Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2018

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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● ● ● ● ● MARCH 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 69 chain profile With that in mind, the chain introduced a new prototype last fall in Clayton, Mo. The design allows guests to enjoy their meal in a more sophisticated environment and better showcases the quality of Garbanzo's food and all that goes into making it. Inspired by the Food According to Park, the old Garbanzo prototype had an or- ange and dark green color scheme that typically wasn't found in the foodservice world. It also was much more "staccato" with little mixing of colors and sections of the dining area that felt cut off from the rest of the operation. The new design takes its inspiration from the food the restaurant serves. "A lot of the things you're going to see, although they may not be an exact match, are very good representations of the elements you're going to see in the Middle East," says Park. These design elements include cus- tom-made shelving, more textured materials, wood tones and multiple shades of blue reminiscent of the Mediterranean. A wood-style tile serves as the floor. And wood panels cover the ordering counter. The restaurant's wall decor tends toward the minimalistic, grouping together just a few pieces of food photography with brand messages like Simple Tastes Better. Seating options include a wooden banquette bench paired with hardwood tables and metal-framed chairs with wooden bottoms, high-top tables, patio seating and upholstered patterned booths. Compared to the previous design, this new prototype is much more open, as well. According to Park, this gives practi- cally every seat in the restaurant a good view of one of the pro- totype's most important innovations: a new, fully open kitchen. Providing a Clear View Open kitchens, of course, are nothing new, and front-of-the- house cooking is particularly common in the fast-casual segment. Garbanzo's kitchen, however, takes it a step further. Not only is cooking performed up front, all prep work and baking of the chain's signature pitas happens under the watchful eye of the customer. According to Park, this setup aligns with the chain's commitment to serious food. Garbanzo has long hand-cut its vegetables and baked pita from scratch in-house, but these activities were mostly hidden in the previous design. Moving them up front will communicate the quality of the chain's food to customers. What's more, the new kitchen design and layout gives customers a chance to look at the food and understand their options, many of which may be unfamiliar to first-time guests. "It's funny that some of the oldest food on the planet people are now discovering and we're having to teach them from the beginning," says Park. This teaching starts with the orientation of the kitchen itself. Garbanzo's previous layout was a vertical kitchen, i.e., a kitchen that runs parallel to the side of the restaurant. The new layout turns the kitchen so it runs parallel to the back wall. ● Key Players: James Park, CEO; Mike E. Smith, CFO; Patti Rother, senior director of franchise development; Ron Cool Jr., director of operations; Devin Handler; director of marketing ● Interior Design: Shannon Phillips, Johnson & Sekin; Debbie Stamer, O'Toole Design Associates ● Kitchen Design Consultant: In-house ● Equipment Dealer: TriMark Foodcraft ● Real Estate Development: Eddie Cherry, The Staenberg Group GARBANZO MEDITERRANEAN FRESH AT A GLANCE Compared to its previous look, Garbanzo went with a more sophis- ticated design in its new interior to reflect the quality and care that it puts into its food, says CEO James Park.

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