Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

UK-based Harrison to energise T.G.I. Friday’s architectural design in the US

January 18, 2013

Harrison shared their award-winning design for Nando’s flagship restaurant at Stratford Westfield on the blog last year.

The London and Birmingham-based architectural and leisure brand consultancy has now undertaken a successful UK revamp of the T.G.I. Friday’s look, and has headed across the Atlantic to help energise the iconic brand in the USA, the country where it was first launched nearly fifty years ago. Below are project images of the TGI’s in Oprey Mills, Nashville.

TGIF_Nashville_2012__0156 (Large)

The move is part of an international design strategy by T.G.I. Friday’s parent company, Carlson Restaurants, which has spent the past three years working with Harrison on a new global design plan. The first stage is currently being rolled out to over 30 existing sites across the US, and in new restaurants, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee.

Harrison managing director Philip Harrison said: “T.G.I. Friday’s has to be one of the most iconic restaurant brands in the western world. It has over 900 sites globally and I have to say it is a great privilege and a massive compliment to be asked to advise on its design profile, particularly in the country where it all started.

“One of our key areas of focus for the T.G.I. Friday’s product is on ‘brand drift’. As is usually the case with high profile names in long-term existence, market positioning gradually ebbs away from some of its key values. We are helping Carlson re-connect with the brand’s core propositions and re-invigorate its unique selling points in an impactful way for a modern customer marketplace. The concept is moving from one of functionality to one of personality.”


Harrison explained that the changes the company are currently making to the brand reflect the complex nature of service positioning in the US’s diverse hospitality market.


Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012 review

November 14, 2012

The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards have stated that their 2012 program was the most successful to date.

There’s no doubt that the awards shortlist is full of inspiring projects, and to celebrate, RABDA have produced a PDF review of their year.

If you are involved in hospitality design, it is well worth downloading the review to browse through for inspiration and see RABDAs plans for 2013.

Pumphouse (Winner North America & Canada) / Yabu Pushelberg

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards

Project showcase: All Bar One, Windsor, by Harrison

July 20, 2012

Harrison was commissioned by hospitality operator Mitchells & Butlers to design an All Bar One in a building that was originally Queen Victoria’s private waiting room at Windsor Royal Station.

Developing a branded offer in a listed building is always a challenge and Harrison’s design sensitivity enabled them to develop a proposition that successfully met the expectations of both the client and their customers.

I spoke to Janice Mitten from Harrison about this interesting project:

What was the brief?
Mitchells & Butlers’ brief was to restore the existing listed building, as it has a historic story and fantastic existing features. So, incorporating this into the design was key. We felt that we could incorporate the All Bar One brand feel into this building without disturbing what was there, by using things like large leaning blackboards and painted graphics on the walls.


Project showcase: Nando’s Westfield Stratford City by Harrison

June 25, 2012

Harrison is a leading design consultancy, specialising in restaurant and bar branding, design and development. Over the course of the past decade, Harrison has worked on over 100 sites for Nando’s the Portuguese chicken restaurant chain, with each venue giving rise to individual design challenges. One of Harrison’s largest designs is Nando’s Westfield Stratford City, which accommodates up to 260 diners in Europe’s largest urban shopping centre.

Everyone involved in producing this restaurant were anxious to see fresh, innovative and dynamic ideas that would complement the scale and grandeur of the Stratford development, while still embodying the Nando’s brief of feeling African and Portuguese, natural, warm, fun and creative.

Every Nando’s location is unique, which affords a good degree of creativity to the architects and designers and avoids the formulaic interiors often seen in chain restaurants. Stand-out features in this restaurant include a hand-woven hickory ceiling supported by carved timber columns, vibrant artwork, bespoke wall tiles, a copper bar, cast concrete seating booths and mosaic flooring.

Artwork and art tiles
Most of the artwork in the restaurant was produced by African artists at the Spier Arts Academy in Cape Town, South Africa, working in collaboration with Harrison. This includes the 800 ceramic ‘pages’ tiles, which are installed at the entrance, each of which was individual and handmade. Tile supplier Parkside Tiles made cream tiles in a bespoke size to fit between the pages tiles, and maintain visual consistency, as the full wall had to be covered.

The Psychology of Colour in hospitality spaces

May 17, 2012

Karen Haller is one of the UK’s leading authorities in applied colour psychology, specialising in business branding and business interiors.

In this Q&A, she provides an overview of her work, and some tips on how colour, and the psychological effect it has on people, can affect a business and ultimately, sales or profits.


Firstly, a quick introduction to the psychology of colour – to what extent does the colour of a space affect the way we feel?

Colour has an effect on our mind, body and emotions. It affects our moods and can influence our behaviours and our physical and mental well-being. This will usually be happening on an unconscious level.

Why would this be important in hospitality environments such as hotels, restaurants or bars?

One of the main factors in deciding on where to go for a meal, a drink or somewhere to stay will be on how we want to feel, for example uplifted, relaxing, peace and quiet or playful.  Colour triggers emotional responses.

The last thing a business would want to be doing unconsciously is using colour and combinations of colour that result in giving their customers an experience that ends up driving them away.

A successful business will have a clearly defined brand personality. There will be colours, and more importantly tones of colours, along with a design style, that projects the brand personality and in turn will attract the right type of clientele. They will know exactly how they will feel and the level of service they will receive. You wouldn’t expect to walk into an elegant, refined, high end establishment such as The Ritz to see it designed using hip funky colours and wacky furniture with waiters on roller skates.

London, England | Claridge's Lobby

– the refined lobby of Claridge’s

I’m sure that has a large bearing on how a customer feels (and spends!) in a hospitality industry environment?

This could make or break them. Not being clear on who they are (the brand personality), on the level of service they offer and being able to clearly and consistently show this whether it be their interiors, standard of service, their website through to their marketing literature.

Confuse the customer as to what service is on offer, or trying to be everything to everyone, and  they’ll just stay away.

Is there a typical colour scheme for a restaurant, or does it vary according to what the space is trying to achieve?

This is down to the personality of the restaurant. For example, are they aimed at children, a traditional ‘gentleman’s club’, elegant fine dining or maybe minimalist, cutting edge. Each has a clear personality aimed at a different clientele and the colours and design would reflect this.

–the blue ceiling in this American diner would not be recommended to stimulate hungry customers

Norman on Ramsay

August 27, 2009

Phil Norman, ASID recently gave his take on Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at The London in West Hollywood. He admired the mix of traditional materials with a modern edge, the use of lighting as a design tool, and the traditional style seating.

He summed up the design as ‘Hollywood Glamour with Modern Elegance’. references has shortlists of products for commercial and contract interiors, to make the product sourcing task easier for professional specifiers.


Restaurant seating