Category Archives: Restaurant Design

TGIF Bar and Kitchen Redesign

T.G.I. Friday’s has unveiled a new kitchen and bar design in a unit that re-opened this week in Nashville, Tenn.

The Opry Mills Friday’s location, which was destroyed by flooding two years ago, debuted this week with an open kitchen that is about 25 percent smaller than a typical Friday’s unit and a redesigned bar.”

TGIF redesign

Taking Care of the Atmosphere

People come to your restaurant for the food but good food is just a fraction of the overall dining experience. Equally important is the way people feel from the moment they step in to the moment they ask for the check.  Your restaurant’s atmosphere is a combination of your guest’s physical and emotional response in which visual appeal plays an important role.

From the color scheme, the décor, the food presentation and even the service, everything counts.  Choosing the right atmosphere for your business is a key factor when it comes to achieving success; damaging it can make you loose important rating points.

In fact, Atmosphere is as important as Price, Food and Service, when it comes to choosing a restaurant.

You need to know, first and foremost, who your client is.  Focus in a single message you wish to convey in terms of atmosphere and move from there.  Do you want to be a family joint?  A hot-date spot?  A place for sports enthusiasts and pre-movie drinks?  A super-chic-extraordinaire hidden jewel?  A place for college student get-togethers?  A mom and pop diner?

Each of these options will define what your atmosphere should be like.  It is a common mistake to think that because you have regular clients and a full house on weekends, you can ignore chipped walls or mirrored accents (circa 1980).  Great atmospheres make customers feel comfortable, happy, and even special.  And the 5 stars it’ll get in this category won’t hurt a bit.

Designing the right atmosphere takes many factors into consideration.  It is a perfect balance of elements that need to be juggled together with care.  Let the Synergy Consulting Team help you create the one that caters to your specific needs.  A face-lift to your restaurant’s personality might just be what your customers need to make their dining experience truly unforgettable.


The X-Factor

I am not the easiest to please….and if that describes you as well, just think of your customers.  When in casual conversation, I sometimes mention the X-Factor, which has been called by different names, but always means the same thing.  It essentially describes the ‘thing’ in your establishment that someone either likes or doesn’t like.

The worst part is that it is different for each and every person; and worse than that; the customer likely doesn’t know what “it” is.  Some people are taller, and prefer leg room and high stools, while others are sensitive to light, and exposed light bulbs drive them nuts.  Some people have extensive dental work and hate crushed ice, while others enjoy crunching on the stuff all night.

When considering your restaurant start-up, or when doing a site evaluation on your current locations, it’s always important to either cast a wide net, or to use a spear gun when fishing for these answers during your design process.  By design I don’t just include the physical structure, but the whole design from top to bottom in service, menu and physical space.

If you are going to open an all leather, dark wood, masculine, power tie steakhouse, then your color palette and subsequent design is likely to go in a certain direction and toward a certain clientele.

However, if you are going to open a more family friendly restaurant, then you have to use a wider net.  You have to use colors, and furniture choices, and tabletop pieces that are less exclusive then those at the steakhouse mentioned above.  You can choose a five pound bowie knife as a steak knife in the steakhouse, but in a family restaurant with a higher female and children diner ratio, they may find it uncomfortable and awkward.

How do you know how big to build the banquette?  And what types of lights and music system do you need?  Lucky for you, many of those questions have been answered already, and lucky for us, we have people on our staff to guide us all through those tough design choices.

When designing your concept, Synergy will review time trusted practices as we guide you through the creation and realization of your concept.  This practice will give you an advantage by minimizing any disadvantages in your design.  Whether it’s something simple like a lighting package, or a more complicated element such as exterior design; Synergy can design a concept that will be well received by everyone, and the X-Factor can go somewhere else.


Avoid The Landmines Of Restaurant Design

Opening a restaurant is as exciting as it is challenging, from the discovery and conceptual stages to when the first guest walks through the doors. The best restaurant designs come from exposure to other restaurants, homework and due diligence. Taking the proper steps can minimize the numerous land mines along the design path.
A great restaurant design is more than just an impressive décor package. A great restaurant design will insure that the guest also has a sensory experience. People go to restaurants today to be seen, heard, entertained, eat and drink. One aspect is as important as the other. This sensory portion of the experience must be included into the restaurant design even with the smallest of venues, be it a mall kiosk or coffee shop.
A poorly designed restaurant can be a nightmare to operate within. If the kitchen is not well thought out it can easily drive unnecessary labor cost and negatively impact productivity. If the overall restaurant is poorly designed it can also become very expensive to make changes during and after the construction process.
The following are some recommendations that will help you work through the restaurant design process.
1. Understand your concept and vision
2. Interview several architectural firms
3. Develop a working budget
4. Hire a consulting firm that has experience in interior restaurant design
5. Hire an independent kitchen designer
The collaboration process between the architect and restaurant design team will ensure that you will achieve an impressive design within your budget.


Hanging Gardens

Lots of restaurants use foliage as décor. Hanging gardens are very evocative and peaceful. However, more restaurant managers are realizing that hanging gardens can have a dual purpose. Using advance hydroponics, columns of pretty greenery end up as the salad on the table or the vegetables on the entrée. For two decades, one of the most popular educational exhibits at Walt Disney World in Orlando is a vast warehouse that hold sky high columns, rows and racks of bare root plants on turntables, conveyors and drip systems. Sprayed with a constant fine mist of water and nutrients, monumental volumes of fruits and vegetables are produced in record time and year round. It is enough to constantly supply all the restaurants throughout the entire Disney World resort.

Growing and ripe fruits and vegetables are very picturesque. Green plants add to decoration. And you keep the guests entertained, too. Hospitality managers and restaurant business around the country are finding new ways of supplying their own foodstuffs, entertaining the guests, controlling costs, and just being creative. Want to be all of those with your restaurant business? Contact Synergy Restaurant Consultants.

Paint Can Go A Long Way!

Whether it is simply a fresh coat of the existing restaurant design color scheme or if you are considering a whole new restaurant design, paint is the single biggest splash that can made in restaurant design.

During these economically challenging days restaurateurs may understandably be inclined to forgo a remodel, however a new color scheme may be all that is needed to stay hip and on the radar of restaurant goers ever searching for a new dining experience. Retail stores do this all the time – change wall colors- and customers expect and anticipate the new designs!

If carefully planned, a new paint color can give a new look to a the restaurant, while still matching existing furnishings and decor. New paint need not go through out the space, often one color accented wall is enough to bring in a new look, and economically too!


Although gas is the mainstream choice, wood-burning ovens are becoming more of an essential, piece of equipment in many independent-restaurant kitchens. Now the wood-fired trend is building momentum in the chain world. Case in point: Orlando, Fla.-based Red Lobster’s wood-grilled menu. The renowned seafood chain invested a hefty $2.5 million in both new and retrofitted wood-burning grills at locations and rolled out specialized training for staff on how to use the new fixtures. Recipes now include grilled lobster, shrimp and scallops. The guests can choose a more-healthful preparation that injects flavor through smoke and seasoning rather than via traditional cooking in fat.

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned veteran, the restaurant experts at Synergy Restaurant Consultants can create a bold and winning kitchen and restaurant design for your facility. Visit us at Synergy Restaurant Consultants. With 20 years experience, we are the restaurant design masters.