The UK’s foodservice industry is increasingly competitive, with economic uncertainty and wavering consumer confidence causing concerns. Despite this, household spending on restaurants increased by 4.9% in 2016 in contrast with an overall drop in consumer spending.
When money is tight, people want to make sure their discretionary spending is used wisely. In order to maximise the likelihood of them choosing your business to spend their hard-earned money in, you need to make sure it stands out.
Obviously, serving great food is at the top of the list of priorities, but design and décor are a huge part in making a visit to a restaurant memorable. Indeed, a well-designed restaurant can encourage customers to assist in advertising it, leveraging the trend of sharing pictures of impressive meals on social media.
Another trend that has been growing in recent years is for theatre kitchens. This is the ideal solution for locations with limited space, allowing them to make the most of what they have, although it comes with challenges of its own in terms of design. Commercial kitchen equipment is, for all its benefits, not what you could describe as “conventionally pretty”.
When it has to be installed in public facing locations, the two main approaches have been to conceal it, or embrace it. Refrigerated and frozen under counter cabinets are ideal for the first approach, while equipment like wine towers or meat-aging coldrooms are a practical yet stylish method of storing ingredients in full view of diners.
Now there is a third way, that of camouflage. Chameleon is Williams’ new vinyl wrapping service that allows operators to personalise their equipment, which opens up new possibilities for integrating it into the overall design of your restaurant. Using a special food-safe material, it can be printed with any colour or design required and can be used to cover almost any model in Williams’ extensive product range. It can even be textured to create a more realistic finish if required.
The possibilities are almost limitless. Instead of the doughty stainless steel, fridges could be a beautiful classical white marble. You could have brick effect undercounter freezer drawers, or even wooden planks. If you already have a theme you’d like to incorporate your equipment into, it’s as simple as providing Williams with the design. Alternatively, Williams can create the graphics in-house, or match any Pantone colour.
Simple yet powerful innovations like Chameleon offers enormous flexibility to foodservice operators when it comes to designing their workspaces. A leopard may not be able to change its spots, but changing your fridge into a leopard has never been simpler!