A lot of people who contact me just want a new restaurant cheap or quick, and normally both. They can rarely afford a designer, let alone the costs of building the design itself.
I politely decline to work on projects like these because I don’t find fulfillment in taking money for designs that I know will never get made, only frustration. It’s really better for people on a budget or in a rush to save their money and make do without a designer.
Instead of design, they can create customer engagement with nothing but the power of their personalities. This works if they are outgoing, warm and generous but often traps them front of house full time. No days off, ever, which is cool, if that’s what they want. Some do.
What if we look at that restaurant another way though?
Instead of making it as cheap as possible and building it fast why not make it more generous, more fair, more responsive to its customers than it needs to be? Why not deliver the food and service with more flair, more care and more urgency?
Why not create a compelling message around good food and drink in a refreshing, comfortable and stimulating environment?
This builds a much stronger business with the right foundations for growth and expansion because it isn’t reliant on the charisma of just one person but instead on the power of its generous ethos, which is embodied in its design. A design that can be repeated time and again and which can be managed by a team and not just one person.
Of course the type of people who create restaurants like this do it because they can, not because they have to. They invest the time and money it takes without fear.
I’m on board with people like that, every time!
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nigel witham international restaurant designer
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