Inside the Hidden World of Restaurant Design



Besides having a hand in the Pie Tap Pizza Workshop+Bar, Plan B helped the owners of Greenville Avenue Pizza Company redesign their brand in small steps over the course of nearly three years. They’ve written contracts for as little as $10,000 and for as much as $400,000. They’ve used subtle tricks, like making restaurant tables a little smaller than standard to evoke a more intimate setting. They furnished Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar with a host of services—everything from picking out the plush couches to programming the music, building the website, and even coming up with the name. They even have the foresight to anticipate what the children of millennials might look for in a setting.


“It’s about designing a space so it’s relevant in five years, or relevant in 10 years,” Ring says. “The worst thing you can do as a designer is treat it like fashion, so that after six months, it’s out of style.”


Since Plan B’s start 12 years ago, revenue has grown “nine or tenfold,” according to Ring. He and Urrunaga view their projects as the best advertisements for their company. “We live and die by our work,” Ring says. “We have more people come to our office based on having been to one of our restaurants than with anything else we could do.”

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