Show highlights at the recent Casual Dining Show included the winners of Casual Dining’s prestigious Design Awards. Reflecting the importance of design in conveying brand identity, creating ambiance, and ultimately attracting and retaining customers, the awards highlighted the abundance of creativity at work in today’s casual dining establishments. The shortlist included selected interior design projects from thirty-nine finalists.
Under the chairmanship of leading design commentator David Worthington, chairman of Designersblock and H&M Group, the judges were Afroditi Krassa, founder of Afroditi Krassa Design, who was commissioned by Julian Metcalfe to design the Itsu brand; Theo Williams, creative director of Designed and Sourced, and former head of design at John Lewis Home; and Simon Kincaid, associate director of Conran and Partners. They applauded the number of exciting award entries, commenting that they had inspired much debate among the panel.
Best Designed Independent Restaurant winner: Graze Bar, Brewery & Chophouse in Bath, operated by Bath Ales, designed by Simple Simon Designs (pictured top) – “It looks great, stylish, welcoming,” said the judges.
Highly commended for its “integrity and creativity”: Rosa’s Thai Café, London (operated by Rosa’s London Limited, designed by Gundry And Duckers/Buro Creative).
Best Designed Multiple Restaurant winner: Vapiano (above) with sites in Austria and Germany, operated by Vapiano Franchising International GmbH, designed by Matthew Thun, Milan – singled out by the judges as a brand that “works anywhere in the world”, they praised its “integrity of concept, and application to site”.
Highly commended for its “strength of brand”: Chilango, London (operated by Chilango, designed by I-AM Associates).
Best Designed Casual Dining Pub winner: No 11 Pimlico Road, London (above), operated by Darwin & Wallace, designed by Buro Creative/Fusion DNA – “Classy, fresh and considered” said the judges, they also praised its “careful selection of simple but classic fittings”.
Highly commended for its “excellent architecture”: Hall & Woodhouse, Portishead, Somerset (operated by Hall & Woodhouse Ltd, designed by Mackenzie Wheeler).
Casual Dining (including the Design Awards and Innovation Challenge Live) will return to the Business Design Centre, Islington, London, on 25-26 February 2015.
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