MARKETING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Designing a QSR: Store layout and design

Three leading industry experts share what they consider when designing quick service restaurants.

Melissa Webber, Owner and Creative Director, Holy Cow! Design & Advertising:

We always start with the brand. If it is a start-up, we take our clients through a fantastic brand strategy and design process and then throw ourselves into the development of the visual identity. If it is for an existing QSR chain, we ask ourselves and the client a series of questions about the existing brand and ensure that we have an intimate knowledge of their objectives and their values as an organisation. We then review the visual identity and ensure it is strong and clear and positioned appropriately for success in the market. We then collaborate with the interior designers and work together to deliver a fantastic branded environment.

Mark McConnell, Director, Mima Design:

We tend to design from the back door forwards. In other words we concentrate on the operations first, thinking about how the raw ingredients arrive, how they are stored, how they are processed, how they are served, and then how they are consumed. When we get to the dining area our focus changes more to what the customers needs to experience in relation to the brand we are working with or creating. We work very closely with the operations side of the business, ensuring they are happy with the kitchen layouts because if this isn't working at it's optimum, you don't have a QSR business. Brand management is also really important with QSR business, ensuring a cohesive experience is maintained from location to location. This doesn't mean they have to all be exactly the same, and I'd say the current trend is to buck the 'cookie cutter' approach to restaurant design and try and do something different in each site. I think the best QSR brands are doing this, because within one year your ideas are being replicated by your competitors in my opinion. You have to keep moving on to stay fresh.

Ed Kenny, Director, Giant Design Consultants:

What is your product, who is your competitors and how can we push your concept to make you unique and stand out in the market.

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