By Sanat Dickson, Communications, IHS Global Alliance
The culinary and dining experience you deliver is defined not only by the service, the waiter’s attire, or the flavors you serve up. It’s also in your style of delivery. It’s form and function.
Your space is essential to setting the scene and creates a culture your guests choose to be associated with. “Ambiance can affect everything from perceptions on responsiveness and reliability, how much and how fast customers eat, how much they spend, how long they stay in the restaurant, if they decide to return, and more,” says interior designer Ariana Smetana of artVIA (source: Upserve.com).
The connected world we live in influences the way you reinvent the culture within your establishment, and how you define or even redefine the customer experience. While you may hold your piece of the market share, keep in mind that disruptive innovation is always at play. Your guests now come to expect a hint of modern influence with that defining moment which indicates your commitment to deliver a unique experience.
This sees establishments begin to experiment in conceptual open spaces, new interactions and interiors for a more connected experience. Take a recent example from Marriott, whom recently began experimenting in conceptual establishments with open and connected space, new interactions, and interiors. They embrace market insights that indicate the new generation of travelers seek affirmation within their space. Invested attention is fundamental when choosing tools of the trade. Considering innovative design with maximum functionality is where form meets function and quantifies such investment.
Danny Wells is a highly experienced F&B director with a career spanning 28 years, including roles at Hyatt and Marriott. He is now heading F&B at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. Danny talks of the importance on aesthetic form and functionality. “Interior design is the art of enhancing your space; elements of color and texture play their part, as do the equipment and furniture,” says Wells. “The look is everything and sets the scene. Customers are very visual and keen to engage in their space. When a particular look is polished, it always enhances their first impression and the perception of their experience to come.”
Equipment within the hospitality industry absorbs significant capital and is often under-appreciated as an interactive component. “Having the option to leave a setup within a public space that can easily blend into the environment should be without question. Being able to convert setups and create energy, from a simple coffee station to a live cooking station—this versatility is priceless and its purpose should speak for itself,” Wells says.
Innovative use of industry tools and equipment within such space extends the opportunity for interaction and engagement. How will you define your culture, experience, and reputation?