Functional by Design

  • Walk-in Formats for Function

    Proper placement, sizing and utilization of space are hallmarks of an efficient walk-in.

  • Putting the Function in Food Trucks

    Food trucks have become a popular option for those wanting to test a concept before making a bigger investment in a brick-and-mortar operation. And the benefits of being mobile are not just financial. Operators can try out different locations first. Menu experimentation is easier. Labor requirements are minimal, and supply issues can be more easily addressed.

  • Schooled in Servery Design

    School servery design does not typically adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach. What works best for elementary students is not necessarily a fit for middle or high schoolers. And with differing foodservice space allocations, budgets and program specifications, K-12 servery formats can take on seemingly endless variations.

  • The Ideal Fast-Casual Pizza Makeline

    Design and equipment choices support speed and efficiency.

  • Regaining Relevance: Self-Serve Hot Bars

    Taking a brief hiatus during the pandemic, self-serve hot bars are coming back with design tweaks geared for more hygienic use.

  • The Self-Service Revolution

    A broader, more dynamic version of self-service is emerging.

  • Drive-Thrus Become Star Players

    Brands continue to redesign their exterior pickup approaches with speed and better service in mind.

  • Raising the Bar in Bar Design

    From a guest’s perspective, creating the perfect bar seems fairly straightforward. Put together the right spirits, staff and ambiance and — presto! — instant bar. But like so many things in life, the magic lies in the details, most of which those grabbing a handcrafted cocktail or their favorite beer have no idea exist. Nor do they understand the work that took place to make that perfection happen.

  • Open Kitchen Design: Form and Function Meet Art

    This past year has seen tremendous change in the foodservice industry. One thing that remains the same, however, is a continuing desire among both operators and consumers for open kitchens.

  • The Cold Heart of the Kitchen

    Cold prep stations play a vital role in commercial kitchens. Staff use these spaces to lay out ingredients from the walk-in cooler and assemble them into menu items served cold. Cold prep areas also serve as the initial assembly points for dishes that will move on to the hot line for cooking.

  • Off-Premises Design Evolves

    “When everything returns to normal” is a phrase we hear a lot these days. But “normal” continues to become the “new normal” as restaurants and foodservice operations adapt, change and modernize to meet both the old normal demands and the new ones created during the pandemic.

  • 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.

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