Fast casual restaurants have found a sweet spot in the market by making the dine-in experience fresh again. Millennials flock to restaurants with Instagram-worthy wall murals and swoon over graphic tiles, but creating a dining experience that is memorable, especially within the fast casual segment, takes more than that.
That memorable experience takes more than pretty tile, it means comfort, craft, and consistency. Those key elements create a differentiating experience for the fast casual segment. Meaning, consumers not only value quality but want an enjoyable atmosphere.
So, how can furniture be used to create a memorable experience and returning customers while also proving to be a worthwhile investment? Here are three furniture qualities that differentiate a fast casual space.
Fast Casual Restaurant Design Rule #1: Comfort
The customer is the most important factor in any fast casual restaurant design. Comfort is one of the key elements of an amazing experience. Consider how long you want your customer to stay around and linger. Wooden chairs offer up a level of warmth and when paired with upholstery, can lend itself to a longer sit time. Metal chairs are inherently colder and appear more rigid and will likely result in a shorter sit time, which could be a good thing depending on your business model.
Fast Casual Restaurant Design Rule #2: Craft
Great design creates a narrative between the consumer and the brand, and furniture can add a lot to that dialogue. Finding pieces that make an emotional connection is crucial. Specifying chairs and tables that showcase craftsmanship, whether it is through the wood grain table top texture, the upholstery details, or exposed welds on a chair—those details really add to a space’s overall design. Exploring different materials within furniture gives it that hand-made touch that feels special.
When we make oiled wood tops for a beloved Chicago pizza chain, it creates a tactile experience that adds to the ambiance. It adds to the collection of subtle details that help create a welcoming, warm, and inviting space that keeps customers coming back time and time again.
Fast Casual Restaurant Design Rule #3: Consistency
As brands scale, they need a supplier that can consistently produce on time and with consistent quality. The chain business model is centered on growth and development, so brands need a furniture partner that can scale up and grow with the business. This includes value-engineering capabilities and, if needed, custom product development. Bespoke chairs are great, but can they be mass produced in a timely manner?
Furniture is an investment, and your furniture partner needs to meet your quality standards and strength expectations, with every order. Finding a partner with strict strength standards, like BIFMA, will minimize maintenance costs overtime and reduce the possibilities of a chair breaking while in use.
By focusing on elements like comfort, craft, and consistency, you’ll be able to create a fast casual restaurant experience that customers will not only love, but that will differentiate from your competitors.
To see more fast casual products, download our price list to find the product that fits your fast casual needs.
Featured Image: alfred coffee