Inside the Brain of Architect & Designer, Steve Starr

Recently I had the pleasure of working with the design team at starrdesign in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was impressed by the initial meetings, their space, and most importantly, their thinking. I had some time to pull together some questions for…


The Curious Case of Value Engineering

Controlling costs is critical when it comes to restaurant design and construction. Without the proper checks and balances, projects can go off the rails and budgets can reach astronomical proportions. However, too many budgetary limitations can have…


Retrofit, Remodel or Renovation?

Refreshing a restaurant is like updating old recipes: some need a dash of salt, while others require the addition of entirely new ingredients. As time passes, any establishment can benefit from a redo — no matter the scale. For restaurant…


The Operational Impact of Local Sourcing

Mention the phrase “farm to table” and it conjures up images of white-tablecloth chefs bringing in unusual, high-end agricultural products from artisanal growers. But today, operators in virtually all segments of the industry, including…


How to Grow in the New Economy

One measurement of a restaurant’s success is the return on investment (ROI), which is simply the measure (per period) of the rate of return on the money invested.  In the restaurant world, we’re looking at comparing the total capital expenditure to…


Technology: A brand-driver or necessary evil?

Mobile and online services are a staple in today's world. Technology can improve the customer experience, as well as increase an operation's efficiency. Allowing your guests to view menus, place orders and read nutritional information while at home…


Construction costs on the rise: How to mitigate the risk

It’s an unavoidable fact: Construction costs have steadily been on the rise. And with fewer qualified subcontractors available per project, the supply is simply lower than demand. During the recession, subs in particular got hit hard. And those that…


Five Packaging Trends for 2016

Sarah Pike, Art Director Product packaging can take on a variety of innovative forms designed to resonate with different types of consumers. Today’s trends still rely on the basic function of product delivery, but they have also evolved with the…


How to use your restaurant design to tell your 'real food story'

Intentional food sourcing has been a significant trend in the restaurant industry for the past several years. As menu ingredient origins grew in importance to consumers, restaurateurs began to pay more attention to where their food was coming from,…


Update: RedEye Diner is coming to the Epicentre to feed you

As a reminder, the people behind Midnight Diner in South End have decided to open a new location in the EpiCentre (in the old La Tagliatella spot next to Mortimer’s) and are calling it RedEye Diner. Perfect. Eddie South, the current GM of Midnight…


Trend: Incorporating Fire in Design

“Everyone is drawn to fire,” says Tim Byres, the executive chef and partner of Smoke in Plano, Texas. “Everyone has memories of fire, so there’s a nostalgia element to it.” There’s always been fire in pizza and barbecue restaurants, but now more…


Franchising and growth: Expanding into non-traditional spaces

In the restaurant world, it’s vital to remain active and growing. Without an ongoing corporate culture focused on expansion, you’ll quickly get outpaced. But as restaurants expand, executives are forced to address the problem of limited A-list real…