Functional by Design

  • Reworking Expediting Stations

    For a moment, the future of expediting stations looked bleak. With the pandemic causing indoor dining closures and reduced dining room capacity nationwide, some operators and designers were left wondering if the traditional kitchen pass-through would suddenly turn into nothing more than a holding and filling station for takeout containers and to-go bags.

  • The Future of Fresh-Air Kitchens

    Some dining adjustments made to cope with COVID-19 may be abandoned once public life returns to normal, but others will become permanent fixtures in American lifestyles. One of the habits with staying power: three-season outdoor dining.

  • Rethinking Cold Storage to Serve New Needs

    The post-pandemic future of the foodservice industry remains uncertain. But for most operations, the future will likely involve simpler, streamlined menus; more prepackaged grab-and-go fare; more emphasis on delivery; and greater utilization of commissaries and ghost kitchens.

  • Best Practices for Designing Warewashing Spaces

    Getting the dish room layout right leads to good food safety practices and better flow of clean dishware through the kitchen.

  • Transparency and Health Connections Drive Juice and Smoothie Store Design

    The juice and smoothie bar market continues to explode as consumers look to incorporate more nutrients into their daily diets. The estimated $5 billion segment offers myriad varieties of single-unit and chain operations. Along with piquing customers’ interest and loyalty, labor efficiency also factors into designs.

  • Unearthing the Efficiency of Commissary Kitchens

    They may lack some of the sizzle and showmanship of other types of foodservice kitchens, but commissary or central kitchens play critical roles in unlocking efficiency, safety, consistency and quality for many large-volume operations.

  • Designing Made-to-Order Salad Concepts

    The same thought went through the minds of many foodservice designers and operators when the coronavirus pandemic hit: There goes the salad bar.

  • The New World of Coffee Shops

    Tweaks to seating and serving come into play at coffee shops.

  • How to Get on Top of Rooftop Locations

    Outfitting external bars requires planning with an eye toward the elements when selecting materials and equipment.

  • Contest Looks to the Future of Foodservice Design

    Designers are invited to share their vision of what concepts will look like in the future by participating in the Pioneering Concept competition sponsored by HX: The Hotel Experience.

  • Welbilt Promotes Llewellyn to Newly Created Role

    Welbilt made two senior management changes.

  • Functional by Design: Self-Pour Beer Walls

    In a small but growing number of beer-centric operations, there’s no longer anything standing between the customer and a cold one — no server to wait for, no angling to get a bartender’s attention. Customers simply walk up and tap their own, free and empowered via technology to control their beer-loving destinies.

  • Grill Station Grit

    No matter the foodservice operation, it’s a sure bet that the grill station serves as heart of the kitchen. More often than not, this area encompasses the culinary team using charbroilers and flattop griddles in tandem to prepare a majority of menu items.

  • Functional by Design: Pickup Stations

    Consumers continue to show a growing appetite for online and mobile ordering options in the restaurant industry and beyond. In fact, food purchased for off-premises consumption now accounts for 60 percent of all restaurant occasions, according to data from the National Restaurant Association.

  • Functional by Design: Service Bars Ease Bottlenecks, Boost Volume

    It’s a simple fact: Drinks have significantly higher profit margins than food, making smooth, efficient bar operations mission critical for most restaurants. The ability to serve more drinks — and to do so more quickly — equates directly to higher profits and that fact makes careful, strategic design the foundation for highly efficient, profitable bars. A cornerstone of that foundation for many is the service bar, an important area of beverage-program support that can help eliminate service bottlenecks and free the bar proper to focus on the business at hand — engaging with and servicing guests at the bar.

  • Functional by Design: Designing to the Needs of Drive-Thru

    The original foodservice convenience, drive-thru options at restaurants have been a big deal for American consumers since at least the 1960s. And while the scope of convenience continues to snowball, drive-thrus remain a big deal and an increasingly critical part of the American foodservice landscape.

  • Functional by Design: Operational Efficiency, Customer Experience Drive Service Line Design

    Customers’ experience at service lines contributes greatly to their overall dining satisfaction. For staff members, efficiency takes priority in a service line. Their experience in how well the line runs affects their morale and, in turn, how well they interact with customers. Layout and equipment selection contribute to all of the above.

  • Functional by Design: Designing for Pickup and Delivery

    On-site diners have typically sought two things: a positive dining experience, created by good service and a pleasing environment, and a variety of high-quality menu items to choose from.

  • Functional by Design: Pastry Kitchens

    Pastry, or bakery, kitchens are specialized operations. Yet restrictions beyond an operator’s control can hamstring the effectiveness of these operations. For example, pastry kitchens often make their homes in pre-existing spaces and have to work around the flaws of those spaces. So when operators have the opportunity to design a new production space, they take advantage of the chance to put best practices into use.

  • Refresh on Restaurant Design, Antihero Brings Izakaya to Detroit Area and Functional by Design

  • Functional by Design: Deli Stations

    As foodservice concepts go, delis may not seem particularly trendy, but they’re actually very much on trend. First introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s by German immigrants in New York, delis’ enduring popularity has everything to do with what and how modern consumers like to eat. Freshness, transparency, customization, quality, variety, convenience, mobility — all of that and more becomes standard fare at delis and deli-inspired sandwich concepts. And while classic Jewish delis have changed little over the years (they’re classic for a reason), modern delis are well suited to maintaining core brand promises while incorporating current culinary trends.

  • Functional by Design: Service Stations

    Staff service stations can become a bit of a no-man’s-land. Many interior designers aren’t well versed in service stations’ full operational implications — or keen to take away from other design components to accommodate them. And in many cases, foodservice consultants are not asked to weigh in on decisions made on the other side of the kitchen door.

  • Functional by Design: Bars

    Food may have the big name-making potential, but any restaurant operator will tell you that when it comes to adding energy and boosting profitability, the bar is the star. Markups and margins on liquor are exponentially better than those on food. What’s more, liquor isn’t perishable, and a tight team in a relatively small amount of space can run a highly profitable bar.

  • Functional by Design: Produce Prep Stations

    Sliced, diced, shredded, spiralized, juiced — no matter how foodservice operators use or serve it, fresh produce keeps growing its presence on the plate. Trends like plant-forward menus, farm-to-table concepts, vegan and vegetarian diets, clean eating, and whole foods continue to flourish. And that means more produce coming in the back door — cases and cases of it, all needing to be kept cool, trimmed, washed, drained, processed, prepped and stored again before service.

  • Functional by Design: Teaching Kitchens

    The kitchen is a hot spot on university campuses across the nation — as well as in corporations, retirement centers, hospitals, food halls and other public spaces. And we’re not talking the familiar behind-the-scenes, back-of-the-house commercial kitchen where chefs and cooks do their thing. Rather, these emerging hot spots are kitchens designed and built as teaching facilities, where education, engagement and community building around food are primary objectives.

  • Functional by Design: Salad Bars

  • Functional by Design: Meat Prep

    Plant-based diets and the rise of vegetarian concepts may grab the headlines these days, but make no mistake: Americans still love their meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contends that 2018 will be a record year for red meat and poultry consumption, exceeding 222 pounds per person. And NPD Group reports protein tops the list of items consumers say they want more of in their diets. With production up and protein prices down, it’s all good news for foodservice, where burgers, steaks and chops remain cash cows.

  • Functional by Design: Restaurant Cooklines

    The true heart of every restaurant is its cookline. That’s where the magic happens, and ultimately it is the portion of the back of the house that strongly influences critical operational elements, from overall volume to speed of service, food quality, safety and kitchen labor.

  • Functional by Design: Deli/Sandwich Stations

    Abundant variations and customization keep sandwiches a mainstay.

  • Functional by Design: Coffee Kiosks

    The small spaces and simple designs of coffee kiosks force the issue of a functional workspace.

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