Shea Links: May

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:

“Pushing the Limits of Limited Service” – Foodservice Equipment & Supplies:
As restaurants continue to try to best serve customers post-pandemic, FES examines how the void of closed restaurants will be filled, in no small part by limited-service restaurants that thrived during the last year and are looking to expand. In terms of geography, restaurants are migrating farther from city centers, and those closed locations in downtown cores may be slow to refill. With more spread, restaurants can expect daily service peaks that are longer and less intense, but the labor crisis in restaurants will continue to grow due to a higher minimum wage and an exodus of hospitality workers during 2020. Restaurants will also need to rethink equipment and technology, designing for higher efficiency and drive-thru and pickup space for carryout and third-party delivery. Finally, the piece looks at the return to dining rooms, and how it will impact quick-service restaurants.

“Designing for the Future” – Shea:
A new thought and research piece from Shea, detailing how we’re working as industry leaders and looking towards future years of design in all aspects of hospitality, workplace, retail, and club.

“How Restaurant Design Will Change Post-Pandemic” – Fortune:
Digging into how both outdoor and indoor restaurant design will shift in years to come, this Fortune article notes that, just as the 1918 influenza pandemic brought about new materials and procedures, the 2020 one will also have a lasting impact on public spaces. People’s personal bubbles have become larger, and designers need to take that into account when creating spaces, allowing more square feet per person than previously and building in more privacy features without letting restaurants feel empty. Flexibility will remain key, so spaces can adapt to any future conditions, and guests’ thresholds for when they’ll dine outside are higher than ever, and what qualifies as an “outdoor dining space” has shifted—so restaurants can capitalize for longer on their sidewalks, patios, and rooftops.

“The Rise of the Destination-Worthy, Hospitality-Influenced Workplace” – Work Design:
While many workers are eager to get back to the everyday grind, a large proportion will need to be enticed back to the office. This piece looks at how companies and buildings are planning to do that by way of intentional design that makes coming into the office more appealing than working from home—tips that designers should take into account when creating new office spaces. Taking cues from hotel and hospitality design, workplaces can achieve this goal by forgoing excess formality with casual gathering areas, prioritizing “we” spaces for communal interaction, bringing the workplace outside with outdoor experiences and work areas, adding standout design features and localization to the space, and creating relaxation areas with different energy levels that make the office more appealing than ever.

“Shea Design Director Speaks on Future Restaurant Design” – Shea:
A Minnesota Monthly interview with Design Director Cori Kuechenmeister, where she speaks on looking towards the future as a thought leader in restaurant design

“What Will Happen to All the Empty Office Buildings and Hotels?” – New York Times:
Focusing on New York, this story looks at the hotels and office buildings that have sat empty over the past year, and examines how the real estate may be used going forward in the event that workers and patrons don’t return. Some speculate that they will become market-rate rentals, with conversions including offices to housing, hotels to housing, and hotels turning into offices for short-term work sessions. The piece examines what kinds of buildings can be most easily converted, what the benefits are, and how developers and architects are going about making the big changes to maximum effect.

“The Post-COVID Grocer” – Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal:
This Business Journal piece dives into the Twin Cities grocery market after the last year, which saw huge sales but also a rise in costs of implementing infrastructure to handle growing e-commerce demands. Walmart and Target have taken over the grocery market’s top spots, but the article addresses local brands, including Lunds & Byerlys, which is on track for its 12th consecutive year of market-share growth by staying focused on its customers—despite the arrival of newcomers to the market like Hy-Vee and the growth of alternative stores like Fresh Thyme, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi. The piece also looks at trends coming out of the pandemic, and how stores adapted to the rise in e-commerce—plus how bigger stores made grocery an even bigger part of the shopping experience.

“What is a ‘Well’ Workspace, and Why Does It Matter?” – Allwork.Space:
Defined as ones that don’t deplete resources, “well” workspaces are becoming a sought-after “amenity” for companies and building tenants (not to be confused with buildings that follow the WELL Building Standard). Well buildings strive to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible, provide growth opportunities for community members, support the local economy, and be diverse, inclusive, and equitable. This piece focuses on the first point, running down the elements that can constitute an eco-well building, some recent examples of new builds and retrofits, and reasons that developers should make the investment.

“The Great Outdoors: The New Importance of Outdoor Spaces” – Shea:
Our latest Shea-authored How We Create article, detailing how and why outdoor spaces are more important than ever, and how to make them most effective

“The Small Business Administration Announced That Restaurant Revitalization Fund Applications Will Open on May 3” – Nation’s Restaurant News:
This story breaks down how operators can apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund beginning today, with all the links and steps necessary to submit applications (the first three weeks will prioritize businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially/economically disadvantaged peoples, but everyone should apply as soon as possible).