Shea Links: December

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news. It helps us keep tabs on what’s fresh, inspiring, and happening in the world—and we make a few headlines of our own, too. Here are some recent articles delving into design, experience, and what’s buzzing in our community:

“The Status of Outdoor Dining Across the Country” – Eater:
As part of their “New Normal” series, Eater examines the longevity of the sidewalk pods, parklets, and patios that boomed during the pandemic. Diners are still keen to eat outdoors (even as temperatures drop), but cities are starting to reconsider the temporary ordinances that they put in place to help restaurants pull through COVID. In urban neighborhoods, these outdoor structures inhibit accessibility, and safety is a concern as well. The story looks at several cities (including New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco) and how they’re trying to more permanently incorporate these facets into their landscapes, with parklets seeming to be the most potentially successful in the long term.

“After Covid Closures, a New Quest to Make Offices Less Awful” – Wall Street Journal:
The Wall Street Journal looks at how offices are drawing employees back—with the usual tactics, including upgraded amenities and food offerings, but also coordination software and newly renovated spaces. More and more companies are transforming their offices into sets of conference areas for meetings and brainstorms, upping their allocation of space devoted to collaboration. Others have moved to brand-new buildings or done total renovations to reflect a more employee-centric ethos. Open and airy are key words for new designs, with natural light and biophilic elements taking center stage to transform offices into places where people want to be.

“The 7 Restaurant Industry Trends You Need to Know in 2022” – FSR:
More than just a listicle, this piece dives into the consumer trends that will drive restaurant ethos and revenue alike in 2022. The FSR story looks at how the dine-in experience has evolved to become a totally transformational one that engages diners any way it can, while creating a special experience for to-go orders is also imperative. The article talks new tech and creating effective outdoor spaces, as well as the labor challenges and tipping trends that will be top of mind in the years to come.

“Shea Ink: Winter 2021” – Shea:
The latest edition of Shea Ink, featuring Chocolatetown at Hersheypark, Edina Country Club, Green Mill, The Copperfield, and more

“Top Stories of 2021” – VMSD:
VMSD breaks down the most important retail news of the year, as the pandemic wound down and supply chain and labor issues ramped up. The piece sums up what happened with the supply chain this year, as well as the final downfall of Sears stores and the increase in delivery and pickup technology at stores of all types. Target gets a nod for its superstar status through Covid, while a slew of brands declared bankruptcy.

“The Big Rethink in Foodservice Space Allocation” – Foodservice Equipment & Supplies:
With retail and service strategies changing more—and faster—than ever, space allocation is shifting in foodservice. While dining rooms used to take up a large percentage of restaurant spaces, fresh thinking and new ideas mean that more space needs to shift to back-of-house order fulfillment and front-of-house retail. With the rise in mobile ordering, restaurant exteriors have changed to create pickup spaces and, when applicable, more drive-thru lanes. Inside, it’s a careful balance of kitchen efficiency and customer experience, as brands continue to try to attract new diners with an experience-driven ethos, while also trying to increase kitchen output. Creating gathering spaces that are warm and welcoming, even while devoting more space to hidden food prep, is key. And when it comes to corporate and university dining, creating more pickup spaces as guests become accustomed to mobile ordering is the future.

“Shea Named a NEWH Top ID Firm for 2022” – Shea:
The announcement of NEWH’s 2022 Top ID Firms, including a nod to Shea for design leadership and excellence in hospitality design

“Restaurant Design Trends After COVID: Flexibility, Safety, and the ‘Instagrammable Moment’” – FSR:
FSR looks at a study showing that the majority of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for the peace of mind of knowing the safety and cleanliness practices in the restaurants where they’re eating, bringing up new questions about design and striking the balance between practicality and functionality. In the long term, that’s looking like creating dining rooms with modular elements that allow for a lot of flexibility and adaptability, with options to add or reduce tables as needed. Hybrid concepts incorporating grocery have been key to helping many restaurants survive, and bring new design elements into play. The piece looks at how several concepts across the country have incorporated flexibility into their spaces, as well as layering design elements to create memorable design moments that will help draw customers.

“Specifying Windows and Doors for Restaurants” – Restaurant Development + Design:
Restaurant Development + Design goes deep on specifications for restaurant windows and doors, which serve as the initial touch point and first impression for establishments. It’s not just about features that are consistent with the interior design; windows are doors need to complement a building’s architecture, and of course be in compliance with building codes. This piece looks at different types of doors and windows, as well as available variety in materials, trends, and purchasing considerations for designers to take when specifying.

“Khaluna Called Out as a 2021 Top Twin Cities Design” – Shea:
As part of their 2021 dining wrapup package (a group of stories packed with Shea clients), the Star Tribune has featured Khaluna as one of the Twin Cities’ best-designed spaces of the year