HVAC & Air Quality

Selection and installation of effective, efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems is expensive and not exactly sexy compared to other key elements of restaurant design, but it’s among the most critical to get right. 

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In the world of restaurant design, lighting is truly a universe unto itself, both in its ability to create ambience and in the sheer number and pace of game-changing design and technical innovations. It’s one product category in particular in which even the most skilled architects and designers routinely call on specially trained experts for help. A designer with specific expertise in lighting brings deep knowledge of all of the options and systems available to projects — options that go well beyond fixture style and performance basics to include holistic, artistic, integrated, smart lighting design that makes your restaurant, your food and your customers truly shine.

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Outdoor Furnishings

FIVE MINUTES WITH: Robert Polacek, Puccini Group

Space for a patio has become a big site-selection criterion for restaurants — and with good reason. They’re an absolute win-win: Guests adore wining and dining al fresco, and operators love the additional revenue opportunities that outdoor spaces provide. Robert Polacek, chief creative officer at San Francisco-based Puccini Group, says that while ground-level patios are terrific if space allows, many clients are looking up to create signature rooftop dining spaces. Many of the same design and furnishing challenges apply to both ground-level and rooftop spaces, but the latter have a few unique considerations to keep in mind.

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Restroom Fixtures & Equipment

They may not be revenue-generating spaces, but restrooms — their aesthetics, cleanliness and general state of repair — are big contributors to guests’ impressions of the overall restaurant experience. Discount their importance, and you risk losing customers and gaining negative reviews even if your food and service are top-notch.

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Signage and Menu Boards

Part art, part science, menu boards and signage serve as important communication tools in a restaurant — QSR and fast-casual operations, in particular.

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Wall Coverings

Mirrors or murals? Wallpaper, wood or whitewashed brick? Paint or panels? When it comes to deciding what to put on restaurant walls, there’s no shortage of attractive choices, from simple to sensational. And given the amount of exposed surface area that walls in most restaurants offer up, opportunities to get creative with treatments and finishes that set an operation apart are limitless.

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Current Issue

rd+d September/October Magazine Cover