Archive | February, 2010

Good restaurant design reflects customer preferences

In a tight economy Americans are still dining out, but less often. That trend has heated competition among restaurants, and a smart interior and exterior design plays a key role in ratcheting up the dining experience and capturing competitive advantage.

Successful restaurant owners are defining the markets they serve by seeking grassroots ways to determine what their customers want. How? By asking them. Are they comfortable while dining? Is the décor pleasing? Is the noise level appropriate? How’s the food, the service, the overall ambiance?

Customers are usually approachable and will offer their take on the dining experience at your establishment. And they also may give you valuable feedback on what they like and don’t like about the design of other eateries they frequent.

If you’re creating a new restaurant, your competition can be helpful by providing opportunities to observe successful design in action. Evaluate what elements are working or not working for them and determine how you can turn what you learn into competitive advantage.

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Incorporating cultural design elements into tribal gaming venues

Whether to get into the gaming business is one of the largest economic decisions a tribal organization can make. The choice of design and construction partners to plan and complete the project will depend on many factors. But professionals who deal effectively and sensitively with cultural aspects in designing a tribe’s gaming venue will likely gain competitive advantage for new and repeat projects.

Native American cultures incorporate natural elements, colors, textures and animal lore. Different tribes may favor different animal totems and each has its own prohibitions on elements used in design and decor. For one Pacific Northwest tribe, feathers, or their stylistic representation, must never touch the ground. This prohibition would play a role when designers select floor coverings for a gaming or other tribal venue.

Working with tribal organizations requires designers to hone their listening skills and do exacting research. Successful projects can hinge on accurate reflections of a tribe’s cultural heritage in design strategies.

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