As the consumers that use foodservice operations continue to evolve, so too must the designers that assemble these spaces. So said a group of designers who participated in the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management’s 2018 Critical Issues Conference.
For example, today a designer’s work continues well after the project’s completion date. “Today the expectation is to stay and check back after designing spaces,” said Michael Bonomo, director of global workplace at CannonDesign, Chicago.
“It’s not surprising to go back in three months and find things fell through the cracks. You have to go back and fix it,” added Connie Dickson, principal at Rippe Associates, Minneapolis. As foodservice equipment becomes more sophisticated, training culinary staff on how to use it becomes more critical and time consuming, she added.
Flexibility represents a key trend in both foodservice and work spaces. When building flexibility into his designs, though, Mike Church, managing director for Deloitte Digital, strives to avoid the “retrofit-react-retrofit pattern, which creates a Franken-like situation,” meaning pieced together, like Frankenstein.
To ensure flexibility in a space, Bonomo suggests investing more heavily in the building’s infrastructure. “Add more power than you probably need so it’s there as you grow,” he said.
Also consider how a space may change in the future, said Christine Gurtler, design director for Jacobs Doland Beer in New York City. That especially proves the case with food halls, she said. “The 20 vendors that are there when a food hall opens may not be there a year later. Set it up so another concept can easily go in that space.”