The Casual Dining Design Awards recognised design excellence across the UK on the 25th February this year, at the Business Design Centre in London.
Over forty casual dining pubs and restaurants from across the UK competed for the prestigious awards including high street names like ASK Italian, Nando’s, wagamama, and Pizza Hut Restaurants, plus a range of entries from independent firms.
Now in their second year, the Casual Dining Design Awards included three categories – Best Designed Independent Restaurant, Best Designed Multiple Restaurant, and Best Designed Casual Dining Pub.
Perfectionists’ Café in Heathrow Terminal 2, designed by AfroditiKrassa, won over the judges in the Best Designed Independent Restaurant category. Praising the design’s attention to detail, the judges said they loved the way the space had been laid out and constructed.
“I am absolutely delighted that we have won this Casual Dining Design Award for our recent restaurant design for Heston Blumenthal,” says winning designer Afrodita Krassa, founder of AfroditiKrassa.
“A decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine an airport restaurant becoming a destination and winning design awards, yet the Perfectionists’ Café has achieved exactly this. This is exemplary of how much the industry has moved on, the casual dining world is booming with creative energy, quality and bold thinking; we are proud to be part of it,” she said.
Alston Bar & Beef in Glasgow Central Station and Smack Lobster Roll Deli in London were both also highly commended in this category.
Hare & Tortoise in Chiswick, designed by SAY Architects, won the winning trophy for Best Designed Multiple Restaurant and Wagamama Uxbridge, designed by Blacksheep, was highly commended in the same category.
The Fable in London, designed by Fusion Design and Architecture, was awarded highly commended in the Best Designed Casual Dining Pub category. After much debate by the judges, no overall winner was selected this year.
Other nominees included The Breakfast Club London Bridge, Burger & Lobster, Butlin’s Firehouse, Carluccio’s, The Dispensary, The Kings Head in Kent, Moo Cantina Argentina, Prime Steak & Grill in St Albans, SIM – Salvation in Noodles, Smack Lobster Roll Deli, Smithfield, and Speilburger.
David Worthington, chairman of Holmes & Marchant Design Group, formed part of the Casual Dining Design Awards judging panel for a second year running. He commented:
“Consumers are becoming more discerning where design and branding is concerned. There’s more to consider than just the senses of taste and smell – ambience and visual stimulation beyond the plate are more important than ever. This year’s shortlist boasted an extraordinary array of talent and innovative projects and the casual dining sector has proven yet again, that design should be at the forefront of business decisions.”
The awards reflect the importance of design to successful casual dining operators from conveying brand identity to creating ambiance and attracting/retaining custom. Tina Norden, project director at Conran and Partners, who is currently working on two new Park Hyatt projects in Asia Pacific, was a new addition to the judging line-up for 2015. She commented:
“Design plays a key role in any restaurant environment today – whether you pay £10 or £100 a head. The casual dining scene, in particular, is incredibly creative and over the last years has led the restaurant design world with its energy and new ideas.”