Here at Black Hound Design Company, we've created the furniture and FF&E packages for restaurants all over the country, including our hometown of Denver, Colorado. From NYC to Atlanta, Chicago to Los Angeles, we've built literally thousands of pieces of restaurant furniture, and custom hotel furniture. While we certainly don't claim to be experts, we've learned a thing or two over the years about hospitality furniture design.
One secret we've caught on to is localization. It's so important to reflect local culture in a restaurant, brewery, hotel, etc.
This especially applies to restaurants with more than one location. Gone are the days when a restaurant chain could just plunk down another cookie-cutter spot, and have it look exactly like every other location in every other city. Instead, restaurant patrons- especially millennials- want to see uniqueness in the restaurants, bars and hotels they visit. They seek out experiences, and want to soak up local flavor. In short, they want something special and different.
To attract these patrons, it's vital to pay homage to the particular area, and give a nod to the city's unique flavor. There's endless ways to accomplish this with creativity.
Here's our Five Ideas for Localizing Your Restaurant:
1.) Partner with a local artist to create a mural with hints of the city
2.) Create art installations that nod to a local sports team, historical icon or tradition
3.) Incorporate geographical or topographical maps into furniture pieces
4.) Use local materials or wood in the furniture pieces, and call it out
5.) Avoid off-the-shelf furniture and decor, that's the exact same as everywhere else. Opt for custom furniture and bespoke decor that can vibe your brand.
We'll update this post in a few weeks with ideas from the restaurant furniture we're creating for PBS Milwaukee, under the guidance of the Punch Bowl Social Design Team. Those gals and guys are the pros of creating localized design throughout their 14 locations nationwide (with many more on the way).
In summary, remember our secret to furnishing a compelling new restaurant: localized design.