Surrounded by ceaseless F&B concepts so diverse in their offerings, it comes with no surprise that Clients are approaching us having already been incredibly inspired and ready to unleash their list of prepped requirements. Despite having brought a multitude of varying concepts to life, from a bowling alley cum restaurant through to an electric array of 1950’s/60’s Italy, a selection of these Client briefs seem to make a regular occurrence.

Set out in this blog feature are 5 of the most common Client requirements that we hear, and aims to make sense of these somewhat broad terms by showcasing how they can be successfully integrated into a restaurant design.

Torno Subito, the latest offering situated upon the W Palm Hotel, for worlds best Chef Massimo Bottura is an electric array of 1950’s/60’s Italy.

1) “Think INSTAGRAM.”

Instagram: The new generation of humanity that captures every second of their daily lives and broadcasts it to their followers.

Something that is a relatively newfound Client desire, but nonetheless an integral factor in any restaurant design.

Clients envision the ultimate Instagram shot, yet it is down to the designer to curate it.

Photo supplied by Atlantis the Palm.

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Enticed by immersive experiences, captivating artworks and playful features; Instagram gurus can be seen insanely tapping away within these intelligently designed spaces.

Think cheeky typography statements, patterned flooring solutions, striking colour bombs and large-scale artworks – these elements combined perfectly will create a pure Instagrammer rhapsody.

Wavehouse in the Atlantis is a striking array of edgy design elements, offering up endless potential for ideal Instagram snaps.

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2) “A THEMED restaurant”

Theme: A continuous aesthetic.

It is not uncommon for Clients to want to bring international concepts to the desert in order to satisfy its multi-cultural crowds. The risk here however is with concepts such as Italian eateries or Peruvian restaurants, is that they can come across far too thematic.

When a Client wishes to follow a specific theme in their venues, this should be celebrated through subtle touches rather than an overall heavily themed design which is likely to be taken too literally and poses the danger of appearing out-of-context in a middle-eastern setting.

South Coast Italy by way of Chelsea, United Kingdom; Scalini is a renowned London-born brand that celebrates Italian tradition. With its contemporary & sophisticated evolution, Scalini now caters for the socialites and foodies of Dubai yet remains true to its brand heritage.

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Colors and patterns associated with certain cultures can be delicately introduced through flooring solutions and material fabrics, or combined with a modern material to evolve/revamp traditional methods.

The playful colours in Waka, Oberoi Hotel are respective of the venues Peruvian culture.

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3) “I want it to STAND OUT.”

Stand Out: A unique concept that derives from the norm.

Originality, in a nutshell, is an all-too-common brief we are faced with on a daily basis. But in a booming market, with a multitude of diverse concepts, it is ultimately down to the designer to conjure an innovative design that “stands out” from surrounding venues - yet still appeals to current desires of the dining out crowds and food bloggers galore.

Dubai is accustomed to sophistication, luxury and style – these elements should not be overlooked. However, they can indefinitely be dressed in such a way that steps away from repetitive traditions and causes an intriguing contrast to the existing F&B landscape.

Torno Subito is adorned in the most elegant of finishes, and furniture is supplied by leading furniture brand Paola Lenti, yet the uniqueness of the venue lies in its vivid colour palette and sets the venue far apart from others in the region.

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Components worthy of approaching when urging to stand out include colour palettes, lighting fixtures and artworks. These are small stepping stones which allow designers freedom to explore methods that do not follow established design trends, yet if done correctly will also stay true to the opulence that we are familiar and comfortable with; ensuring ultimate success and originality simultaneously.

4) “It’s got to have PERSONALITY.”

Personality & Character: Traits that influence a natural connection.

Approachable and intriguing elements are the perfect route to achieving this particular brief; and nothing screams personality and character more than artworks.

Utterly appealing to the senses, art creates a dynamic focal point within the interior and naturally engages with its guests. We do not have to limit ourselves to strict two-dimensional wall murals either, but can play with sculptures and media installations as a faultless technique in achieving the desired character of any restaurant venue.

Exuding enticing artworks from every crevice, Toro & KO is a New York inspired Spanish restaurant for renowned chefs Ken Oringer and James Beard winner Jamie Bissonnette.

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5) “Less COST.”

Cost: The root cause of any designer’s hair loss.

It has to be said that a greater investment in the initial steps of designing a restaurant inevitably reduces the risk of high maintenance fees in the future. Nonetheless, cost is always on the Clients mind and for the majority of projects, is desired to be kept at the absolute minimum.

Whilst there are elements we cannot overlook, such as health & safety, and factors we want to keep in mind, including environmental impact, there remain a selection of techniques we can apply to keep pockets satisfied, whilst still remaining true to the intended design aesthetics.

All materials in Cubano Lito, Ibis Hotel, are re-used or recycled to create an atmosphere celebratory of Cuban culture and provide the Client with an expeditious ROI (return of investment.)

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An initial step is to determine whether it is possible to re-use, recycle and/or adapt any materials that may be inherited from the original site. Perhaps a selection of furniture items can be salvaged and adapted to fit the new concept, or inherent structures such as columns or a bar can be re-surfaced to synergize with the latest design direction. Locations of inherited site areas such as bathrooms and kitchens should also be maintained so that specialized MEP and engineers’ costs can be managed efficiently.

If inheriting existing elements isn’t possible, considerations of utilizing a finite selection of main suppliers would be beneficial in reducing overall costs. Large orders placed through one supplier may benefit from reduced rates, as well as a reduction on transportation fees as opposed to purchasing items from varying supplier outlets.

When speaking about transportation fees, designers are able to take this one step further by ordering from local manufacturers. Fees would be kept at the absolute minimum, with the additional benefits of reducing on transportation emissions.
Client requirements, as we’ve seen, can be incredibly broad. Yet if we read a little deeper into certain statements, we can uncover the beginning to an utterly unique concept with potential to become a leading F&B venue. One thing we can be certain on, is that Clients are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and aware of their desired direction. However, it is ultimately down to the designer to know exactly how to turn that initial vision into a unique reality.

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