Saturday, February 24, 2024

2009 March: A Grand Theme

2009 March: A Grand ThemeFifteen years in the past, Don Bellis wished to deliver the idea of wood-fired pizza to the west coast. Slightly homework with different enterprise house owners instructed him that the brand new restaurant can be his life, and he’d possible spend extra time on the restaurant than at dwelling through the oncoming years.

So he determined to create a restaurant round a theme that appealed to him and his enterprise associate, Jay Gigandet: basic rock.

Starting with creating the menu for Rock Wooden Fired Pizza round basic rock songs, additionally they embraced a décor that would most likely finest be described as industrial salvage stylish. Suppose flames painted onto lavatory stalls. A crumbling brick wall in a eating room. Rusted metal beams overhead within the bar space. And, in some eating places, classic automobiles.

The theme is usually a mirrored image of the house owners’ sense of fashion. They’ve merely dreamed up options they’d wish to see in eating places and added within the parts as they constructed. It’s price them –– however what it has introduced them is native notoriety and, in the long run, paying prospects.

However, Bellis notes, any restaurant that embraces a theme wants to verify it has the meals to deliver prospects again. Nobody will eat dangerous meals simply to have a look at a cool room.

“Environment and theme will solely get you thus far,” Bellis says. “If you happen to don’t have high quality meals to again it up, you’ll by no means make it. We are able to get them within the door with our theme, however as soon as they’ve the meals, they’re hooked for all times.”

Others agree. Randy White, CEO of White Hutchinson Leisure & Studying Group, a restaurant consulting fi rm primarily based in Kansas Metropolis, notes that meals has to come back first. “Everyone thinks a theme will create an expertise, nevertheless it doesn’t actually,” White says. “The downfall of the themed restaurant previously was the themes raised the development value and so they needed to elevate the worth.”

Themes will be as refined as selecting colours and textures for the inside of a restaurant, White says. He factors to Panera Bread as a efficiently themed restaurant, largely as a result of it feels comfy and brings patrons in with its mixture of impartial colours and informal textures. It’s comfy and homey, and prospects really feel they’ll sit and keep, which is what the restaurant operators need. “The reality of it’s, with nice theming, typically folks don’t discover it,” White says.

To decide on a theme, first select your meals, then determine the worth level you’d wish to hit. If you wish to draw households with youngsters, use shiny colours and resilient furnishings and finishes that may face up to robust visitors. In case your restaurant is designed to attract a extra high-dollar diner, think about darkish wooden, brass, marble finishes and extra reserved colours.

One of many strongest parts that may assist decide the theme and temper of the restaurant is lighting, in addition to acoustics. White says these two items are uncared for in lots of restaurant plans, and so they would possibly decide if a restaurant will get repeat enterprise greater than some other component. “There’s an artwork to doing lighting appropriately,” White says. “Identical for acoustics, and plenty of eating places completely ignore acoustics. Loud environments induce stress in folks. I’ve been in eating places the place the wait particular person has to stoop down to listen to you.”

Most themes as of late have a tendency in direction of informal, White says, because the American urge for food is swinging in direction of affordability. “You don’t see as a lot excessive finish,” White says. “The value factors are extra inexpensive, particularly if you’re focusing on households.”

For Billy Lane, proprietor of Pizza Lane in Sumter, South Carolina, making a theme was a strategy to distinguish his restaurant from the entire different pizza eating places round. Lane was working as a Pizza Inn franchise, and when he reached the 20-year anniversary with Pizza Inn, he determined towards signing a brand new franchise settlement. He wished to create a spot that honored the native historical past of his city and capitalize on his personal love of antiques. Over the previous 15 years, he has added varied parts to the restaurant that come from a few of Sumter’s long-time companies and remind patrons of years previous. For the youthful crowd, it may be an schooling within the historical past of their hometown.

“The whole lot within the restaurant, together with the architectural items, and drug shops, service stations, barber store, every part I may get that was respectable memorabilia, I’ve it,” Lane says. “The entire folks on this city love to come back in and reminisce.”

The primary room within the restaurant incorporates previous teller home windows from a financial institution. Two different rooms borrow their theme from native theaters that after operated within the city, whereas the final is styled as an previous filling station.

“I believe if I’d have stored my identical décor, which was run of the mill Pizza Inn décor, I don’t assume I’d be in enterprise at the moment,” Lane says. “Once you stroll into our restaurant, it’s like coming right into a carnival. It’s unbelievable. It modified every part. Folks wish to are available due to it.” ?

Suggestions for making a themed eating room

It’s not so simple as scattering sports activities memorabilia round. A theme wants to contemplate each side of your restaurant. Listed here are some fundamental ideas for profitable theming from designer Randy White:

? Begin with the meals. The kind of meals ought to have a big half in setting the décor.

? Decide a value level. Keep in mind, customized particulars price, and may drive up the price of building and, finally, the worth factors on the menu. Watch out that your décor isn’t so costly that it causes you to boost prices.

? Choose informal particulars for household pleasant, lower cost factors. Vibrant lighting is one component that may assist set that temper.

? Choose upscale supplies for a high-end menu. Impartial colours, darkish wooden, brass and marble, in addition to low lighting, sign the next value level.

Robyn Davis Sekula is a contract author residing in New Albany, Indiana.

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