Best Foodservice Presentation
Winner: Royal Farms, Hunt Valley, Md.
Designer: Ratcliffe Architects
With its new 5,166-square-foot convenience store in Hunt Valley, Md., Royal Farms wanted consumers — whether familiar with the Royal Farms brand or not — to immediately recognize that it offers high-end, fast-casual food in a fast-casual dining environment.
This concept is the first of its kind for the chain, both inside and outside the store. The interior features a checkout with an innovative queuing system for impulse merchandising and speedy service. Food cues like bar-height seating along the storefront and clean views into the store support the fast-casual concept.
The focal point is a high-volume, on-stage kitchen and deli that offers the retailer’s famous fried chicken; a wide variety of subs, sandwiches and wraps; cold coffee and fruit smoothie drinks; a selection of sides like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes; fresh-brewed gourmet coffee; and cold beverages.
“Providing employees with an environment where storage, prep, cooking and service were all engineered to allow for high-speed [and] efficient service to the customer was another goal that we had to ensure was executed,” the retailer noted in its Store Design Contest entry.
LED is utilized throughout the store, including merchandise, cooler/freezer and equipment lighting. Interior materials like corrugated metal roofing and stone provide a rustic, warm and inviting feeling. Signage is limited; digital displays and a handful of static images of food shots fill the site.
The results of this new design have been more than what Royal Farms hoped for. The company is now taking this concept and bringing it to all upcoming locations, including major remodels.
Royal Farms set and broke its daily foodservice sales record multiple times and has learned the limitations of many processes, equipment and workstations to the point that they have all been upgraded. A completely revamped kitchen layout is in the works that will be unveiled next year.