Designers are used to, and welcome, critiques. How would we know if what we create is successful? How would we know to make improvements on a design the second time around, if we’re lucky to get those second chances? Designing for the for clients that rely on success in all areas to maintain their livelihood is daunting, exciting, inspiring and a blessing all wrapped in a large package, called a restaurant. More often than not, the client isn’t the person who will sit down and take the time to leave the comment card on your work – that testimony comes as return phone calls for the future locations. The rubber meets the road on the internet, at the multiple websites that populate customer reviews on the food – most importantly – but sometimes designs are validated when the interior made enough of an impression for them to leave a comment for us (indirectly) as well. One of the comments below (all from Yelp.com) about the first location I worked on was not what I expected, as we’re not paid to create ‘dives’ according to building codes and health department rules, but it made me smile nonetheless. The design created lively banter and therefore the restaurant interior had an impact on the most important client – the customer.
“The only thing DH and I disagreed on was the restaurant itself. I liked it and thought the atmosphere was fresh and modern without kitsch, while DH likes to eat his barbeque in a dive. But in any case, we look forward to going back!”
“The dining room was classier than your average hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint and was very clean.”
“Nice facility as well. Great experience!”
“The nicest thing about this barbeque joint is the not only the food, but the welcoming atmosphere. It is delicious, well-decorated, and clean.”
“A nice looking building and interior.”
“The space at the VA Center strip mall is a bit more cramped and skinnier than their open and airy Midlothian spot, but they feature a large window that allows patrons to see their meat being smoked in the gigantic smokers on property.”