Family-friendly restaurant chain Giraffe has a reputation for providing high quality, delicious food in a vibrant and modern setting.
Giraffe is the brainchild of Russel Joffe and his wife Juliette, who had previously operated the popular Bistroquet and Café Flo establishments in Camden and together with life-long friend Andrew Jacobs set up their first site in Hampstead. The restaurants are now located all across the UK, with locations in Aberdeen and Manchester, all the way through to Portsmouth and Bristol.
Director of Giraffe Concepts Ltd, Andrew Jacobs, said:
“Giraffe is a collaborative concept that was first conceived in 1998 by Russel, Juliette and myself. We were sat on the beach talking about businesses that we would like to create and came up with Giraffe – a quirky, family-friendly restaurant that provides fresh and delicious food from all around the world.
“The original idea behind the chain was to offer food from all over the world with music from all over the world. We believed that this would create both a vibrant atmosphere and facilitate the informal yet professional service, together with freshly-cooked food and competitive prices, marking Giraffe out from all of the other restaurants.
“It is an innovative concept that is constantly adapting to ensure that everyone can enjoy the Giraffe experience. For instance, our decision to implement all day dining – breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week – was virtually unheard of in 1998.
“Although we have an excellent reputation as a family based restaurant, Giraffe is also keen to attract an evening clientele. As a result, several of our restaurants have undergone refurbishment projects in order to attract a more mature market – for instance those visiting after work or who are on a big night out.
“We provide our diners with a delicious, healthy menu and there truly is something there for everyone, from coffee to salad to a three-course meal. Most importantly, the service is always delivered with a smile.”
There are currently 46 Giraffe restaurants in the UK, each offering one of five unique dining experiences to suit the local market: Giraffe, Giraffe Bar & Grill, The Giraffe Café, Giraffe Stop and Giraffe Burgers & Cocktails.
In July 2011, the original Giraffe restaurant in Hampstead was refurbished in order to make it more appealing for the cosmopolitan adult market and was transformed into The Giraffe Café. The group’s trademark orange branding was toned down and replaced with a more natural and earthy design which features original brickwork and maps of the world, whilst the food offering was updated to include a more sophisticated all-day menu.
Another very recent addition to the ever-evolving Giraffe chain is their first quick-service restaurant – Giraffe Stop – at King’s Cross Station’s new concourse, which opened on 19th March 2012. The new brand extension serves takeaway food on-the-go including burgers, hot-dogs and soup whilst also featuring some seating for eating in.
Leading commercial interior shopfitters Interiors UK have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the Giraffe chain since 2009.The company works predominantly within the restaurant, retail and leisure industry and their clients include: The Restaurant Group, Gondola Group, Jamie Oliver, Rocket, Yo Sushi and AB Hotels.
Angus Gregory of Interiors UK, the main contractor for Giraffe Stop said:
“Every Giraffe restaurant is different, depending on the location. For instance, the aim of the King’s Cross Station project was to create a restaurant that catered for a quick turnaround – people come here to buy food and take it out. However, for other projects – including the recently-completed Giraffe Bar & Grill in Leeds – we have created restaurants or a restaurant bar and grill, which are more evening-based or focused around an all-day offer. This has enabled the Giraffe chain to tap into both the more mature and the stop-and-go markets.
“The King’s Cross project was particularly challenging because it was an environment in which we were a small element within a very large construction project. We therefore had to work around a number of obstacles, particularly with regards to security and deliveries – which had to be booked in advance, arrive at exactly the right time and be unloaded into the unit at the right time. However, despite these challenges the project progressed well and we are very pleased with what we have managed to achieve.
“We have a lot of experience in completing fit-outs for restaurants. So far all of the projects that we have completed for Giraffe have been very interesting and each one is special in its own right. One of my personal favourites is the Giraffe in Bath, which has a very up-to-the-minute design and a lot of exciting finishes. For instance, there is a first-floor mezzanine level that gives the restaurant a much greater feeling of space. Interestingly, there are also different views of the restaurant from different areas of the restaurant.
“Another quirky site is the Giraffe Bar & Grill in Soho, which features a warm and inviting environment with lots of reclaimed finishes. Whilst some features remain constant throughout the Giraffe developments – for instance the striking signage, funky music and delicious food – the wide array of different finishes keeps each Giraffe establishment unique. For us, that’s what makes working on the Giraffe projects so enjoyable.”
Interiors UK works closely with architects Harrison Design to ensure that each project meets the high standards set out by Giraffe, as Angus Gregory explained:
“We begin every project with the aim of maximising the effect whilst minimising the cost. When working with Harrison Design, we spend a lot of time value engineering: we formulate an ideal scheme, then work backwards from this to create a programme that incurs the correct budget whilst maintaining as much of the original scheme as possible.
“We create the maximum ‘wow’ effect for the best possible value.”
Kevin Grima of Harrison Design added:
“We are extremely pleased to be involved with the Giraffe chain, as they have a very different way of doing things. As a company we enjoy working with people that are very passionate and Giraffe are certainly passionate about what they do.
“One project that Harrison Design has recently been involved with is the Giraffe in Sheffield, which is located in The Oasis Food Court within the Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
“The development is split on two levels, with a bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the first floor, and features a retro 60’s vibe with a mixture of industrial and raw materials. The wide pallet of materials includes: blackened steel, oak, plied wood, mosaic tiles and sandblasted reclaimed timbers.
“This was an extremely challenging project as the restaurant is split over two levels: the concourse is in one half of the unit, whilst the other half goes down by 900mm. Usually units are on one level, so trying to achieve a visual link between the two areas was a challenge.
“As with all Giraffe restaurants, the graphics are very strong and the materials are vibrant and fresh. We are extremely pleased with the end product.”
The latest edition to the restaurant chains portfolio is Giraffe Bar & Grill which opened in Leeds on 31st March 2012. Located in the heart of the dining district on Greek Street, the restaurant is spread over two floors and will serve up delicious breakfasts through to dinner, whilst boasting an extensive wine and cocktail menu.
Angus Gregory explained why their relationship with Giraffe works so well, adding:
“I think we understand what they want to achieve and what is important to them, and we work very hard to make sure that we deliver.
“As a company we are very excited to work with a client that understands their market. Giraffe are also very passionate about design, which is the element that we are most interested in. The chain has an endless supply of fresh designs and ideas, which we are more than happy to develop and realise.
“One of the most enjoyable things about working with Giraffe is their respect for the hard work that we put in. They don’t suffer fools, but they are the first people to be there thanking you when you’ve done a good job – which for us is everything.”
Catering Projects specialise in the design, supply and installation of commercial kitchens for many high street eateries and clients include Nando’s, Giraffe, Byron Burgers, TRG, Butlins and YO! Sushi.
Catering Projects also specialise in fast track work and can install a full commercial kitchen within 4 weeks. The company undertakes special attendances in airports and railways and has a projected turnover of £5 million.
Working from its modern offices in Barlborough, they employ a staff of 14, have a 3D CAD kitchen designer amongst its team and invests in 3D Inventor drawing.
Most of the company’s work is generated from word of mouth and Catering Projects takes pride in the relationships that it builds up with its clients.
Phillips Decorators Ltd
Phillips Decorators Ltd are an experienced commercial decorating company that provides decorating services to industrial and retail sectors throughout the UK. The company completes work in a prompt and professional manner and offers competitive quotes.
For Giraffe, Phillips Decorators Ltd provides specialist interior decoration works.
Phillips Decorators Ltd Contracts Manager, Ian Rabbetts, said:
“Our works completed on over 24 Giraffe restaurants include spraying, emulsion work to ceilings and walls and installing decorative murals. We love working on Giraffe restaurants. They are a well known brand with a very high profile and to be associated with them is something that we take very seriously.”
K & K Commercial Plumbers
K & K Commercial Plumbers are a plumbing and gas specialist with over 25 years in the restaurant industry. The company provides services to many high-profile eateries including Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Garfunkel’s, Nando’s and La Tasca.
K & K Commercial Plumbers has completed first-fix and plumbing services in four Giraffe restaurants. This also includes installing sanitary equipment and waste facilities at each site.
K & K Commercial Plumbers Managing Director, Keith Sellars, said:
“We’re very reliable and we always complete our work on time and within budget.”
APT Security Ltd
APT Security Ltd is a leading security provider that specialise in electronic security systems. The company is NSI Approved and designs, supplies and installs an extensive range of security products including intruder alarms, CCTV, fire alarms and access control systems.
Working for Giraffe, APT Security Ltd has designed, installed and commissioned their fire alarms, CCTV and intruder alarm systems. The company also handles the ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the systems.
APT Security Ltd has worked with Giraffe ever since it opened its second site in 1999 and is proud of its long-standing working relationship with the restaurant chain.
APT Security Ltd Director, Gary Carter, said:
“Working with Giraffe is very important to us. We work on several restaurants each year and it’s always a pleasure to be involved with their next site. At APT Security Ltd, we offer a one-stop shop for security solutions. We provide high-quality installations along with an excellent after-sales service, which is why our customers remain with us for years.”
JSB Interiors specialise in the manufacture and installation of bespoke fixed and free-standing furniture for bars, restaurants, airports and leisure facilities. With over 65 years combined experience in the trade JSB Interiors comprises a close knit team of skilled professionals including a number of in-house upholsterers and joiners.
JSB Interiors supplies furniture and upholstery services to a wide range of clients across the UK including: Harrods, Yo Sushi, Carluccio’s, Marks & Spencer and Panasonic. For Giraffe JSB Interiors provides the restaurant with fixed and free-standing seating.
JSB Interiors Company Partner Scott Borrows, said:
“Our clients are always after specialist furniture so when customers walk into one of their restaurants they know exactly where they are. Giraffe is no different and with a very vibrant style we’re very proud to be associated with the restaurant chain.
“Our work is second to none and we are confident that we complete each project to the highest standard.”