Seems like it’s been getting really hot outside these days, and it is a weather as usual for us here near living on the equator line. But picture this, we could all at some capacity imagine what it would be like to roam around one of those two-faceted Italian cities like Rome and Milan where some old architecture houses modern-contemporary lifestyle shops and F&B outlets.
Wouldn’t it be a splendid idea to sit by the sidewalk when it is nice outside while enjoying a glass of Aperol Spritz and just people-watch while you absorb the eclectic and highly fashionable ambiance? This is the epicentre of culture – food and drinks are usually the proven catalyst.
A CONCEPT ANCHORED BY EXPERIENCE
At Equip&Dine Asia 2019, LEVELS Studio conceptualised a unique F&B Experience entitled “Italian Summer” that showcased how restaurants and bar operators can deliver bespoke and multi-sensory experiences across different customer touch points. The experience also gave foodservice professionals a glimpse into what it looks like to set up an Italian-themed restaurant in Asia.
“The Italian Summer concept was inspired by one of our many travels and the experiences – in a nutshell, it is all about the modern-day Italian Food Culture where one does not eat to live but live to eat. And at its core, it is the details in concept, design & operations, and presentation that makes up an enjoyable dining experience when everything is considered,” said the LEVELS team.
TREND FOR THE TEST OF TIME
If there is a very profound F&B trend with true staying power at the moment it would be “experience”. Let it be pasta or simply a slice of pizza, it just has to be elevated to a new level – a fully immersive experience. And that level consists of more than just the food element – the atmosphere, ambience, service, comfort, value for money and memorability – all of these counts.
“We try not to be influenced too much by what is “in” as trends do come and go,” said the LEVELS team. “We would prefer to create a unique experience that may not be in demand in the current market. It takes a lot of two-way exchanges of ideas, vision alignment, conversations and building trust with owners and clients to achieve this.”
In fact, one of the key design features that was on display was the flushed cocktail bar design that anchored the booth space and acted as the focal point between visitor’s experience and unadulterated service. The synergy between back-of-house and the front-of-house was in full show mode during the “Aperitivo Afternoon” as visitors witnessed the process of cocktail making without the traditional and confrontational bar height counter. In other words, the design breaks down the “wall” between patrons and bartenders, giving guests a glimpse into how drinks are being made while making bartenders more accessible.
PARTNERING WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
A concept wouldn’t be as successful without the right mix of equipment. LEVELS believe that in order to deliver a total dining experience, “performance and the ability to take a risk with bold ideas while prioritising innovation” should be a consideration to any foodservice professional in the industry.
Where food is concerned, using a combi-oven paired with a blast chiller allows chefs to make multiple types of dishes. In order for such quick changes and allowance for efficiency to take place, the dishwashing area should be given equal emphasis to facilitate the correlation of front and back-ofhouse which is proven pivotal in assuring smooth service in any F&B setup.
CHALLENGES IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY
LEVELS identifies some of the challenges in the industry to be F&B establishments that hinges over a personnel rather than a strong brand and concept. Chefs may attract instant gratification but there are higher chances that they might leave when they find better opportunities. On the other hand, there are projects that don’t always go as planned due to initial reactions to cut cost. That affects many chefs or restauranteurs in the industry.
As a stakeholder, LEVELS strives to prevent such “disasters” from taking place. LEVELS becomes a confidant, an advisor, a partner, one that takes care of the business and a steward of the vision set from the get-go. Even when personnel or operational changes occur, the next one in the line shall not encounter any problem picking things up where the project was left off.
About LEVELS Studio
LEVELS is an F&B experiential design studio that specialises in the conceptualisation, design and implementation of memorable culinary experience in the hospitality world. Born from the DNA of their acclaimed parent company, CKP Hospitality Consultants, LEVELS has decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge from designing some of the top hospitality projects across the world.
Address : LEVELS Studio Suite 2.1, Level 2, Work @ Clearwater Changkat Semantan Off Jln Semantan Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Website : www.levels-experience.com
Instagram : @levelsexperience