Think of your cafe as a person
The cycle of influence or trend movements is an interesting one. Remember when offices were just desks, chairs and maybe a personal light at your desk? Suddenly pingpong tables and hot desk design became the norm, and now you're lucky if you even have a personal drawer, but remember, you do have a pingpong table and an uber cool cafe, so that makes up for the lack of personal space and privacy.
Cafes are now designed in Melbourne. When I first arrived from NYC via London, I was acutely aware of the sense of pampering people sought in hospitality. The ideas of a bathroom being outside the building, and paying a premium for dinner seemed wrong but it was normal here. I needed to adapt to my new world. Happily in the 10 years that have quickly elapsed, cafes and restaurants are pulling up their socks and even paying design firms to create spaces we all dream of, with bathrooms in the building.
At long last romance is returning to the hospitality industry with welcoming, and even sexy interior architecture and design. Melbourne has been obsessed with an endless cycles of Danish design with its clean, and at times, overly sterile interiors. People want a hug when they come to your cafe. They want to feel the love. There is a glut of amazing coffee spots with entertaining baristas who will happily supply your morning fix. But we've graduate to the big leagues of hospitality design (that is, caring about the space and knowing that a professional will help improve the business on multiple levels). You need to think about creating a design that is filled with your cafe's personality.
How? Think of the space as a person. What does this person want to tell people? How do they want to say it? How do they want guests to feel? Do you want people to linger a long time or quickly leave? When designing a restaurant bring your awareness to the coming trends rather than those that are currently consuming everyone's frontal lobe. You don't want to invest in a design that will be dated before you open. Look at how people will move through the space. Create a personality for your cafe and look to the future and see where current trends are developing. The goal is to create a classical restaurant that will transcend time and become the local everyone wants to return to.
Slowfood in Europe would recognise great restaurant food providers with their logo if they did not rush people to leave. The ideas is to slow down and enjoy life. Give your guests lots of love through the design, great food and service and they will repay it tenfold with years of loyalty.
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