Design Services

As nationally recognized FoodService Design Consultants, we take pride in our ability to develop efficient and practical food production and service systems for both front- and back-of-house commercial kitchen and dining areas. Our functional designs are based on an in-depth understanding of foodservice operations, production and serving processes, staffing patterns and efficient work flow. Our collective experience informs our designs and provides flexible work centers that support staff efficiency.

On the customer side, we design facilities that provide guests with exceptional foodservice experiences. We work with you and the building design team to plan service and dining areas that are functional and complement the building architecture. Our designs emphasize attractive public areas, customer service, food merchandising and responsive service.

We assist the LEED consultant and/or project team in meeting the project’s sustainability goals by providing equipment energy usage information and comparisons, suggesting options for foodservice-related innovation points and specifying energy-efficient and Energy Star equipment.

Our resources and expertise assist clients with the following:


A foodservice facilities design process typically includes five phases of work:

      •    Programming and Schematic Design
      •    Design Development
      •    Contract Documents
      •    Bid & Contract Award
      •    Review and Observation


Throughout our 30 years in this field, operational studies related to design have been an important part of our work. Studies provide managers and planners with solid information about the anticipated quality and cost results of proposed changes. They often consider alternative methods of operation and design approaches with respect to:

      •    Space Requirements
      •    Equipment
      •    Staffing and Operating Costs
      •    Required Labor Skills
      •    Food Quality and Service Responsiveness

Whether you operate a large volume, multi-site foodservice system or a small volume operation, the key to successful planning is the initial systems and operational decisions. Time well spent on these decisions can prevent wasted capital costs, excessive operating costs and disappointing food quality and service.

When appropriate, we include outside resources or partners to create a team whose experience matches the client’s unique requirements. Some examples of resources are Operation Consulting, Interior Design and Retail Merchandising.


Master Planning 
A study resulting in a long range plan to guide the facility in strategic and financial decision making related to foodservice. The process includes information gathering, analysis and decision making and final space and cost recommendations.

Includes the elements of a Master Plan and analyzes the impact these solutions have on departmental finances. This compares projected performance of the proposed options against operational and financial segment-related benchmarks.

Room Service Feasibility, Design and Implementation 
Evaluates existing healthcare facilities and considers options for optimal customer service and delivery systems. The report includes equipment design and cost, required ventilation changes and construction implications, and potentially assisting in the implementation in concert with our strategic partners.

Customer Surveys 
Help prepare, tabulate and analyze customer surveys in order to plan facilities and methods of operation best suited to the customers.

Departmental Evaluation 
Help evaluate existing facilities, management systems, operating costs, business practices, staffing and method of operation; recommend changes and document expected results.

Contract Management 
When appropriate, assist clients with transitioning from contract management into self-operation or with locating, selecting and contracting with a food management company.


The first three phases are the heart of the design work. As the work progresses, the design team develops drawings with more and more detail to the plans until the final documents can guide contractors through construction and installation. Here are a few of the highlights in each phase:

Programming and Schematic Design 
We focus on determining how much space is needed and where key components should be located. Our very first step is to understand your operation and vision for the future. We may conduct focus groups or a Charette design process to develop this understanding. Relationships between kitchen, serving areas, dining rooms and warewashing, as well as traffic patterns for food deliveries and guests are also key considerations. The end of this phase results in a schematic design, a simple plan showing work areas, points of service and key equipment.

Design Development 
The schematic plan is developed into an equipment plan created in CAD or Revit. While both programs provide computer assisted drawing, Revit creates a three dimensional model of the plan and allows multiple disciplines to coordinate their work in the design stages. During design development, each work area is designed in detail to support the activities taking place. Worksessions are used to review plans and equipment with stakeholders and revise accordingly. Specific equipment, worktables, sinks and serving counters are selected and located on the plan. Each equipment item is tracked with a number that corresponds to cut sheets in an equipment brochure. The equipment brochure provides details regarding equipment manufacturers, models, accessories and options, allowing us to monitor the foodservice equipment cost estimate. The equipment item number also corresponds to mechanical and electrical plans that are developed to allow the project engineers to complete their work. Click here for a Revit example.

Contract Documents 
Our Project Managers and Equipment Specialists complete the final documents to communicate key information for bidding and construction. Drawings now include elevations and sections that illustrate custom fabricated equipment. Notes, details and cross sections provide direction for how equipment is constructed and how the equipment will fit together when installed. Equipment specifications are written for each item describing the equipment and options that must be provided, and equivalent manufacturers that are acceptable.

Bid and Contract Award 
On most projects, contract documents are issued to bidders for competitive pricing. We maintain a national database of qualified foodservice equipment contractors and develop a project specific recommended bidders list based on the project size and location. Once bids are received, we are able to review the results and make recommendations for contract award.

Review and Observation 
This phase is also known as construction administration. The successful bidder now creates drawings and equipment brochures based on the exact items being provided, as well as “real world” field conditions at the site. We review the bidder’s documents against our contract documents to ensure the final project matches the design. In any project there are always a few surprises and questions that we help resolve with the contractor, architects and engineers. After the equipment is installed, we visit and inspect the site to confirm the completed project is consistent with the plan. Following the site visit, we produce a punchlist to identify anything that needs fine tuning or correction.