact with the back of house space instead of using the service doors on the left.

new entrance


1 table, each with 6 chairs




25 x 6


150 seats

potential route of circulation

Finial Plans:

Rendered Plans:

I wanted to design something imaginative and new whilst referencing south west America. I took inspiration from the imagery of ranches, cowboys, wagons, cowhide and mason jars. But I wondered how I could design something which was, like the brief said, ‘more sustainable’ and promoted a better menu. I thought the idea of eating food which was straight from the ranch which was when I thought of the name ‘The Back Yard’ which somehow led to the idea, (combined with hard rock cafes over sized guitars and drum kits), of eating off large, concrete horses with saddle style seating and scattered hay beneath a reinforced glass floor. The design is a relatively low cost and simple design solution which will no doubt create a unique dining experience. When you enter you will be led down the corridor where horses heads hang over the log wood fencing, each with a menu slotted into their mouth - you take the menu from their mouth and you take your table cloth which will be draped over the stable style fencing , and take them to your table.

As you can see from the top rendering, I found it very hard to sculpt the horses but after a lot of time using mesh modifiers I managed to make a more realistic horse shape. I then had to use the pro-boleen tool to cut a rectangle from the back to create a flat surface

large chalk board menu

exposed air-conditioning system

door to back of house


to lounge

central walkway

choose your own table clothes entrance to restrooms

central walkway









exposed structure gives modern and industrial atmosphere






loose straw under reinforced glass

f u r n i t u r e

clusters of light bulbs (mason jars)

haybail lounge seating

exposed air conditioning system

bespoke saddle-style stools


exposed structure gives modern and industrial atmosphere

clusters of light bulbs (mason jars)

exposed air conditioning system

Integral elements: The integral elements, the interior fabric, will define the volumetric space within the interior architect will operate. The materials and construction of the fabric will be a legacy of the style and purpose of the original building and of its subsequent history. This points to one of the abiding issues in interior architecture.

Introduced elements: The extent of any intervention with existing fabric will depend on the needs and strategies of the individual project. Where major spatial remodelling is called for, the introduction of new wall, floor and ceiling elements and their conjunction with the old, will require careful though: not only in detailing of the junction between them but in the materials chosen to form the elements and make that junction.


How might the interior fabric of the building define the volumetric spaces? I have chosen to break up the floor with a higher walk way in the centre in order to define the dining areas and the route of circulation. This walk way will be made from polished concrete as it is rather cheap to make and it will provide a contrast in texture between the hay beneath the reinforced glass in the dining areas whilst establishing a contemporary and raw finish


ranch fence walkway


What constraints may I face when working with the integral elements of space? As the building we have been given to design has no information about the state of the existing elements I shouldn’t have too many problems specifying these integral elements yet problems could arise if the building needs damp proofing or acoustic treatment - this could effect the materials that I choose. Which elements may be introduced to the interior and how might these affect the volumetric space? As the tables and the walkway are made from hard materials I am worried that this could cause problems with acoustics together with the open plan layout of the dining area a bar.

loose straw under glass

reinforced glass with holes for horses hoves

logo in floor

core materials

The core materials are all rather similar in color yet provide an interesting variation of textures. They are all rather durable


These fabrics will be used as table clothes. They will also be hung over the walkways fence to give the space some accent color and reference south west America


To create a interesting and unique floor I have designed a three dimensional, layered floor. The first layer will could be the existing floor which will then be scattered with 1400mm (depth) of hay and then covered by multiple sheets of reinforced glass. In order to make the tables the right height, the table legs will pass through the glass floor and rest on the existing floor. The legs will then be surrounded by a rubber seam

The interior and exterior walls will look the same although the exterior wooden cladding will need to be properly weather treated. I wanted both the interior and exterior walls to be the same as the concept of the design resembles a stable style atmosphere. The walls will be covered with wood painted white and then distressed - if it is possible to source I would like to use reclaimed wood.

The bespoke saddle style stools will be clad in a dark brown faux leather which will be easy to wipe clean without compromising on comfort or aesthetics

The table cloths and the fabric which covers the hay bail lounge seating will be a variation of different plaid flannel patterns

These fabrics will be used as table clothes. They will also be hung over the walkways fence to give the space some accent color and reference south west America. Each group of customers will be allowed to choose their patterned table cloth from the walk way and take it to personalise their chosen table

Faux cowhide will be used as an accent material, for details such as the menu covers and the cushions in the lounge

The best technique for producing the horse back tables is by making a mould from rubber, wax or plaster and then cast using GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete). Using this technique means that only one mould will have to be made and then used over and over which will be relatively cheap, to create a hollow yet solid looking piece of furniture.

Form Concrete can be cast to just about any shape imaginable. Moulds can be made using materials as diverse as glass, fabrics, rough or smooth timber, rubber, wax, plaster or GRP. By mixing the latest CNC technology with traditional techniques a huge variety of results can be achieved. Colour A range of standard colours or can match to any sample or colour system. (RAL, NCS etc‌) Surface Finish Concrete is strong, durable and waterproof so it is an excellent choice for interior or exterior projects. Concrete is solid and self coloured so it won’t chip off and expose a substrate like plaster. Texture is controlled by the fineness of the mix, by the mould making technique used or by surface treatment. Polishing Mid, high and low sheen is available and is incredibly robust. Sustainability Glass reinforced concrete can be made as thin as 8mm. This means that huge reductions in material can be gained. For example as a cladding material GRC is significantly less energy intensive than aluminium or HPL. As a wall finish it has lower embodied energy than plasterboard. The designs and textures of each panel cast are integral to their structure. They will not deteriorate.

The sofa below looks to be solid concreate yet it is made of GRC and is actually hollow.

Branding: uniforms and menus I have kept the logo rather simple yet contemporary as I think it should be understated in contrast to the rather tacky interior

Its good for a name to begin with one of the first letters of the alphabet and for the name of the restaurant to be easy to say and remember

‘In your own backyard’ is a common phrase for something happening locally, in the area where you live, or in the area of interest or activity that you are involved in or responsible for. I thought ‘The Back Yard’ would be the perfect name for a restaurant which is serving and promoting local, fresh produce.

‘The Back Yard’ is also supposed to be a double meaning as the restaurants design involves eating off a horses back.

elevation aa

exposed air-conditioning system

main entrance

chalk board menu

step to dining area

elevation aa

exposed air-conditioning system

haybail lounge

hanging mason jar lighting

entrance to kitchen

chalk board menu


entrance to kitchen

elevation bb

hanging mason jar lighting

central walkway


back of house

elevation cc

Restaurant inc, pages  
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