Since the first Wagamama restaurant opened in London’s Bloomsbury in 1992, the company has developed an envious reputation for their delicious food and great service. Wagamama is now an award-winning global brand, with accolades including ‘London’s most popular restaurant’ (2006-2010) and ‘official coolbrand’ (2003-2011).
The chain prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients, and their Japanese-inspired menu offers an extensive range of tasty noodles, rice and side dishes. Some of their most popular dishes include deep-fried chicken breast in panko breadcrumbs and the teriyaki steak soba, along with their signature dishes like chilli beef ramen, yaki soba and ginger chicken udon.
Throughout the years, Wagamama has experienced a huge expansion across the globe and the chain now boasts an extensive portfolio of restaurants across the globe – including 71 in the UK alone.
One of their most recent offerings is a stunning new restaurant in the Grade II* listed Regent Hotel, which is located in Leamington town centre. Handed over in June 2012, the restaurant boasts a number of original features – including marble fireplaces, chandeliers, wall panelling and ornate ceilings.
Working within a listed building posed several challenges, as Stephen Gee from G4 Design explained:
“We worked very closely with a conservation officer throughout the project, and it was agreed that we could form some openings through the existing walls to open it out and carry out some structural works. Whilst this enabled us to make the building work for the client, it also facilitated the marrying of the Regency-style building features and the contemporary style that Wagamama is famous for.
“Since we began working with the Wagamama chain on our first project at Camberley, we have noticed subtle variations in their distinctive brand design. For instance, whilst the majority of the restaurants feature fixed seating in a booth and oak bench format, we have begun to introduce free-standing furniture in order to create a more flexible seating arrangement.
“The Cambereley offering, which was completed in October 2010, allowed us to come up with a slightly bolder colour scheme. We also incorporated backs for the seats and seat padding, which was a first for the Wagamama chain. We worked closely with main contractor Crane Interiors to produce a restaurant that we were proud of, and happily this led to more work with the fabulous Wagamama chain.”
Wagamama restaurants can be recognised not just by their delicious food, but by their distinctively simple interior design. Each of the restaurants features trademark oak bench seats, along with a fresh and bright colour scheme.
The chain is also committed to their environmental responsibilities, having already implemented a successful nation-wide Clean Advertising campaign. Further sustainable schemes include the installation of LED lighting and eco-friendly heating and ventilation systems throughout their restaurants.
Whilst the restaurants may vary in location and size, Wagamama’s dedication to providing high quality restaurants for their customers remains constant – as Stephen Gee explained:
“All of the Wagamama restaurants are interesting to work on, and have enjoyed all of the projects we have completed so far. We have particularly enjoyed working with main contractor McGoff & Byrne on the Salford, Cheshire Oaks and Brindley Place developments.
“Wagamama Salford is £700,000 modern new build with the capacity to sit 96 inside covers and 20 outside covers. The 8-week project was completed in November 2011 and has created a top quality restaurant in the heart of the bustling Media City.
“We have also recently completed the new Cheshire Oaks Wagamama. This was a particularly interesting project as we had to transform an existing record store, which involved the installation of new drainage and a new shop front. Furthermore, we were able to incorporate a striking ceiling using angled ceiling rafts that clearly define the space.
“For the Brindley Place Wagamama in Birmingham, we were working within an existing first-floor restaurant. The development already featured a ground floor entrance lobby with staircase access, so our first challenge was to make it more accessible in order to entice customers to enter the restaurant. We achieved this by installing a glass lift, which has really opened up the space and made it feel much more light and airy.
“We are very excited to start working on a new Wagamama at Brayford Wharf in Lincoln. Amazingly, the developer is building a free-standing two-storey building on piles in the water. Set to become a landmark building, the restaurant will feature open decks at ground floor and first floor – along with external seating.
“Our company has been working in the restaurant sector for 15 years, and we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Wagamama in the future.”
Spectrum SG Limited
Spectrum SG Limited is an innovative sign company with extensive experience and expertise
in successfully delivering projects nationwide across all sectors, with particular
focus on the restaurant, leisure and retail industries.
Spectrum offer conceptual design, bespoke sign manufacture and installation of a full range of internal and external sign systems, graphics and display solutions, perfect for
all environments. They also manufacture and install branded café barriers, awnings and parasols, and regularly deliver projects on behalf of Orchid Group, Barracuda Pub Group Ltd and Tragus Group.
Spectrum has worked with Wagamama since 2010, providing the restaurant chain with survey, design and manufacture of internal and external signs, awnings, parasols and café barriers – as well as a nationwide installation, maintenance and call out service.
Spectrum SG Limited’s Project Director, Darren Watt, said:
“Spectrum specialise in the manufacture and installation of internal and external signage, ranging from simplest traditional sign writing to the most contemporary designs and specifications.”
“Wagamama is a great client to work with and are always very clear with their requirements. This really helps us, as it allows us to complete each job on time and we’ve never missed a deadline.”
For over 20 years, ICH Ltd has specialised in the design, installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for use in the commercial and industrial sectors. ICH Ltd provides services for many high profile companies.
Working with Wagamama, ICH Ltd design and install heating and ventilation systems and provide a full maintenance service for each of its sites. To date ICH Ltd has provided services to six Wagamama restaurants.
ICH Ltd Commercial Director, Steve Cooper, said:
“At ICH Ltd our attention to customer care is what we are most proud of. When we encounter problems we will address and rectify them as soon as possible to ensure that all of our work is completed to the highest standards of quality.
“We work across a range of sectors, from small manufacturing plants and distribution sites through to restaurants and retail establishments.
“Wagamama is a fast-growing and very successful company and we are very pleased to be associated with the brand.”
Designed To Save
Design, procurement and project management company, Designed To Save, provide everything needed to design, supply and install catering equipment for use in the restaurant industry. Designed To Save has worked with Wagamama for over two years and the company regards the restaurant chain as one of its key accounts.
In order to provide services to Wagamama, Designed To Save Ltd collaborate with architects to create a design that incorporates the operational needs of the restaurant, in line with the brief, specification and budget. The company then fully coordinates with the project team on the clients’ behalf on all procurement and project management services to create an efficient and cost effective process.
Designed To Save Managing Director, Steve Thompson, said:
“Our USP is that Designed To Save take clients direct to the manufacturer.
“We provide impartial design and specification project management services, to provide a turnkey consultancy package which we believe is unique, offering key benefits to national account clients and main stream manufacturers”.