Hospitality and catering spaces, such as cafes, restaurants, and delicatessens, follow many of the same rules as retail spaces. Since they are both open to the public, it is important for them to take into account both customer and employee needs. This is a fundamental consideration that becomes especially important when selling products too.
Many cafes and coffee shops now offer coffee beans for customers to buy. It is also common for restaurants to sell wines and foods. The well-known Dishoom restaurant in the UK even sells its own vinyl record containing songs played within its restaurants. Branding has become especially important for all businesses, which means that you’re increasingly likely to be offered a branded t-shirt with your aperitif.
For owners of catering businesses, this means adapting the service and dining space to also include retail offerings. As caterers will know, this space is often already highly optimised and it can be highly difficult to introduce another product to an already efficient design. However, there are ways around it.
Many cafes, especially speciality coffee shops, have begun selling coffee and coffee making equipment. These will be offered to browse and buy instore. A popular way to showcase these products is with modular shelves or slatwall panels. These are now commonplace within such spaces for a few reasons.
Most notably, this type of adjustable and simple shelving has grown in popularity due to its low physical impact on the shop. There is almost always no option for a central counter or freestanding unit within dining spaces, restricting stock to vertical wall and bar space. Additionally, due to the fast-paced nature of service, sales stock needs to be elevated to alleviate any potential obstruction.
These shelving and display options are also comparatively low in cost. They can be set up simply and quickly, customised to fit a certain area without the need for additional extras. Furthermore, the amount of weight that can be stored upon shelves, modular and slatwall, is great value compared to the price of materials.
Finally, they are becoming perpetually more popular as they continue to appear in hospitality spaces. As more cafes and restaurants adopt creative shelving with designs that match and support their brand’s style, more hospitality concepts follow suit. Many items of furniture are sourceable in a wide variety of materials or with stylised accessories, such as natural woods or clean metals, leading some stores to build their aesthetic upon a certain design.
As the high street continues to increase in competition, cafes and restaurants will continue to find ways to optimise and utilise their spaces. It is likely that, beyond the sale of branded and associated products, we will continue to see more changes take place within these spaces. Events, such as pop-ups and guest kitchen takeovers are now commonplace, and collaborations, such as pre-brunch yoga, are being to take place too. As these trends become more established and hospitality concepts adapt to a changing market, we will continue to see the spaces physically change too.