Dining & Designing I: Decoding the Drama

Restaurants and cafes are about the food and beverages, period.

We have enough examples around us to prove that the product at an eatery being sublime allows for other factors to be rather inconsequential. One would naively assume that to be the case if we just glanced at the anecdotal evidence around us. Yet, the restaurant industry sees as many heartbreaks as the last semester of college.

When we believe that food or product is the only defining factor at your favourite eatery, we miss the details that go into making your evenings memorable. Think of iconic restaurants, ones that have remained unchanged for decades serving the same dishes in the same setting with the same staff – the inertia is almost palatable. Yet, the queues just don’t get shorter with time.

You could say “it’s just the food”, and that would be a rather myopic analysis. An iconic place whilst being anachronistic allows us to experience nostalgia, something that a modern restaurant may never offer. We must realise that the great customer experience there lies beyond food, in the neural connection with this place and its feeling of timelessness, the comfort that some good things never change. 

It is challenging to rival that legacy and history by trying to apply a formula without its context. Hence restaurants today, have to do a bit more to compete than just put good food on the table – they too have to create lasting neural connections with their customers.

Great design allows you to do just that.

Our surroundings largely impact our experience of it all – primarily food. Many a times this is aided by an alcoholic beverage.

We orchestrate the environment to allow the guest to emote, maybe even elicit a visible reaction every time they come to dine with you.

This production quality dining experience isn’t a matter of chance – it’s the result of carefully curating all moments that matter your guest could have while dining with you. 

When you wander (based on the anecdotes I hear) into the business of gastronomy, you seldom realize the entirety of this orb about to engulf you. You find yourself surviving (and thriving) if you have the right set of tools to deal with the facile judgments that guests throw your way. This toolbox includes partners and experts working in tandem to create a splendid tapestry of your visions. An able architect/interior designer, a creative creative agency, and fearless professionals in gastronomy are just the prerequisites to stitch your vision together.

Now you may feel you’ve got a plan of what you need to do to create value. Well, do we know what value is really?

I’d anoint it as creating a connection worthy of nostalgia.

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