Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

APR 2016

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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62 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • APRIL 2016 M ost fast-casual operations look like fast-casual operations. Basic tables and chairs, sometimes in hardwood, sometimes in metal or laminate, maybe some bench seating along a wall or partition. They often feature concrete foors and exposed ductwork to create an "industrial chic" appearance. In many cases, a few small touches, like food photogra- phy, hint at the exact cuisine — whether the menu centers on burgers, burritos or something else. Italian concept Go Roma's design, while still fast-casual, differs from its peers within the segment. From the furnish- ings to the signature design elements and the way it showcas- es its cooking, there's no doubt about what kind of place Go Roma is. Here, customers can enjoy a bowl of pasta, classic dishes like chicken parmesan or a custom-made pizza in a space that looks like what it is: an authentic Italian restaurant offering scratch-made food. Go Roma, it should be noted, isn't exactly a new chain. The concept was founded in the early 2000s by Chicago- based hospitality group Lettuce Entertain You. Since then, it has switched hands at least two times. Presumably, each ownership group believed it could turn the restaurant into something special. Despite the promise of the brand and the efforts of its many backers, though, Go Roma has never quite broken through. In fact, while the chain had six stores at one point, less than a year ago it was down to just two locations. In June 2015, however, Go Roma's newest owners, Dallas-based investment frm Chalak Mitra Group, rolled out this new prototype store in Glenview, Ill. Not only does the design create a space that sets the chain apart from many other fast-casual players, it reduces the concept's footprint by nearly a third. This formula, Go Roma's new leaders believe, should help the chain fnally achieve its potential. A redesigned prototype helps this fast- casual chain emphasize its authentic, scratch-made food. GO ROMA GOES FULL ITALIAN By Toby Weber, Contributing Editor The restaurant's diamond-tufted booths give it a traditional Italian feel, while splashes of color are added through its chairs and walls.

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