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doesn’t deliver. In recent years the hospitality landscape has changed and our Clients’ design briefs have changed too. Customers expect more and existing sites have to up their game. At ZMMA our recent projects, since the recession kicked in, have increasingly included Clients briefing us to revisit existing, successful outlets to increase their turnover. This is also about brand-building and re-invigorating a good formula to make it better still. But it’s distinctly not an invitation for a big spend or for an extravagant concept. As designers we’re used to roll-out


T


programmes for new branches, we’re also used to developing new concepts for new ventures and of course we love those major design projects for one-off new restaurants, bars and hotels. To support our Clients we’ve developed a new passion: how to transform the look and operation of an existing brand and its branches - on a shoe-string. Slim budgets don’t mean thin results: it’s about looking hard at how to deliver the most for the least and it’s something that’s become part of our daily inspiration.


hese are tough times for operators. Tough times need action at the cliff-face. As the competition steps up, standing still just


I recently gave a talk at Hospitality 2011 at


the NEC about how, as designers, we can help our Clients make substantial improvements in business and profitability through low-cost, focused changes to their premises. I explained that this is not about design for design’s sake - it’s about exploring a business’s values, looking at where it wants to go and helping it project its culture and personality into the market. I wanted to share our experience - with designers and operators alike - because I believe there is real value for all of us in helping hospitality businesses thrive through ingenious, frugal design. I used our recent work for Feng Sushi, a


boutique sushi chain in London, as a case study. We originally developed Feng Sushi’s look some years ago and rolled out a number of branches to support their growth - at a gentle pace of one every year or so - in key neighbourhoods: Notting Hill, South Bank, Camden Town, Kensington, Borough Market, to build on the founding branch’s success in Fulham. Now we have just finished revitalising the whole group across London. The sushi market in London grew much faster


than Feng Sushi did and serious competitors have become firmly established in the meantime. 


Improve your restaurant business through design...


small 40 GS MAGAZINE


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