The Programming Stage is the most important part of the design phase in foodservice development.
The Programming Stage is the research and decision-making process that defines the problem(s) to be solved by design. During this stage, we will gather, analyze, and document relevant information such as functions, activities, relationships,preliminary costs, budgets, and purposes, to reach a conclusion as to what is needed in the plan. This is a good time to identify, examine and elaborate upon the various needs underlying a design project. In order for the design to be done properly, we must find out what the goals and objectives are of the foodservice department or operation. This stage truly is the foundation of everything that follows.
At DRS, we take a team approach and work closely with the owners or managers of an operation to lead the group in a discovery process to produce a successful design that will be functional and easy to work in for years to come. Our approach to a design is to look at it as if we are working in the space producing the menu at the desired volume and consistency. It is during this stage that the menu and the concept come to life.
Every good design has to start somewhere and it begins with a conceptual plan based on the information gathered during the programming stage. By following the flow of food through its production steps, a plan begins to emerge. From the loading dock to the customer, every step is defined and refined as the plan takes shape. Once the general space plan and kitchen “zoning” is complete, then it is time to select equipment and further define the process of food production.
Conceptual plans are often required to develop a budget and capital request. A Vision Book is an excellent way to demonstrate your concept by incorporating high-level drawings, palette examples, themes, and front-of-house scenarios that help bring your vision to life.
The Vision Book is an essential step in getting the funds for a renovation or a new construction project approved or made available. When completed, an owner or foodservice manager is ready to “tell the story” of their new concept to potential investors for investment or to their Board of Directors for a large capital request.
DRS can provide clients with a Vision Book that includes:
- Menu plan
- Conceptual drawings and 3D color renderings
- Equipment and construction needs
- Budget within strategic plan
- Cost analysis is done with a return on investment (ROI)
Once the programming stage and conceptual plan is completed, the DRS team begins to select equipment that will best produce the menu with attention to the long term. Our designs are created with future menu changes and flexibility in mind. As we know all too well, the public’s tastes change — a well-executed design can position the operation to change with new menus from year to year so you can better respond to your customers’ needs.
The design process is done in collaboration with Foodservice Planning Owners, Management, Executive Chefs, Architects, Engineers, Foodservice Equipment Dealers and General Contractors.
Budget Conscience Designs
DRS designs are always done with your budget in mind. Well before any design is completed, equipment budgets and models are submitted for approval. We want our clients to get the most out of their investment. Once the budget is approved, we move onto the final equipment selections and space layouts. All equipment is selected based on the budget, on the available utilities available, and on best food quality for the menu and concept. Space plans and equipment plans are accompanied with 2D renderings so that operators can better visualize the design. Full color 3D renderings are also available.