As you’re intimately aware, few industries have changed more in recent years than food and beverage. A handful of F&B architecture, design, and management firms share their insights and forecasts for 2024 with you.
Overcoming Staffing Shortages
Richard Garcia, Remington Hospitality
When the pandemic hit, many restaurant workers either left the industry or were burned out. To make up for the staff shortage, the industry had to figure out solutions without sacrificing service, quality of food, and overall guest experience. Potential solutions include:
- Robotics: Robots can help prepare and even serve food. With a sharp focus on food safety since the pandemic’s beginning, robots remove the need for human touch and cross-contamination. While robots cannot account for all variables like guests who require a gluten-free preparation or request extra salt, they can help with the overall efficiency when serving and preparing food.
- On-Demand Apps: “On-demand” apps can allow cooks, servers, and/or bartenders to see which restaurants or bars are in need of help each night, giving them ad-hoc access to jobs. Through these apps, they are also given an option of when they would like to be paid, e.g. at the end of the shift or at the end of the week. Many people who are searching for more flexibility in their professional lives find this avenue helpful.
Flexible, Accessible, Choose-Your-Own Seating Options
David Tracz, //3877
F&B spaces are moving towards allowing guests to have greater control over their visit (while not losing out on the curation of the overall experience); one component coming to fruition is integrating a variety of unique seating options for patrons to select from.
From the communal table to banquettes, high tops, bar chairs, and everything in between, an eclectic mix of accommodations diversifies the dining room, allowing restaurants to cater to larger group celebrations and intimate date nights simultaneously.
Offering a selection of seating options proves that restaurants value the individual experiences of customers, a key design consideration that can drive a brand into the future, keeping their business alive and competitive in the market.
The Lasting Impact of the “Instagrammable Moment”
Griz Dwight, GrizForm Design Architects
The impact of social media on the food and beverage space isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Restaurants are continuing to create important hype around their spaces by integrating buzzworthy moments that draw in customers and generate word-of-mouth.
It will be crucial for designers to up the ante and make sure that these “moments” look as good in person as they do on Instagram, and that they, along with the entire dining experience, provide restaurant and bar patrons with lasting memory, not just a pretty image for their followers.
The Convenience Store of the Future is Food and Beverage
Carlie Russell, CRTKL:
Convenience stores like 7-Eleven have provided communities with everyday items such as coffee, groceries, lottery tickets, over-the-counter drugs, toiletries, and much more for decades, but like many industries since the start of the pandemic, convenience stores are evolving.
With consumer expectations at an all-time high, award winning architecture and design firm, CRTKL, is working with 7-Eleven to re-imagine its stores and to attract consumers. To do this CRTKL is featuring the following:
- High quality pre-made food pick up location. With domestic road trips increasing post pandemic, consumers are looking to receive food and continue on their travels.
- The traditional cult-following product. We’ve all walked into a 7-eleven and made a bee-line to the slushie machine. Stores should play into these cult-following areas and design them to be convenient and easy for customers to enjoy.
- Partnerships with local brands and stores to reflect the local flavors and cultures (wineries, breweries, tacos, craft-made snacks, etc)
A Sense of Place and Genuine Experiences
Beatrice Girelli, Indidesign
We think that “honesty” is a trend and hopefully it is not just a trend but it is a cultural change that is here to stay. We work with many prominent established chefs and although their background and style are quite different there seems to be a common denominator that ties everyone together.
Honesty in the food means being able to surprise and stimulate the senses by using fresh locally and sustainably sourced product combined, juxtaposed and paired in unexpected ways. Plates are simple, beautifully balanced compositions aimed at showcasing every ingredient on the plate.
The cultural background of the chef is seamlessly fused with the locale to deliver genuine experience and sense of place. These are the same principles that we use as the foundation of the design concept of the space.