In our very visual world, consumers have developed a keen awareness of design. What we see and how it makes us feel impacts our response to our environment in virtually every facet of our lives. The importance and impact of design in the restaurant industry is an on going and growing trend for restaurants as they scramble for recognition. “The U.S. restaurant industry is huge: $800 billion in annual sales with some 625,000 restaurants each trying to set itself apart from the others. One effective way of differentiating a restaurant brand is to design around a theme or concept that conveys a story to customers as they dine.” Reports international architectural design firm, AD&V.
Vincent Celano, founder and principal of New York-based Celano Design Studio says, “The guest experience starts when he or she walks in the door. He stresses the importance of graphics that are unique to the concept and that convey a sense of brand personality. “The menu, the graphics, and the signage become the identity of the brand and the concept, whereas fine dining or casual dining is more about the expectation of the food,” Celano says. “Fast casual has to identify immediately; you have to bring the product up front as part of the guest experience.”
The days of generic décor are gone and Riko’s has taken this trend to heart. They’ve created a brand experience that draws customers into a venue that redefines the traditional neighborhood pizzeria and conveys a unique personality and ambience.
The careful attention to details; warm wood tones, brick, contemporary tile, rustic lighting fixtures, menus that recall old time wood menu boards and oversized vintage photos of ancestors of Riko’s founders, Luigi Cardillo and Rico Imbrogno, brings warmth and personality to the space. It is contemporary with traditional accents that blend nostalgia with today, and familiar with new.
Co-owner Luigi Cardillo explains, “From our logo to the design of our full-service prototype restaurant on Hope Street in Stamford Connecticut, we’ve made choices that define the Riko brand and project the image that is unique to our story. Our decision to feature distinctive black and white photos of our family members reflects our belief in family and our ties to the past. We want our customers, our employees, and our community to know we are a family-focused business interested in building relationships and making a contribution as well as satisfying the demand for high quality, thin crust pizza. I believe it is a defining point that sets us apart. We take our business personally and our look reflects that.”
The story is one of warmth, comfort and quality. The friendly yet stylish ambience pairs with the simple menu of classic thin crust pizzas and wings along with tempting innovations to create an inviting experience to return to regularly for family night, casual date night, or an easy night of hanging with friends.
Franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, says, ”The Riko concept is both memorable and recognizable. Best of all it features a flexible footprint that translates and adapts with equal appeal from a full-service neighborhood restaurant to a fast-casual venue while keeping the brand experience consistent and intact. That ensures franchisees can build on a proven concept.”
With a clear vision, memorable concept and foresight Riko’s is fired up ready for growth and expansion.
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